Ikaros dance website link
When I decided to create this project back in January, I was driven by my passion and admiration for Native American Culture and the need to become a voice for justice against the cruelty Indigenous people had to endure for centuries. I have already done extensive research on Indigenous cultures and tribes but due to the lockdown and the time I had to depthen my research, become informed about more issues, read books and I now have an even stronger will and need to create this project.
The Indigenous culture has been exploitated, threatened, supressed and used for centuries. Initially, I feared that my intentions would be missread from what they truly are, as Native American culture is not my culture to represent. To make sure I eliminate this I worked closely with Native American artists and I have been taking advice on cultural approriation, asking for permission on what is appropriate to use and what is not. This project is build on respect of what can be shared and shown. As an activist and as an artist I believe it's my duty to create groundbreaking work that represents and awakes. Work that speaks loudly for those who need it the most. Indigenous people have seen their land being stolen, have been violated, mistreated, tortured, abused, assaulted, surpressed for centuries and we don't talk about it, we are being taught Native History in our schools, but we don't even aknowledge them. This project will be created to deal with this problem and become a part of the fight for Indigenous to people to reclaim their culture and their rights.
One very serious crisis, that Indigenous people face for years is the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (mmiwg). This crisis is Indigenous people everyday in Canada and the USA. Fighting against a colonial justice system that doesn't favour Indigenous people, there is no help on this crisis and justice is not being served. There is no protection for Indigenous women and their lives are constantly in danger. The National Institute of Justice and the Urban Indian Health Institute disclose that 94% of Indigenous women have been raped or coerced in their lifetime. 42% attempted suicide at some point if they had been coerced ad raped and 53% lack permanent housing. Only 8% of the cases of a rape victim's first attack has ended in a conviction. 84% of Native American and Alaskan Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime whereas 48% will experience stalking. Native American women are murdered and sexually assaulted at rates as high as 10 times the average and crimes are overwhelmingly commited by individuals outside the Native American community. By 2016, 5,712 cases are known of missing and murdered women and girls across the United States and this number keeps growing. This is a crisis but why we don't hear about it? This needs to change. The world needs to know and listen. The world needs to be informed and fight misconceptions and stereotypes that are hurting Indigenous people daily.
This project is created in honour of Indigenous, strong, magnificent women. It celebrates them and their wisdom. It's a rite of passage to womanhood in honour if the Native American ceremonies. The US government prohibited Native American ceremonies in 1883 with the Code of Indian offences. For nearly a century traditions as such were conducted in secret. It was 1978 till the US passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act so all those rituals are facing extinction. For Native Americans women are sacred and they need to be protected. Indigenous project brings the Indigenous woman in the spotlight and celebrates her beauty, strenght, bravery, spirituality and wisdom. Working with Indigenous arists and an Indigenous dancer, this project will be a wonderful combination of Native American music, contemporary dance and Native American traditional dance.
The money raised by this site will go to the fair pay of dancers and artists for monthly rehersals and the show and cover the cost of the production. The funds raised from the performance will be donated to support Native organisations fighting against the mmiw crisis. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown still in effect and the government's cut on artists support and funding, we have postponed our audiotioning process till August but we hope to be able to restart as soon as possible.
This project is the first of many to follow by Ikaros, that will be created to support and honour Indigenous tribes and Indigenous cultures all over the world and with your help it can reach a vast audience and give the people that need a voice the chance they deserve.