AP: From my essay ‘New Traditions: Post-Oka Aboriginal Performance Art in Vancouver’: “Vancouver actor Sam Bob once likened the life of a First Nations theatre artist to membership in a secret society, with its own terrible rites of initiation. Aboriginal performance art seizes these rites and drags them into the open, where it revels in airing dirty laundry. Attendees are challenged to help scour it on the rocks.”

I was thinking specifically about Ahasiw when I wrote that, and how witnessing his performances was at times like being dragged into a terrible initiation rite, one that marked you forever, and changed the way you saw the world, forever.

SU: We were working on this section at Banff and there was easily ten people stuffed into one tiny studio, gossiping, smoking, drinking, etc. while I was really frustrated and struggling to get the damned code to work. They couldn’t help but kept up the supply of support. Finally, I had a Eureka moment and got it right! My collaborators cheered me on and gave me my Indian name: She Who Scans With a Fist.