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Debajehmujig Theatre Group

Film Theatre

North America, Canada, Ontario

Debajehmujig was the first and remains the only professional theatre company located on an Indian Reserve in Canada. The organisation was founded by Shirlee Cheechoo, Blake Debassige and a group of like-minded colleagues in the summer of 1984 in West Bay (M’Chigeeng First Nation) Manitoulin Island, Ontario. In August of 1989, the company moved to Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, where it remains to this day. 

The Debajehmujig Outreach programme began in 1997. Since then, the company has worked in over 50 First Nation localities in collaborative creations and training activities for youth. Residencies include a multi-arts approach to story creation and performance celebration, in partnership with local practising artists who remain in the community as mentors and potential creative partners once De-ba-jeh-mu-jig returns home to Manitoulin Island. 

The company creates original work based on an Anishnaabag worldview and builds bridges between cultures, generations, and territories. It also supports the development of Aboriginal artists in remote rural areas as well as in the metropoles. Since 2009 it operates a new arts centre in downtown Manitowaning whilst also continuing to perform outdoors on site in the Holy Cross Mission Ruins on the reserve. 

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