Mistatim brings story of reconciliation to Saskatchewan students

Children across Saskatchewan are getting the chance to learn about reconciliation in a new way as Red Sky Performance tours Mistatim to 38 schools in the province.

"This story. That could be with them for the rest of their lives," Sharon Laronde, the artistic director, told CBC Radio's Saskatchewan Weekend.

"Mistatim" translates to "horse" in the Cree language. 

The story is told through an Indigenous girl on a reservation, a Caucasian boy on a ranch and the taming of a wild horse.

"Either you could break a horse, sort of the traditional way of taming a horse — or you could lead through compassion and empathy, a whole other way of leading," Laronde said.

Laronde said the play also includes a fence which separates the two children, but also serves as a metaphor for the cultural divide between them.

Using masks, music and storytelling, Laronde said children are a great audience for a show like this because they are open to the discussion that the show encourages.

"Children will ask the greatest questions, the most basic questions at the end of the show. They'll ask questions like, 'is Cree really a language?'"

Laronde says that question is the most common question students ask after seeing it, adding the character of the horse only understands Cree.

The tour to Saskatchewan schools began last week and continues through April 13.