The Airing of Grievances
Debbie Courchene, the fearless captain of the IndigE-girl Comedy ship, and is your ticket to laughter and community spirit. An Anishinaabe ikwe with family roots in Sagkeeng Nation and Rolling River, Manitoba, she is on a mission to unite Indigenous communities through the magic of comedy, leaving smiles in her wake.
Debbie’s comedy is inspired by her family and the urban experience, offering a unique perspective on her world and community with humor. Anointed with that “cuzzin” blood, she has recently embraced her 1/16th heritage to the colonizer, giving her the audacity to assume she is funny due to her mediocre settler ancestry.
Debbie produced the first all female Indigenous stand up comedy show called IndigE-girl Comedy which has performed shows across Canada, including the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, YukYuks on Tour Saskatoon, and self produced in Toronto, Vancouver and Whitehorse. Some career highlights include performing for Camp! Comedy, initiating the Vancouver based female priority open mic – Gender Neutral Comedy Hour, and writing the uproarious short “Auntie in Da Woods” showcased at the National Arts Centre.
She masterfully provides safe and side-splitting spaces for women, spotlighting the hilarious Indigenous female comedians from across Canada. With Debbie at the helm, humor has no limits, and she is making her mark, one punchline at a time.
Alana Phoenix is a Cree Comedian from Piapot First Nation in Saskatchewan and is by no means a traditional woman from her Rez. Her sass and spunk has her performing for all audiences using laughter and healing across Canada and the United States. She believes laughter and humour are equivalent to being healthy and wealthy.
She used her humour to adapt while growing up in the foster care system and later used humour to heal from the negative effects of the government system she grew up in. Her knack for laughter eventually lead to her first open mic in 2014. She received great feedback and decided to enrol in a stand up comedy program and graduated with a certificate in 2014 and passed with flying colours.
She employs an observational or situational humour style and uses her comedy to face her fear of public speaking. She is now delivering workshops on recovery using her personal experience to provide tools for others going through their healing journey.
Wanda John-Kehewin is a Cree writer who came on a bus when she was nineteen, pregnant – carrying thirty dollars and a sliver of hope. Wanda has been writing about the near decimation of Indigenous culture, language, and tradition. Wanda is a multi-genre writer who hopes to reach others trying to make sense of the world. With many years of traveling the healing path (well, mostly stumling), she brings personal experience of healing to share with others. She worked to received her MFA in 2022. Wanda is a mother of five children, two dogs, two cats, a beareded dragon, three tiger barbs, and two super cute grand dogs.
Cherie, also known by her given Ktunaxa name ?inismi puⱡky, Rainbow woman comes from the community of Lower Kootenay “Yaqan Nukiy” (5-minute drive outsidethe rural town of Crestion, 15-minute drive from Idaho boarder). Cherie serves as a first-time elected councillor for her community and understands comedy can be a way to bridge gaps, create connections to help with having difficult conversations both on and off reserve. Her expereience performing on stage has given her the curiosity to check out the world of comedy.
Teagyn Aatagwéix’i Vallevand is a local trickster from the Whitehorse area, a citizen of Kwanlin Dun First Nations, and belongs to the Ganaaxteidi Raven Clan. You probably know her as an emcee for events like Bluefeather Music Festival, but she’s new to the scene of stand-up storytelling! When Teagyn’s not goofing around, you can find her making big bougie beaded earrings.
Kaitlynn Brightnose is an Indigenous stand up comedian who grew up between Pukatawagan and Cranberry Portage in Manitoba and is currently living in Winnipeg. Kaitlynn started comedy by accident when attending an open mic night turned into her being on stage. She’s since been doing stand up comedy for a little over a year. Kaitlynn can be seen around Winnipeg performing in local open mic nights or in shows she’s been invited to perform on.
JB The First Lady
Jerilynn Webster, aka JB the First Lady, is a member of the Nuxalk & Onondaga Nations. She is a Vancouver based hip hop and spoken word artists, beat-boxer, cultural dancer and youth educator. With four studio albums under her belt, JB sees her songs as a way of capturing oral history, and isn’t afraid to write lyrics that speak to challenging subjects like residential schools and missing and murdered Indigenous women.