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The UNB Art Centre Welcomes Wolastoqiyik Indigenous Artist Samaqani Cocahq-Natalie Sappier

Author: Lori Quick

Posted on Sep 5, 2019

Category: News and Notices

The UNB Art Centre welcomes Wolastoqiyik Indigenous Artist Samaqani Cocahq-Natalie Sappier - “Sacred Place of Stories and Songs.”

The UNB Art Centre, with the assistance of artsnb’s artist-in-residence program, welcomes Wolastoqiyik indigenous artist Samaqani Cocahq-Natalie Sappier to the UNB Art Centre for a four-month residency in 2019.  Her first public presentation will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m., Feasting the Work:  Blessing of Sacred Space and Artist’s Talk.

This residency at the UNB Art Centre will be the first since the 1960s and will provide an aboriginal artist with the opportunity to complete a major new work.  Following the success of her first production Finding Wolastoq Voice, which premiered at Theatre New Brunswick in 2018, Samaqani Cocahq-Natalie Sappier will continue to explore the themes of identity, language, memory and voice. This latest production will be premiered November 7 in Memorial Hall auditorium.

Located in the East Gallery at Memorial Hall, Samaqani Cocahq-Natalie Sappier will transform the gallery into Acomuwikuwam, a “sacred place of stories and songs” where she can interact with a team of elders, dancers and musicians to tell the stories of her people and to realize her latest project. The residency will also provide access to the general public to meet and talk with the artist as a means to learn about Wolastoq culture and history.

A graduate of the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, Samaqani Cocahq-Natalie Sappier is perhaps more well known for her paintings and designs. Recently a collaborative project with Wolastoq elder Opalahsomuwehs- Imelda Perley, saw a dream realized in the presentation of 13 Moon Healing Drums at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in July 2019.  She has designed and produced a number of murals throughout New Brunswick including the mural for Meduxenekeag School in Woodstock, the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre at UNB, the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in Fredericton and Negotukuk Health Centre in Tobique First Nation. She is currently a member of the Wabanaki Artist Collective.

This young and multi-talented artist has been receiving recognition for her theatrical work Finding Wolatsoq Voice which has toured the country with stops at the Prairie Theatre Exchange in Winnipeg, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and the Native Earth Dance Festival in Toronto. Samaqani Cocahq-Natalie Sappier began her foray into theatre in 2013-14 with TNB’s Young Company and has participated in a number of workshops and performances including Symphony New Brunswick, Solo Chicken Productions and the Atlantic Ballet Theatre’s Ghosts of Violence in 2017.

Samaqani Cocahq-Natalie Sappier’s voice provides a first- hand experience of what it is like to be an indigenous youth in Canada.  Her performances give members of the public an opportunity to learn about Wolastoq stories, songs, language and dance. It will allow them to bear witness and share the emotional journey.  In light of the recent Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations, it is projects like these that promote healing and a greater understanding of the injustices of the past in an effort to move toward a brighter future together.






Category: News and Notices

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