This week I had an enlightening and fun conversation with Neil Fleming, the executive director of Making Treaty 7 here in Calgary! We chat about Making Treaty 7’s film “Istotsi, Land We Live On,” which will have screenings at this week's 2022 “IGNITE festival of emerging artists' ' which is in its 17th year and being presented by Sage Theatre. Neil tells us about “Istotsi” and the meaning behind the collage of small films and how it went from a stage show to a film at the height of covid lockdowns. We also chat about the importance of ‘Making Treaty 7’ as a cultural society, dedicated to Indigenous artistic expression, and how that is paired with the beauty and history of Indigenous culture and the reckoning of Canada’s dark past with Indigenous people.
Happy Indigenous History Month and Happy Pride month!
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. Neil 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 PastPresident 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).