CM 394 - Performing Indigenous Worldviews

This semester, I am going to be facilitating a learning laboratory through the University of Guåhan called FANHASSO - Performing Indigenous Worldviews. Here, I will be posting the readings and experiences that will guide our class on our learning journey. In the actual class, we will be engaging prayer, chant, ritual, breathe, embodiment exercises, freewriting, and connecting to the elements as part of our learning. I invite you to open your heart to the genius of these powerful spirits, thinkers, and makers, and then take your learning out into the sacred lands where you reside and do the same.




Background story:


Many people outside of the university have asked about having access to the class, and there have been a number of people talking about the need for more Indigenous perspectives on choreography, dramaturgy, creative practice, and creative practice as research. On my last website, I had started to build a bibliography of material related to creating contemporary dance from an Indigenous perspective.

Also around this time, Nikkita Oliver, a  Dxʷdəwʔabš Territory-based community organizer, artist, and abolitionist created a community syllabus for their course on Abolition at Seattle University.

All of these forces inspired me to share these resources in hope that they will inspire, nourish, and activate the transformative potential of indigenous creativity.


Our invitation is to engage with the materials below and start to develop questions for ourselves about what our ways of knowing, being, and doing are.



One video of your choice in which Dr. Manulani Aluli Meyer speaks

“Political Concepts: Leanne Betasamosake Simpson • Resurgence”  

F(l)ight by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg)


& Read

Look to the Mountain, Gregory Cajete (Santa Clara Pueblo) Pages 24-73


Aboriginal Epistemology, Willie Ermine (Sturgeon Lake First Nation)

“Theorizing Resurgence From Within Nishnaabeg Thought” by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg)

“Re-envisioning resurgence: Indigenous pathways to decolonization and sustainable self-determination” by Jeff Corntassel (Cherokee)

As we Have Always Done by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg)
Introduction, Chapter 1 & 2




Fanhallom, Fanoppe', Fanádingan - Ponder, Answer, Dialogue

Håfa pine'lo-mu nu ini na tinaitai siha? Håfa hinalom-mu? Håfa sininte-mu?

What’s your physical, mental, and spiritual response to the readings? How did they make you feel?


Kao u na'fanhasso hao nu i pengnga' (kuturra)/tiningo' CHamoru?

what about this text reminds you of your experience with CHamoru (or your own ancestral) knowledge and culture?


Håfa un hahaso? Håfa taimanu na'chonnek i hinasso-mu pat i fina'tinason-mu?

How does this resonate (or not) with you? And/or push your thinking and practice?


This week, we are being visited by the one and only Milly Kimberly Grant (Maori / Tongan / Samoan / Hawaiian / Cambodian / Filipino / Thai / Chinese / European / Scandinavian). To prepare for her visit our invitation is to:



Raukumara piece

Quick response to support Karena's speech for our beautiful sister Taawhi at her wedding down in Waihirere at the Koria-Kingi-Collier family reunion. Contemporary piece resembling the united Pacific, encouraging new seedlings to grow forth from all winds as people connected to the earth rather than one piece of land, no segregation, no indifference...allowing spirit to move first then the humanity. That being the true core. Filmed by Timoti Nicholls.

Ritu Alkemi - An invocation by TūRongo Collective

MULTI-NESIANS: Milly Grant-Koria


Nohopuku - Antidote

Taitai / Read

“Spirituality as decolonizing: Elders Albert Desjarlais, George McDermott, and Tom McCallum share understandings of life in healing practices” by Judy Iseke


You may also want to watch this short film because it pairs with the reading.



 This week, we will be visited by the highly esteemed Mr. Charles Koroneho. A protean artist, Charles Koroneho works in the fields of performance, culture and the visual arts. He created Te Toki Haruru, a conceptual platform (est.1997) to explore cultural collaboration and the intersection between choreography, theatre, visual arts and design. Te Toki Haruru projects are presented as performances, exhibitions, workshops and research exploring the collision between Maori cosmology, New Zealand society and global cultures.

To prepare for his class we will be viewing much of his work and reading an article by him and Carol Brown.


Powhiri Interwoven Night


Tua o Te Arai, Movement Explorations Montreal, Canada 2017


Tua o Te Arai - Movement Exploration, Sydney Australia

Movement Culture Workshop with Charles Koroneho - hosted by MOonhORsE Dance Theatre



Taitai / Read

Te Arai: Re-Addressing the Space of Grief, Bereavement and Lamentation by Charles Koroneho and Carol Brown


This week we will be visited by one of the co-conspirators of the powerful group Grupo Sotz'il, Daniel Fernando Guarcax Gonzáles and the very wise Dr. Maria Regina Firmino-Castillo. This class will focus on how we use dance to enliven indigenous worlds.


XUL KEJ - La Ocarina

Taitai / Read

Dancing the Pluriverse: Indigenous Performance as Ontological Praxis by Maria Regina Firmino-Castillo

RELACIONALIDADES INELUDIBLES EN EL ARTE ESCENICO DE GRUPO SOTZ'IL / INESCAPABLE RELATIONALITIES IN GRUPO SOTZ'IL'S PERFORMANCE PRACTICE by María Regina Firmino-Castillo, Daniel Fernando Guarcax González, on behalf of Grupo Sotz'il, & Tohil Fidel Brito Bernal 


© 2018 by Dakota Camacho