KOQM, a Nestuita’si Storytelling production


Written and performed by L’s+tkuk/Bear River First Nation L’nu poet and oral storyteller shalan joudry, Koqm takes us on a journey through time and land to experience the voices of fictional L’nu women. Throughout the course of the show we hear and meet the women who might have spoken and walked through one area of forest over centuries. Guided by the strength of an ancient tree (“koqm”), the women’s voices share with us their personal stories of grief, humour and resiliency.

“This play was about a decade in the making. I often think about our her-story as L’nu’k (Mi’kmaq) and have been dreaming up monologues to form a collection, woven with movement and song. Real-life L’nu Elders have inspired me with their stories. I am in awe of their strength. I wanted to write about more women like that, but from a fictional and historical perspective. I always wonder what our L’nu relatives were experiencing at various points throughout the centuries of European colonization here in southwest Nova Scotia. Not that i can voice the multitude of experiences. This show does not tell our history as though L’nu experiences can be summarized in one sitting. These are just a few stories, a handful of women through time to help bring more awareness to the depth of who we are.

These monologues and ideas really came to life by working with Ken Schwartz as director, Ann-Marie Kerr as mask coach, then Susanne Chui and Sarah Prosper for the opening and closing movements of this piece. Together, we share in the work to bring these stories into the hearts of our audiences.” shalan joudry