Indigenous comedy duo forms in B.C. out of community need for laughter – BC

Lilet and Soogah, or Bev Prince and Winnie Sam, refer to the comedy duo as “dirty grannies.”

The grandmothers are from the Nakhazdori Huten First Nation near Fort St. James, British Columbia.

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“We were just crazy at first, so when we dressed up, it got worse and we got crazy,” Prince said.

“We laugh all the time,” adds Sam. “And suddenly we were Lillette and Suga.”

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The name, meaning milk and sugar, arose out of their desire to have a traditional name. They were in a potluck when the non-Indigenous people were called out and named.

“We were just sitting there thinking, ‘Hey, why does she have a name?'” Sam said. “We’re stubborn, so it was like, ‘I want a name.’ And that’s it.”

Shortly after Potlach, Lilet and Soogah entered a talent contest and won. They started getting invited to events, and it thrived from there.

But entertainment wasn’t the only reason they started comedy.

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“We just wanted to make people laugh, because we’re suffering here in our community, there’s been a lot of deaths, and here comes COVID,” Prince said.

We get messages from people who have probably been through the worst times in their lives, but they send us thank you because we were there when they needed us,” Sam adds.

Indigenous peoples have a history of dealing with comedy, and a commonly heard phrase is “laughter is medicine.” Indigenous Peoples Associated with Years of Colonial Trauma – Preparatory Systems, Boarding Schools and Genocide, Sixties Scoops, Child Welfare Systems, Racism, etc. used humor to survive.

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Not only are there tons of Indigenous comedians, including Drew Hayden Taylor, Tim Fontaine, Howie Miller, Jana Schmieding, Dakota Hebert, and Janelle Niles, but there’s also research backing this up. cycle central Last year we published an article about Humor as a coping mechanism It can “relieve the burden of stressful emotions,” she wrote, and “helps you change your outlook on a sticky situation in a positive way.”

Inadvertently, that’s the Lilet and Soogah comedy.

“[Our community]is so full of grief that when you do comedy and you get into it, me and Winnie hold my stomach and laugh so hard that I forget why I was sad,” Prince said. “We just laugh all the time and tend to shy away from focusing on that sadness,” he said..

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Coping mechanics aside, comedy is a big part of Prince and Sam’s lives, and while one works at the local high school and the other in the youth department, they’re able to put their skills to work.

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But they want comedy to be a full-time thing. Facebook and TikTok account – and hopefully catch the attention of the Vancouver Canucks someday.

“I want to be at a Canucks game, I want to dance in the aisles, I want to swing big panties,” the duo said.

“We’re always looking for grandpa. We used to look for uncle, but now we’re past that age group. We’re no longer cougars, we’re deaf leopards.”

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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