Swift Current came out in droves for New Blood two nights ago, coming together to learn about a powerful message of reconciliation.

New Blood is a play put on by students from Strathmore High School and the Siksika Nation. Together, they perform the story of Chief Vincent Yellow Old Woman. It follows his life journey through residential school, his path back to controlling his own life, and how he eventually became the Chief of his people. 

Performing in the play was Stephanie Aitken, a teacher, and Joshua Winnipeg, an indigenous student. Both of them believe in the message the play presents, that of understanding the hurt and suffering experienced by indigenous peoples while providing a path in the end to reconciliation. 

"New Blood is based on telling the story of Indigenous People in Canada, but specifically based on Blackfoot people from Sitka," said Aitken. "We go through each song, which represents kind of a different event or occurrence that happened in Canada's history."

Some of the topics and events they touch upon are smallpox, the fur trade, residential schools, addictions, and the graves of the Indigenous children discovered at the sites of former residential schools. 

All of these hardships are visited and retold on the stage. They provide insights into the human experience that unfolded during these events and the tribulations that were endured. 

"I just hope that people take away that every scene that we do represents some different event that happened," said Winnipeg. "How residential school really assimilated the Indian out of the child. How it has  gone down from generation to generation with post-generation trauma,  and how that post-generation trauma has affected people like me."

New Blood came to Swit Current at the invitation of the Truth and Reconciliation Council. Bula Ghosh and her team were able to set up the visit, providing accommodations, food, and any other requirements for their stay.