November 03, 2021
shalan joudry is a Mi'kmaw oral storyteller, poet, podcast producer, drummer/singer, playwright and ecologist. Using her theatrical background, shalan brings Mi’kmaw stories to a new generation of listeners, as well as recounting personally crafted narratives that follow Mi’kmaw storying custom. shalan has shared her poetry, oral storytelling and drum singing with numerous stages and events for over a decade.
Her first full length play, Elapultiek, was produced twice by Two Planks and a Passion Theatre (2018 and 2019) and then published in book form (Pottersfield Press 2019). shalan acted a lead role in both productions and is planning an Atlantic tour with Two Planks in the fall of 2022. Elapultiek tells the story of two contrasting ideologies around conservation and understanding of the landscape of Mi’kma’ki.
During the global pandemic, shalan has turned to performing virtually, sharing storytelling and poetry for public events such as: Afterwords Festival, Cabot Trail Writers Festival, Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia events, Creative NS Gala Awards, the Shipwright Sessions, opening for Robin Wall Kimmerer’s What the Earth Needs of Us (Nocturne Halifax 2020), the Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre’s (PARC)'s 2021 Cabaret as well as creating a piano piece for Restorying Climate Just Futures Collaboration.
In 2016 shalan graduated with a Master of Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University and was nominated for a Governor General Gold Medal award for her thesis work on Mi’kmaw ways of knowing about fire on the land. shalan has been focusing more in recent years on reclaiming her L’nu language. It’s been a difficult but beautiful journey. She hopes to weave her Indigenous language into as much of her work as an artist and ecologist as possible.
shalan lives in her home territory of Kespukwitk (southwest Nova Scotia) with her family in their community of L’sitkuk (Bear River First Nation).
shalan’s newest play, KOQM, premieres at the King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal on November 12 & 13.