Tomantha Sylvester

Citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

GRANTEE: Tomantha Sylvester
NATIVE HERITAGE: Citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
LOCATION: Ashfield, Massachusetts
AWARD: 2023 LIFT– Early Career Support for Native Artists 

Tomantha Sylvester is an Anishinaabe actor, musician, and playwright. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lake Superior State University where she was also the recipient of the 2018 Female Leader in the Arts award. Her plays, Now You See Me and Something Else, have recieved readings through the Anishinaabe Theater Exchange and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. She is a Miranda Family Fellow through the National Theater Institute, and an Art and Survival Fellow through Double Edge Theatre and Betty’s Daughter Arts Collective. Sylvester is an ensemble member through Double Edge Theater and an Emerging Native Artist through the Ohketeau Cultural Center where she also works in community advocacy.

Sylvester believes that storytelling is a practical component to healing, joy, and knowledge. For millennia, her ancestors were among the first storytellers on Turtle Island. “We are constantly surrounded by images and language. The type of language we’re using, the stories we are being told, and who they are being told by are critical when shaping a world of truth and connection.” She enjoys storytelling that captivates the mind and cultivates connection. She delves into a multitude of subjects for inspiration to illuminate the past, present, and future from the perspective of an Ojibwe woman.

They (ancestors) knew the importance of language and stories, and knew that they had the power to shift and change our realities.”

– Tomantha Sylvester (Citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)


Sylvester’s LIFT Project, Kiindaash naa bndamwin webkaamgak – And so began the prophecy, is a site-specific theatre performance that features women’s voices from distinct cultures, exploring the relationship between traditional Ojibwe cosmology and women from other ancient matriarchal societies. The environment, rematriation, climate justice, and the reawakening of ancestral knowledge are central themes to the work. It will be performed in Massachusetts and in Sylvester’s home community of Sault Sainte Marie.

Tomantha Sylvester’s original theatrical piece, Something Else, the story of a young Indigenous woman on death row. Recorded on video as performed at the Magdalena Festival in 2022 at Double Edge Theatre.