September 12, 2016 | Category: Events, Feature



NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON — After more than two hundred years the significant sacrifices and contributions made by First Nations during the War of 1812 will be permanently recognized. Landscape of Nations: The Six Nations and Native Allies Commemorative Memorial, a public artwork of deep meaning, exquisite beauty, and power will be unveiled on the historic battlefield in Queenston Heights Park on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 2:00 p.m.

The memorial also recognizes the historic ceremony of peace and reconciliation held in Niagara on August 31 and September 1, 1815 that restored peace among the Native nations who fought on opposing sides.

Undertaken eight years ago by the Working Group, a volunteer sub-committee of the Niagara- on-the-Lake War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee, the memorial will become an important heritage destination asset for The Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) and is intended to serve as an educational beacon illuminating the critically important contributions Native peoples made to Canada during its formative years.

“We are still making history here in Niagara-on-the-Lake,” said Lord Mayor Pat Darte. “This beautiful memorial will not only convey essential knowledge about Canada’s heritage, but also challenge viewers to consider the meaning of our ongoing relationship with Native peoples.”

“The Niagara Parks Commission is pleased to have taken part in this Landscape of Nations project and we look forward to the official dedication of this significant memorial,” stated NPC Chair Janice Thomson. “The preservation of Niagara’s unique history is an incredibly important aspect of what we do and we take tremendous pride in helping Canadians and international visitors better understand the rich history of this country and the important contributions the residents, soldiers, and First Nations peoples of this region made to the development of Canada. This memorial, on the lands of Queenston Heights, helps us do exactly that.”

The unique memorial site, identified and offered by The Niagara Parks Commission, is embraced by the earthworks of old Fort Riall, resting under a broad canopy of tall mature trees. Following a juried competition of anonymous submissions assessed by experts in history, arts, and culture, the final winning design emerged from a collaboration by landscape architect Tom Ridout of Fleisher Ridout Partnership Inc. and Raymond Skye, a renowned Six Nations artist.

A successful national fund-raising campaign followed, which received donations from all levels of government (federal, provincial, municipal), corporations, foundations, private businesses, and numerous individual citizens raising the budgeted $1.4 million needed for the project.

“Knowledge of the courage, sacrifice, and contribution by Native peoples in the War of 1812 will forever change your understanding of Canada’s history,” said Working Group Co-chair Tim Johnson. As a former Smithsonian Institution executive who oversaw critically acclaimed exhibitions and launched a national education initiative at the National Museum of the American Indian, Johnson said he “can attest to the artistic merit and educational imperative of the Landscape of Nations memorial.”

The essential educational understandings of the memorial evoke themes of courage, remembrance, mutual respect and affirmation, and reconciliation. Included within the discourse of ideas stimulated by the memorial is a contextual awareness of the meaning of the covenant of friendship between First Nations and the Crown.

“After the destruction of the first monument for Isaac Brock in 1840, the Native allies spearheaded a fund-raising drive to erect the present monument (1853), contributing far more per person than any other segment of the population of Upper Canada,” said Richard Merritt, co-chair of the Working Group.

The committee therefore encourages and implores all Canadians to return the honour by visiting the Landscape of Nations memorial during its unveiling on October 2.

The dedication ceremony will include the unveiling of bronze sculptures of Native leaders John Norton and John Brant and of eight bronze medallions featured on the Queenston limestone walls forming the centre memory circle; the poignant “Bundling of Seven Arrows” ceremony; and the metaphorical burial of the weapons of war by school children under a majestic white pine, the Tree of Peace.

After the public has an opportunity to tour the memorial by walking along its symbolic Two Row Wampum trail the dedication ceremony becomes a celebration of peace and friendship. Native American Music Award-winning bands Dark Water Rising and The Ollivanders, from the U.S. and Canadian sides of the border respectively, will perform a special concert culminating in a Unity Jam. The concert will be followed by a special performance of ‘The Honouring’ by the acclaimed Native dance troupe, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, led by Artistic Director Santee Smith.

Refreshments will be available for sale as well as unique souvenirs to mark the occasion.

For more information, please visit : or contact: Richard D. Merritt MD FRCSC
Co-Chair of the Working Group


This project has been supported by the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.
Ce projet a été appuyé par le Programme Développement des communautés par le biais des arts et du patrimoine du ministère de Patrimoine canadien.


Pamphlet Press Release


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May 10, 2016 | Category: Feature

Requickening poster



Date: JULY 4th – 30th Location: The Citadel, TORONTO, ON and *NEW* Creation Lab on SIX NATIONS, ON Instructors include:

Santee Smith (Indigenous Contemporary, Creation Lab), Louise Potiki Bryant (Creation Lab), Alejandro Ronceria (Creation Lab), Nancy Wijohn (Choreographer| Dancer| Teacher| Healer | Fitness Coach), Ms.Li (Indigenous Dance), Ruth Douthwright (Axis Syllabus), Tony Duncan (Hoop Dance 101), Benoît Lachambre (Transforming Notions Of Presence), Taiaiake Alfred (Guest Speaker)

For more information on #KDTSI instructors and schedule, visit: WEB: PHONE: (416) 923-7373 TWITTER: @KahawiDance FACEBOOK:

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April 27, 2016 | Category: Feature

Requickening poster

NEXTSTEPS 2015/16 SEASON APRIL 28th – MAY 1st, 2016

Artists: Monique Mojica, Marina Acevedo, Santee Smith
Video Design: Louise Potiki Bryant
Lighting Design: Arun Srinivasan Costume Design: Adriana Fulop
Set Design: Andy Moro
Music Composition: Cris Derksen, Humberto Alvarez, Eugene Draw, Jesse Zubot with vocals by Tanya Tagaq, David R. Maracle, Santee Smith

APRIL 28th, 29th, 30th @8PM
& MAY 1st @3PM

TICKETS: $25-$38
BOX OFFICE: 416-973-4000

Fleck Dance Theatre  |  Harbourfront Centre 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON

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March 22, 2016 | Category: Blog, Feature

“Water is Life…water is sacred
Women give Life…women are sacred
Blood waters
With each moon cycle we renew our umbilical connections in blood tides, in ocean tides
In connection with our grandmothers.”
- Santee Smith

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Re-Quickening World Premiere TEASER ALERT!

March 22, 2016 | Category: Blog, Feature

Premiering as part of Harbourfront Centre’s 2015/16 Next Steps dance series, Re-Quickening takes the prevailing discourse surrounding international Indigenous women’s issues and incites a tough topical dialogue through performance, music and art, fuelled by re-constructing feminine power.

Does reconciliation mean the same thing to everyone, including those living on Turtle Island?
Re-Quickening goes there, while facilitating an artistic re-awakening of her-story.

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KDT SI Registration NOW Open!

January 20, 2016 | Category: Blog, Feature, Uncategorized

KDT Summer Intensive 2016

The KDT SI program is 4 consecutive weeks from July 4-30, 2016  and includes intensive physical, performance training and creation exploration, with each week and class building upon the previous, both in terms of content of instruction and intensity level. Instructors in attendance are Artistic Director Santee Smith, Benoît Lachambre (MTL), Ms. Li (CHN), Tony Duncan (AZ), Louise Potiki Bryant (NZ) Alejandro Ronceria (TO) and Ruth Douthwright.

To join KDT Summer Intensive program please email

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January 19, 2016 | Category: Blog, Feature

Six Nations of the Grand River Territory
July 18- 30, 2016

KDT is excited to host the CREATION LAB on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory! This year’s immersive community experience will focus on activation of inner and outer space in body and land, integration of community through shared cultural events, open public studio work, site based explorations and youth/elder connections.

The LAB 2016 will be led by facilitators: choreographer, dancer and video artist Louise Potiki-Bryant; director and choreographer Alejandro Ronceria and KDT’s Artistic Director Santee Smith and others guest teachers to be announced.

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Inaugural Indigenous Performance Gathering July 2017

November 18, 2015 | Category: Blog, Feature

Join us July 2017 for our 2 day Indigenous Performance Gathering at Six Nations!

The Six Nations community is uniting to open a space where we can share our narratives and perspectives, creating a forum to nourish Indigenous artists. We invite dance, performance, theatre artists, scholars, knowledge-keepers, and community members to join us to engage in dialogue about Indigenous performance and interdisciplinary practise.

Gathering includes: keynote speaker(s), master classes, panel topics, performative presentations that foster discussions about Indigenous creative process and teaching.
Artist in attendance include: Margo Tamez, Alejandro Ronceria, Louise Potiki-Bryant (New Zealand), Santee Smith and many more.

For more Information and to Register:
Cynthia Lickers-Sage | General Manager | 416-923-7373

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The Honouring Trailer

November 18, 2015 | Category: Feature


KDT is pleased to share The Honouring Theatre Trailer. The Honouring pays homage to our Indigenous warriors, their family & community who sacrificed for sovereignty & nationhood.

Nia:wen to Andy Moro for the videography & trailer.

Click here to view -

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Nia:wen Flato Markham Theatre

October 22, 2015 | Category: Blog, Feature

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre premiered the indoor version of The Honouring last night at the Flato Markham Theatre which concluded the tour.
KDT looks forward to presenting this production in theatres soon. Stay tuned for the theatre trailer!

Audience responses

Very moving and epic in feel even on the indoor stage. You have captured a huge melding of issues that are still contemporary and resonate today. The power of dance as a high art form has been quite a gift tonight in this epic performance – Kathleen Peer

Coming from a professional dance background, I was very impressed with the skill and emotion exhibited on the stage tonight. It was very inspiring and emotion provoking. I think we desperately need to see more dance rooted in Indigenous culture. It was so beautiful and I’m still in awe and so grateful I could see this performance. THANK YOU! – Saturn

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