Michelle is a performer, writer, director and producer from Treaty 7 territory of Cree and settler heritage. ... Michelle Thrush, who is Cree with French and Scottish intermingled, was born and raised in Mohkinstsis, also known as Calgary, Alberta. She is the recently appointed Artistic Director of Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society as well as a founding member, past director and actor of this theatre company which began in 2012. She is best known for her film work and for her leading role as Gail Stoney in BLACKSTONE. In 2011 she won the Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role. Michelle has been an actor, writer and director in film, television and theatre for over 30 years. She believes that it is through the arts we are able to shine light into places that help us heal as Indigenous peoples. She is invested in how the arts can build bridges and bring voices together and believes ”it is hugely important, as the Artistic Director, to create a safe place for artists to be vulnerable and to become a community to each other. Using an Indigenous-led process will always be the strength of what makes MT7 so successful.” Michelle has spent the last few years touring with her highly successful newest solo show Inner Elder. A comedy about the challenges of growing up as a brown girl with alcoholic parents in a city of white privilege. Her 2020 tour of this award winning show was meant to open at the National Arts Centre as part of their Indigenous programming season but was cancelled due to Covid. Besides working many years in the film industry, Michelle is best known for her work in communities across Canada with youth and children, which is her greatest passion. She created characters such as “Majica”, the Indigenous Healing Clown, and “Kookum Martha”, a sprite old Indian Elder which she takes to reserves to explore healing through performance and laughter. She continues to write, direct, and produce theatre, and has played many leading roles on stage across Canada. Her most important production to date are her two beautiful daughters which Michelle admits, were a co-production.
Neil is a playwright and designer from Robinson-Huron Treaty territory of Canadian and European settler heritage. ... Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Neil grew up in Anishinaabe territory of the Robinson-Huron Treaty. He is honoured to be part of the Making Treaty 7 team, helping amplify the Indigenous stories, practices and cultures of the Treaty 7 peoples. Neil is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter based in Calgary. He is best known for his work at Lunchbox Theatre including – Outside, Anomaly, Security, Last Christmas, The After Party, He Said, She Said (with Glenda Stirling), and Spare Parts (Stage One 2018). Neil is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, the Past President of the Alberta Playwrights’ Network, and a tenacious winger most mornings between 7-8am. Sometimes referred to as The Swiss Army Knife of Theatre, Neil is also a theatrical designer. Some past design credits include: Okotoks, 509 (MT7 & Niitsitapi Dance), Come Home (Urban Stories), Gruesome Playground Injuries (Ground Zero, Hit & Myth), In A World Created By A Drunken God, And So It Goes, Goodness, Bone Cage, (Downstage). A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream (CYPT), The Vajayjay Monologues (Pot of Jam, Urban Curves), Snowblind, Last Christmas, Shopaholic Husband Hunt (Lunchbox Theatre), An Almost Perfect Thing, The Kitchen Witches, The Attic, the Pearls, and Three Fine Girls (New West Theatre.
Allison is a theatre practitioner from Treaty 6 territory of Canadian and European settler heritage. ... Allison Robinson is a theatre practitioner from Treaty 6 territory; born in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) and raised on the west border of Elk Island National Park. She is proud to contribute her skills to the Making Treaty 7 team and honoured to learn and unlearn alongside Indigenous artists and storytellers. Allison holds a BFA in Technical Theatre and Production from the University of Alberta and a diploma in Arts and Cultural Management from MacEwan University. She has been working in theatre for over a decade; from onstage, to backstage, to further backstage in the offices where she finally found her place in arts administration and management. As a “jack of all trades” thespian, Allison has worked across Alberta, including two years in the mountains at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, before making Mohkinstsis (Calgary) her home in 2019. She’s either outside enjoying nature or inside covered in blankets. There is very little in between.
Caleigh is a queer playwright and performer from Treaty 7 territory of Metis and settler heritage. ... Caleigh Crow is a queer playwright and performer from Mohkinstsis of Metis and settler heritage. Her work tends towards themes of metaphysics, class struggle, and joy. She is currently researching the magnetosphere.
Cultural Outreach Coordinator
Kayshja is an Indigenous activist and advocate from Treaty 7 territory of Piikani First Nation heritage. ... Kayshja Eli (she/her), Saami Ponokakii (Medicine Elk Woman), is a proud Siksikaitsitapi from the Piikani Nation. She is an Indigenous activist and advocate who is passionate about decolonizing and integrating Indigenous methodologies and ways of knowing into western society. Kayshja has studied at the University of Lethbridge in the Bachelor of Arts program, specialising in Indigenous Studies and Gender Studies. She has worked on several Indigenous community projects that ranged from climate change, educational research, youth programs, mental health advocacy and cultural knowledge. Kayshja has been recently hired as the Cultural Outreach Coordinator for Making Treaty 7 and is excited to learn as well as share her skills, knowledge, and experience with the team.
Ninaakii Low Horn
Communications & Marketing Manager
Ninaakii is a Communications and Media Studies student from Treaty 7 territory of Siksika First Nation heritage. ... Ninaakii (Head Chief Woman) is a current Communications and Media Studies student at the University of Calgary. She is Blackfoot (Niitsitapi), hailing from Siksika Nation located within Treaty 7. She was raised by her mother, Tara Spring Chief; and is also a kipitaipoka, which means she was traditionally raised by her Grandparents, Frank and Theresa Stevens. Ninaakii describes herself as a lover of creativity, storytelling, art and media. Besides her artistic values, she keeps her Blackfoot culture as close to her as possible and is also a trained apprentice butcher in another realm of her life.