Thought Residency: Kim Senklip Harvey

Thought Residency: Kim Senklip Harvey


Endings are the hardest to write…or at least that is what I was taught once..i.t was a teaching passed on to me. And this is it everyone, this it it…the end of my ah thought residency so if you’ve listened in from the beginning how generous of you umm.. if you’re just tuning in – til next time. Thank you umm, to Sarah Garton Stanley the Spider Web Show team and umm…really thinking about writers today and their journeys and creators in general and the compassion and love and generosity we need to give them all and I’m sending out love to each and everyone of you. Sechanalyagh, limelet, Kim out haha!


I’m thinking about the life of a play…and it’s stages and really trying to…relook at..what it means…to go on the journey of writing…and..producing and then the latter of how the play lives after that. Umm you know you have some playwrights who go on to their ya know draft 70 something and it’s always alive…and I’m just wondering and I think its probably different with each work, how long a play still lives and when do you let it become still.


How do we help…our fellow…practitioners, when they feel like their voices haven’t been heard? Or they feel like…kindness or generosity hasn’t been extended to them. I know it’s happened to me but I feel like I’m creating a career and positioning myself to have agency over the way I feel that I’m being treated. Especially when they are Elders, your Elders. How do we support them?


I’m thinking about the responsibility we have to serve, the public or the broader community umm as artists who are sometimes and or primarily and or um entirely funded by public dollars. How do we hold ourselves accountable to the public and what does that mean and what does that look like? As Indigenous artist I feel like knowledge sharing is embedded in my practice. I’m thinking about..I’m curious about um what others are doing.


The growth after a fire is really is really interesting me…ummm last summer in the Tsilhqot’in…there were really umm forceful and giant fires happening and a lot of my family helped and the community fought off the fires themselves and this is the first time that I’ve been back and I’m seeing the fires guards and the effects of what happened and I’m also seeing new growth and that’s really interesting umm me in trying to understand the uh impact of when a fire blazes through a community and what that means.


Origin stories…how does it happen?!….I have sooo many questions…howwww….hooowwww.. when we look up at the sky…and I’m looking at the clearest sky, how did we get here? Probably just a really bad scifi movie…but  that’s where I’m at right now…I’m asking my friends…I’m asking my family…on this long weekend…we had to like my families grave. Oooooof everyone out there is questioning how’d we’d get here…I’m right there with you!!! How do we get there? derived originally uhh from an Anishinaabe word which means to trade…because of the many and beautiful rivers they have in this territory…they established very sophisticated uhh trade routes, between Nations and for themselves and when I look at these rivers…I am reminded of the journeys, the water holds those memories, I ah- it’s really making me remember. Someone once told me that water is our oldest history book, it holds all of our stories and umm I feel really fortunate to be able to spend some time on the Anishinaabe territory. Sechanalyagh for having me.


Decolonial love……what is it? …A friend of mine’s me some of Leanne Simpson’s…passages and letting me read her books and I’m…falling..decolonial and colonially in love with Leanne Simpson…..what does it mean? Is it possible how do we do it? What did love look like..before the settlers came here?……………I really don’t know..but I’m so fascinated by it all….


When I was in my early twenties ummm bees use to follow me…or find me, I dunno one or the other. One time a bee uhhhh sat on my shoulder, for like two or three blocks and we just walked. And I’ve been in Odawa for about a week now and the bees have found me…and this one beautiful bumble bee in particular keeps saying hello and I want to say sechanalyagh to the bees, for reminding me about um the community, the people and the hive mind- and there’s one right here- awwwwww limelet animal world.


Having power is a privilege…and I’m interested in…when we all take an inventory of the power that we have…1. I think we always underestimate how much power we have, there’s a lot of points in various parts of our lives we can assert ourselves and then 2. How do we leverage it? How do we hold people who have power…to account to ensure they are deseminsting it equitably. How do we do that? How do we inspire people to be courageous enough to do that? I dunno.


My Great Great Grandfather Johnny Tselaxi’tsa was the Chief of my people and he was an incredible ambassador and representative for out peoples rights, sovereignty and for the equitable treatment of the Syilx people. He travelled all around the world, there are stories of him going to Buckingham Palace demanding to meet with the King, going down to Rome to meet with the Pope. Speaking on behalf of our people and I think about him often when I travel, and I hope that I accurately and passionately and rightly represent the voice of the people that I current represent today. So, headed of to PACT, safe travels everyone. All my relations.


There’s something about walking slowly that I enjoy so much. And some people say they walk slow, and they don’t. Cause I walk really slow, you could, you could almost say I’m walking backwards. But there’s something about the ability to, breath and think and contemplate at that pace that allows it…allows the thought to…resonate of off things, that I…love. So I’m slowing it down everybody, I’m kicking it down a notch.


In As You Like It, Rosalind says to Duke Frederick, “we do not inherit treason” but don’t we? Don’t we all inherit, whatever all our predecessors do and steward us? Don’t we all inherit everything that they do, treason, good, bad, the ugly? That line is really sticking with me right now. I think, if not, or if we don’t or if we do, whose accountable for it all then, how do we, compensate or recognize that? Whose accountable?


I was listening to Stop Podcasting Yourself on my lunch break, which is one of my…*car honks…favourite…omg Quelemia Sparrow I think just waved at me hahahah. Umm one of my favourite podcasts and it got me thinking about something I’ve been focusing about with my artistic practice, where for the past couple of years I’ve been trying to investigate, with Kamloopa, why living in sustained joy or happiness is so difficult.

And I was just thinking about how I think..I think..hahaha..laughing out loud is the doorway to it so I’m gonna..I’m gonna to keep doing it, and I hope ya’ll keep doing it to. Let’s do it more than um, more than we type it.


I’m walking home from rehearsal on the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Skxwú7mesh peoples territories. On their land and I’m looking out at a body of water, with a lot of people hanging around a lot of people on it and wondering if anyone is taking a second thought, or any thought to recognize whose land their on, what does it mean and how our presence impacts it all. That’s what I’m thinking about.



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About the Author

Kim Senklip Harvey comes from the Syilx, Tshilqot'in, Ktunaxa and Dakelh Nations and is a director, playwright and actor. Kim was shortlisted for the 2017 Gina Wilkinson prize for her work as an emerging director. Most recently Kim was a participant in the Banff Playwrights Lab as well as the Rumbles Directors Lab. Kim is extremely invested in community and youth engagement and has worked on the Mayor’s Task Force for Mental Health and Addiction, the City of Vancouver's Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee, and as the Youth Program Manager at The Cultch she created, spearheaded the Indigenous Youth Initiative which focused on increasing urban Indigenous young people's artistic opportunities in Metro Vancouver. Kim is currently taking part in the National Theatre Schools inaugural Artistic Leadership Program which aims to steward in the next generation of artists to lead the major artistic institutions in this country. Kim will be directing the world premiere of her play, Kamloopa in September 2018.