FIRST, by Steven Campbell and Nancy Walker, was commissioned by The Harmony Collaboration in collaboration with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. The performance is based on the Kiinwi Dabaadjmowin mural, painted by artists Philip Cote and Tracey Anthony and youth of the MCFN community. FIRST tells the history of The Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation through sung and spoken performance of the Indigenous Creation Story. FIRST shares MCFN's rich history and cultural knowledge through powerful contemporary artistic performance.
Muskrat is a staged presentation of Muskrat's story and song excerpted from FIRST. The 20-minute performance begins with narration that provides background and context. MCFN theatre group youths perform as the Animals that survive the flood, the Narrator and the Wolf. Muskrat's Song is performed by a professional vocalist. Previously recorded piano and choral accompaniment is utilized, with permission. Performance skills developed by the youth include vocalization, movement and teamwork.
Water is excerpted from FIRST. This 15-minute excerpt is a bilingual presentation in Anishinaabemowin and English. The text weaves back and forth in both languages. All of the young people participating speak individually and together as a chorus. The training and skills development include studying and speaking in Anishinaabemowin, analysis of text and the theme of water in Indigenous culture, and performance skills including vocalization, movement and teamwork.