PEI

Strengthening our Resilience brings real stories of abuse and recovery to the stage

The Native Council of P.E.I. is bringing a new show to the stage at The Guild in Charlottetown that both relates stories of abuse and celebrates the healing that can follow.

'I see these stories daily'

Lynn Bradley, Kaydence MacKenzie-Bradley, and Sherri-lee Pike are on stage for Strengthening Our Resilience. (Angela Walker/CBC)

The Native Council of P.E.I. is bringing a new show to the stage at The Guild in Charlottetown that both relates stories of abuse and celebrates the healing that can follow.

Strengthening our Resilience started with the idea that theatre could be used to educate people around the issue of violence against women, but then it took that idea a step further.

What we've really chosen to do with this project is focus on how you heal.— Sherri-Lee Pike

"The show is a collection of stories, real stories from real women from our community, some that will be on stage with us," said Sherri-Lee Pike, who was hired by the council to direct the program.

"There's been so much abuse in this world, and we all know those stories, but what we've really chosen to do with this project is focus on how you heal after."

The show includes a mixture of story, song, and drumming.

Having their story told

Pike is on stage for the show with Lynn Bradley, Aboriginal mental health and addictions program co-ordinator, and Bradley's daughter Kaydence MacKenzie-Bradley.

"I see these stories daily. I know these women, I know what they've overcome. I think it's important that they have their story told."

"I think it's really important that my daughter learns from real-life situations. I think it's important that she sees that this does exist."

Women are not alone

The show was a big learning experience for Pike, who brings a lot of theatre experience to the project but had to rely on others to present the Mi'kmaq culture appropriately.

"I have so much respect for this culture and the way these women choose to heal," she said.

Bradley said she wants people to walk away from the show believing there is hope, and for women to understand that they are not alone.

Strengthening our Resilience starts at The Guild 7 p.m. Friday, with tickets available from The Guild or from the Native Council of P.E.I.

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With files from Angela Walker

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