2018 Making Treaty 7

This year’s theatrical production is grounded in the Blackfoot word KAAHSINNONIKS which roughly translates to ancestor. Building on past Making Treaty 7 productions we take a fresh look at the history and legacy of the events at Blackfoot Crossing in 1877. Making Treaty 7 is a unique intertwined work of dance, theatre, music and poetry built on guidance and stories from Treaty 7 Elders, and through them our Kaahsinnoniks. The performance takes its audience on a journey through history to better understand the true spirit and intent of the treaty, while investigating the consequences and the implications Alberta faces today.

Creating the Show – Artists and Treaty 7 Elders

The process of Making Treaty 7 is grounded in artists listening to Elders. From its inception in 2012 to this year’s production, the roots of our productions are always based in the spirit of learning from our Elders who have generously shared their wisdom to inform and ensure the truth and authenticity of our stories.

Birthed as a legacy project when Calgary was named the 2012 Cultural Capital of Canada, Making Treaty 7 has grown through several iterations. We used materials such as the review process begun in 1991 to gather the “collective memory” of Treaty 7 Elders – published as The True Spirit and Original Intent of Treaty 7 by Treaty Elders and Tribal Council, with Walter Hildebrandt, Dorothy First Rider and Sarah Carter. The production Making Treaty 7 was deeply influenced by these testimonials.

Performers communicated with the people of Treaty 7 territory: Elders from the Blackfoot, Stoney Nakoda and Tsuut’ina Nations and consulted urban Indigenous peoples and settler narratives. From this tremendously complex mixture of stories, the artists weave their legends, dance and song to resonate with the very frequencies of the land itself to create a complex memory piece about Treaty 7.

Every year the Making Treaty 7 show is re-imagined and re-invigorated by going back to the roots of the Elder’s voices to uncover new storytelling materials.