Napi and the Rock

By Telly James

Composed by Cris Derksen & Sonny-Ray Day Rider

Directed by Caleigh Crow

When Napi gives his robe away to Mr. Big Rock - then takes it back - he learns a valuable lesson about sharing.

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In the spring of 2019, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra partnered with Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society to create a performance based on the sacred and historical Blackfoot teaching of Napi and the Rock. Originally scheduled for April 2020, and delayed by the pandemic, we are pleased to release this project for free online. The premiere will take place at 2:30PM on 20 November 2021, then this 30-minute performance will remain online for viewing at your convenience.


In Blackfoot culture, Napi is the being that appears as a trickster, shape-shifter, and creator. Often getting into trouble with their supernatural powers, Napi teaches us important life lessons throughout their travels. In this teaching, Napi is travelling with a companion, Kit Fox, and they encounter weather, animals, and a giant rock.


Composers Cris Derksen and Sonny-Ray Day Rider set music to this playful story, and it is brought to life by actors Marshall Vielle and Cory Beaver through the text of playwright Telly James.

Click on the button above to visit the CPO website.

Click on the poster image (left) for additional information about Napi and the Rock.

Arts Commons Blog:
Napi at the Library

Join Calgary Public Library, in partnership with the Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, for a dramatic reading of Napi and the Rock. Discover this traditional Blackfoot story through music composed by Cris Derksen and Sonny-Ray Day Rider, performances by Calgary Philharmonic musicians and the engaging storytelling of actors, Cory Beaver and Marshall Vielle.

Classes may choose to stay on for an optional 15 minutes after the session for a moderated Q&A with the performers. All registrants will receive a digital Education Package to support their class' understanding of the story, which includes a link to the full 30-minute film.


Napi's World: Stories and Teachings from the Land is a virtual series for grade K-6 classes. Sessions feature Elders, knowledge keepers, Treaty 7 authors, illustrators, performers, and Calgary Public Library staff and aim to share the diverse perspectives and ways of knowing of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people living in Alberta, through Calgary Public Library’s resources, story, and song. Sessions are offered every two months. Register your class for FREE and join us virtually in Microsoft Teams.

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