Making Treaty 7

Making Treaty 7

Making Treaty 7 revisits O’Kosi 
cSPACE Eau Claire Neighbourhood Hub
 August 28-30 2023
Director: Michelle Thrush

For a full list of events, see the cSPACE Eau Claire Calendar here.

“This is so exciting to us to be able to share the beautiful knowledge that we have received from our elders and our communities. The power of theatre is immense, and to take people on a journey through music, film and theatre is super exciting.” — Michelle Thrush

About the Project

O’Kosi is a one-act multimedia theatrical and musical production being mounted in September at the The Grand Theatre by Making Treaty 7 (MT7). It features a full Blackfoot cast with a live band and pow wow group on stage.                                                                                                                                

This beautiful ensemble theatre production is written by Michelle Thrush Caleigh Crow, Neil Fleming and the cast. The production shows the effects of signing treaty number 7 here in 1877, and the aftereffects on the family systems of the Nitsitip (Blackfoot) people. It explores how colonialism severed relationships within Indigenous family systems and how we can open those doors to having healthy conversations and repairing families. 

The O’Kosi residency at cSPACE Eau Claire brings together 3 pow wow singers with three musicians to begin revisiting the work and also creating new pieces. This is a wonderful opportunity for the musicians to explore new works and define the fusion of pow wow and modern music. 

The cast features five professional Blackfoot actors on the stage, including Alanna Blue Bird, Garret Smith, Janine Owl Child, Mary Rose Cohen, and Dusty Frank. The screen portion of the performance features three Blackfoot actors including Telly James, Harley Bastien, and 81 year old Louise English.

Musicians include: Champion pow wow singers Clarence Wolf Leg, Dana Goulet, and Kaydynce Goodwill.

Directed by: Multi award winning actress and director Michelle Thrush. 

Artist Statement – Michelle Thrush on Making Treaty 7

Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society began in 2013 as a vision created by [One Yellow Rabbit co-founder] Michael Green and a group of indigenous, and non-indigenous people from this territory. It has always been our mandate to bring the stories alive that normally are not heard by the general public. We spend time with local elders here to discuss what is important about the natural values that sustained indigenous people from time immemorial, and how we can bring those values to the stage through the use of storytelling and ceremony.

As a company, we understand the power of storytelling, and how that can affect the heart. Every time we head into production, we use ceremony, and we allow all of our artists to be a part of our value building. 

The cSPACE Eau Claire residency is a chance to…

  • Bring our musicians together to explore the similarities and differences in western music as well as traditional blackfoot pow wow music
  • Have this time to gym together and discover some new music that we can present in our new show would be wonderful
  • Bring together people who all enjoy the power of music and how it can affect all people from all different backgrounds

Responding to Creativity, Community, Collaboration, and Change.

These are the exact values we hold as an organization. It is important to us to be able to bring together cultures that normally do not speak with each other. To be able to share our visions as a company and allow each other to bring our expertise into the room as collaborators and stewards of this land. The first people of this territory have so much to offer and to give them space to showcase that and to share that vision with everyone involved is extremely important to us.

O’Kosi open rehearsals run at cSPACE Eau Claire from August 28-30th, 5pm-6pm.