« Wai̓, x̓ast sx̌lx̌ʕalt. Inca isk̓ʷist Cen cen, kn mut il nk ̓maplqs il n ̓sis ̓oolax̌ʷ. Hello good day, my name is Mariel Belanger, I am from the Head of the Lake– Dry Creek, the northern part of the Syilx – Okanagan Nation.”
Mariel is dedicated to contributing in the growth of interdisciplinary arts as a method to engage Indigenous community, language, culture and act as a bridge to society telling stories of our time. Recently graduated with a Master of Fine Art in Interdisciplinary and Indigenous Studies, Mariel is a SSHRC, UBCO Aboriginal Fellowship, and Indian Brotherhood scholarship recipient who was recently was awarded Outstanding Indigenous Graduate Student at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry held in Champaigne-Urbana at the University of Illinois as well was nominated to the Canadian Association of Theatre Research board as graduate board member. As artist scholar, her research is about Identity through the lens of Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being, Customary Law, Indigenous Feminism and Performance Theory, exploring how cultural identity is rebuilt through oral history and performance practice.
Mariel has completed a college diploma in Media and Communications Foundations. Mariel as a graduate of the Enowkin Centre’s National Aboriginal Professional Artists Training program she received the First Year Media award, the Professionalism Award and Creative Writing Award for the NAPAT program. She directed two films which won at the Cowichan International Film Festival for “Best Documentary” (2008 Mothers Milk), “Most Promising Film Maker” and “Best Actor” (2007 Wayward Soul) As a member of the Ullus Collective, Mariel has created media instillations for Women in the Okanagan (2012) featuring Xixutem a story of revival, GeoTag Art featuring “A song for Tigerlily” and Picto Prophecy “Reminders for the People”.
Currently Mariel is a founding member of Sqilxw Apna and Kama? Creative Aboriginal Arts Collective in her home community as well was an arts instructor at the Enowkin Centre, where she facilitated Community Engagement for Artists and Performance arts for the NAPAT program. Mariel is also a professional actor appearing in Twilight Eclipse as the Third Wife, American Experience – Tecumseh’s Vision among numerous other independent film projects.
That place where New Media and Ancient Knowledge meet has opened many new opportunities to bring those stories to life. Being a ‘hand’s on learner’ comes from the artistry my granny displayed when tanning hides and sewing buckskin gloves. Inspired by the digital messages from 1978 recordings my passion lies in bringing those teachings of sustainability forward with new life.
Currently mentoring under Barb P. Marchand
Her Body Will Remember a group show curated by Erin Sutherland at the Kelowna Art Gallery On now until Sept 8. 2019
Collaborating with David Bernie Graphic artist in Illegal: Let Us Live
Totally rewrote the scene for my role as Brenda in Beneath the Surface. I have a new daughter who embodies the character a totally different way. It took me 5 days to get the words into my body. Administration and rehearsal a the same time is pushing limits. I enjoy a challenge as Creative Director for the imagi’NATION Collective
I had an amazing opportunity to participate in the 2019 Pacific Contact
showcase as part of the “Active Reconciliation in a Changing Landscape” workshop facilitated by Kelly Foxcroft-Poirier and Amanda Fenton
“Through methods of storytelling and dialogue, this workshop will support us in building our collective capacity leaning into the learning and a bit of the ‘unlearning’ required for active Reconciliation.”
Just got off the workshop production of Taran Kootenhayoo’s comedy “White Noise” Check it out here Savage Society Productions
It was amazing hearing my words come to life in a staged reading March 6 in Vancouver of a scene from “Reminders for the People” People laughed when they were supposed to and generally enjoyed it. I’ve been writing this story since before I knew it was the story. Find more info on it here Tricksters and Writers @ WIFTV
Reminders for the People: “The Medicine Story”
and on Facebook