Our festival takes place in ‘Ohio,’ a word that comes from the Seneca word Ohi:yo (Oh-heee-yoh), meaning ‘good flowing stream.’*

As a festival dedicated to presenting global theatre, we seek to recognize the complex history of colonization, coercion and displacement that brought us to reside on this land, and to understand our place in that history. It is our hope, as an organization whose mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding through the shared experience of live arts, that our work may be actively contributing to enhanced appreciation and curiosity about the past and present contributions of Native American and Indigenous artists in the global performing arts.

We acknowledge those of the Shawnee, Miami, Erie, Ottawa, Potawatomi, and Haudenosaunee Confederacy whose lands we stand on, and the nearly 28,000 Native American people who live in Northeast Ohio today; our neighbors, coworkers, classmates, and community members, who represent over 100 tribal nations.

*Froman, Francis & Keye, Alfred J. "English-Cayuga/ Cayuga-English Dictionary", 2014.

Special thanks to Lake Erie Native American Council, a non-profit dedicated to preserving, maintaining and promoting Native American and Indigenous culture in Northeast Ohio. For information on LENAC's mission and programs, visit here.


If you are a Native American or Indigenous artist who is interested in working with BorderLight Festival we encourage you to contact us: