CONTACT NO CONTACT
Geist is embarking on a new project: Contact No Contact, a gathering of personal Contact narratives from Aboriginal and non-aboriginal writers and storytellers. “Contact” is a term used to denote initial encounters of Aboriginal peoples with European settlers and carries a special charge in accounts of Aboriginal history. But for most Canadians, Contact remains an abstract “historical” event that has (d)evolved over centuries into a continuous state of “No Further Contact.” The finished works of Contact No Contact—written anecdotes, audio and video—will be arranged in
suites by theme and published in print and curated on a website. Each narrative will be short and to the point: together they form an array of anecdotes, each acting as a door into the space created by Contact: a glimpse, a surprise, a shock, a new connection.
An entry from Randy Fred:
My first contact with white kids was in grade seven, when kids from the residential school were bussed into town so we could go to a “public” school. We didn’t want to be there, and it was pretty clear that the white kids didn’t want us to be there either. Social Studies was the worst class, because Indians were sometimes the subject. I didn’t know who the Iroquois were, or who the Hurons were (no other Indians were mentioned in those classes), but I knew they were Indians, and so was I. — The Editors