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FIRST NATION COMIC SHARES LAUGHS AND HUMOR IN MELFORT

FIRST NATION COMIC SHARES LAUGHS AND HUMOR IN MELFORT

By Joshua Santos.  June 23, 2017 Edition of the Melfort Journal.

A jam-packed room erupted with cheers and applause as the crowd roared with hilarity during Don Burnstick’s sophomore appearance on June 22.

 "It’s really nice because it’s very diverse. We have a Métis population here, First Nations and some non-natives and everybody gets along. That’s what I found. My fan base is very diverse because the comedy show speaks to the prairie people," Burnstick said.

As part of the Marguerite Riel Centre’s Aboriginal Day conference, Burnstick was invited to perform as the evening entertainment at the Kerry Vickar Centre.

Burnstick is of Cree descent residing from Alexander First Nation outside of Edmonton. His first show in Melfort was in February 2015.

Not one to fret, Burnstick cracked about his love life, First Nations culture and current leadership domestically and abroad.

"I address these issues but in a humorous way. Cutting-edge. There are some elephants that we talk about and what I try to do is break stereotypes in both ways. First Nations people have a stereotype towards non-native people and vice versa and I try to break those stereotypes using humour," he explained.

Over the course of his comedic career, Burnstick has used humour to provide a holistic approach to healing.

"Our people believe laughter always helps heal. if you have a wounded heart, if you’re depressed, laughter will help it. Our people have always had laughter within our culture so we see laughter as healing. That’s why I call it medicine," Burnstick said.

Brought in as entertainment to celebrate National Aboriginal Day, it’s claimed it’s impetrative the country continues to honours its first ancestors.

"Over the last 15 to 20 years, there’s been an awareness about First Nation people and Aboriginal people. The latest buzzword is reconciliation. There’s been an awareness of the boarding school system. There’s been an acknowledgment of First Nations people and Metis. I think it’s very important for not just First Nations people but Canada," he said. "They’re the original people and to have them acknowledged that way, is very, very important. It’s good for First Nations people, it’s good for the country, it’s good for Saskatchewan."

Burnstick is commemorating 20 years of stand up comedy. His career ascent began twenty years ago when he was invited on stage at a conference in Saskatchewan.

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"I haven't laughed this hard in years!"