In 2012, Aanmitaagzi and Spiderwoman Theater came together on Nipissing First Nation to begin the creation of Material Witness, a project born out of Spiderwoman’s inaugural 1976 show, Women In Violence. Over the next four years, the company travelled between Nipissing and New York, developing the production as well as the Pulling Threads Fabric Workshop series. Previous iterations of the show have been presented in Nipissing & North Bay, at the Red House Arts Center (Syracuse, NY), at La MaMa (New York, NY), and at the Harbourfront Centre (Toronto, ON).
Material Witness, is a multi-generational, multi-disciplinary performance/installation project that explores stories of violence, healing and renewal in the lives of Indigenous women. Incorporating stories re-worked and refined by writer/performers Cherish Violet Blood, Penny Couchie, Donna Couteau, Angela Loft, Gloria Miguel and Tanis Parenteau, through storyweaving sessions led by Director Muriel Miguel and set/installation elements developed through the Pulling Threads workshops and Aanmitaagzi’s community-engaged artists, Material Witness is a story of positivity, hope, and humor from Indigenous women who have personally experienced inconceivable violence and who are now on the other side, moving forward. The name, Material Witness, evokes the legacy of our histories, how they intersect and how our families and communities have been ripped apart and are now being woven together again.