A photo of Alberta Highway 509
Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society’s season opens with 509 | Photo: Courtesy of Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society


Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society kicks off season on the heels of big announcement

Amy Jo Espetveidt

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A powerful story that weaves personal experiences with Blackfoot storytelling, Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society (MT7) launches its first season as a resident company at The Grand with 509.

The show comes at an exciting time for the organization and opens less than a month after it announced Tom Jackson, one of Canada’s most influential and distinguished actors, musicians, and activists, as the company’s ambassador, creative collaborator, and producer.

The Calgary-based star is assisting with the entire season of performances, starting with 509.

“We are the storytellers, the singers, the clowns, and the tricksters. We help the world leap, learn, laugh, and love. It intoxicates me to think that as an artistic collaborator with MT7 I get to play the greatest instrument of change in the history of the human race. Thank you for welcoming me to your soil,” says Jackson in a statement.

509 weaves the personal experiences of MT7 Artistic Director Justin Many Fingers with a Blackfoot story told to him as a child. The Blackfoot believe that after death, our spirits go to the sacred hills where the living and spirit world meet. There, Napi (the Blackfoot trickster), guides you to the other side, accompanied by the spirit of the buffalo herd.

In a single, life-changing moment, Danny finds himself between the spirit world and the life he has known. With the stars and midnight blue sky on one side of Highway 509 and sunshine colours of the morning on the other, Danny remembers the story his grandfather told him as a young child.

509 looks at my Blackfoot First Nations upbringing as a child of our stories, singing, and dance,” says Many Fingers in a statement. “Through the characters of Napi and Danny, 509 explores what I call the middle place, the unknown of the spirit world—life or death, real, and not real—and hope for what is.”

509 runs October 10 to 18, 2019 at The Grand (608 1st St. SW).