The Kun’tewiktuk Project

In the 2019 Indigenous theatre research-creation project, Kun’tewiktuk, facilitated in partnership with The Centre for Sound Communities, Membertou First Nation collaborative researchers investigated personal experiences, histories and legacies of migration and encounter in Cape Breton through a theatrical production and film presentation. Subsequent publications in 2020 further explored the significance of the 1916 forced relocation of the Mi’kmaq and its historic and personal consequences on the Membertou First Nation community.

“[What Kun’tewiktuk] meant to the community is that … we were able to open a door into history and to show the people … how it was back in the early 1900s … It was a very significant and traumatic time,” — Graham Marshall, Councillor, Membertou First Nation, Traditional Knowledge-holder, Kun’tewiktuk Project

“We’re carrying this pride in ourselves that we learned this together, and that we worked on this project together and that we successfully brought it to fruition. [We] had a very emotional and a very powerful story to tell, and when that story was told, the elders embraced the youth and they said, ‘That was incredible; that was very good and that was very strong.’ That’s the spirit of our people, that’s the spirit of Membertou, that’s the spirit of Kun’tewiktuk.” — Clifford Paul, Traditional Knowledge-holder, Membertou First Nation Researcher & Consultant, Kun’tewiktuk Project

In this film, Membertou First Nation collaborative researchers speak about their participation in the Kun’tewiktuk Project:


Ostashewski, Marcia, and Shaylene Johnson. 2020. “Relocation, Research and Reconciliation in Unama’ki.” In My Body Was Left on the Street: Music Education and Displacement, edited by Kính T. Vu and André de Quadros, 267–280. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Ostashewski, Marcia, and Clifford Paul, Graham Marshall, Shaylene Johnson. 2020. “Fostering Reconciliation Collaborative Research in Unama’ki: Engaging Communities through Indigenous Methodologies and Research-Creation”. Yearbook for Traditional Music 52: 23-40.