Thursday, December 29, 2011

Haudenosaunee Social Dancing & Smoke Dancing

Tribal Vision has been very fortunate in sharing our culture in schools and theaters'.  In April of 2011, Adrian sang at the Gathering of Nations Powwow for the Smoke Dance Special.  This special contest was to honour the outgoing Miss Indian World, Dakota Brant. Adrian is not Haudenosaunee but he has learned the songs from the very best singers in Haudenosaunee territory.  Adrian is married to a Mohawk, Jennifer, so he took it upon himself to learn the songs and customs.  Adrian is a very accomplished Powwow Lead singer and has sung with many of the top drums groups such as Tha Tribe, Northern Cree, Whitefish Jr's, and Eagle Flight to name a few.

Haudenosaunee people are very competitive by nature and smoke dance was made to showcase the foot speed and style of the dancer.   This was another way to compete against one another. The competition is based on style & dancing on beat, getting the pauses and stops during the song.  Smoke Dance songs were made from mostly social dance songs, just sped up very fast and very short.  There is also an interesting urban legend that says that elders would get the younger generations to dance very fast to help clear the smoke out of the longhouses.  But for social dances in todays Longhouse's smoke dance is not done. Smoke dance is strictly for competition and for dance shows.  If you went to a Haudenosaunee social today you would not do smoke dance.

Haudenosaunee people dance for a variety of reasons.  Celebrations of all kinds, Ceremonies of all kinds giving thanks to the Creator for a variety of reasons.  Certain dances are for socializing and sharing with all people whether Haudenosaunee or not and smoke dance is one of these.  Other dances are ceremonial or medicinal.  Sacred Society dances are private and to participate you must be a member of the society.

Naomi Martin Mohawk Six Nations of the Grand River - Instructor

Adrian, Naomi, Derek 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Holidaze

This holiday season is flying by in a blur, which seems fitting as 2011 has done the same thing.  We have really enjoyed our time meeting new people and having the very best time sharing our shows and workshops with people all over Ontario.  

We look forward to exciting new adventures in 2012.  The winter and spring brings the beginnings of the powwow circuit with the Colleges and Universities hosting gatherings.  We plan to attend the first of these which is at Conestoga College in Kitchener.  I hope to see you there. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

2012 Ontario Dance Performance's & Workshop Holiday Deals 1 week Only!

Tribal Vision is having a Boxing Week sale save Big when Booking a Multimedia Show receive a free dance workshop. Show and Workshop same day. Must be Used in January 2012. These Spots will go fast so Book Now or pre-order to save your day!

When Booking send request to
Tribal Vision makes booking us easy we bring all audio, visual, equipment.
Multimedia & Sing Dance Workshop description on our page

Sing Instructor Adrian
2011 Gathering of Nations Powwow - Smoke Dance Singer

Women's Fancy Shawl North Eastern Powwow Series Champion 2011

Mens Fancy North Eastern Powwow Series Champion 2011
Our instructors have many years of experience teaching, we are striving for excellence and we are always evolving! Changing with the times, Our multimedia show is cutting edge, Edu-taining ,very engaging and interactive!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Craft Workshops

On Thursday I was invited to do a beadwork workshop at Six Nations Tourism.  I had a great day.  I forgot all my beadwork samples at home so I had to make a quick demonstration model.  They even had a full turkey dinner at the lunch break.  I thought that was awesome until we hit about 2 pm and the turkey hangover kicked in.  It didn't help that the room was really warm.  Surprisingly, even in these conditions most of the participants were able to finish their projects.  

Today I was at St Christopher School in Burlington.  I worked with the whole grade 3 population, 100 students.  We made mini drums.  I was so appreciative of all the parent volunteers who came in to help because I really needed the extra hands.  I was truly impressed that every student finished and all the drums looked fantastic.  

We will be doing one more dance/sing workshop before we break for the holidays.  I hope everyone has a relaxing and family filled festive season. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Making the Change

The fellas really enjoyed the awesome change room we had at Iroquois Ridge SS.  We were invited to take
 part in 'Making the Change'.   No really, that changeroom had it all!  We were already in a fantastic mood when we started so when the students were so supportive of what we were doing it made for an awesome Friday.  We had a 30 minute time slot so that ruled out the multimedia show. This allowed us some freedom with the hoop dance and did the guys ever take advantage of that.  Dang, they sang that fast.  It's all good though, changing things up once in a while keeps it fresh.

Youth Equity Camp

We felt honoured to be asked to perform as a part of the Youth Equity Camp at the Edgewood Conference Centre in Eden Mills on Thursday.  We are pictured above with Nicole Robinson who always makes sure we have a great experience at her events.  We got there early enough to eat and was that ever a wise move on our part.  I had some of the tastiest chicken on the planet!  

The students made us feel so welcome which makes the show fly by for us.  At the end we had some time to answer some questions to which Britany took as a challenge.  It was all good though she really made my day with her energy.  Lately we have been invited to a few events like this and I always leave feeling so full of hope for the future.  I wish there had been more things like this in my day.  I appreciate all the work the organizers put into things like this.  I hope they get a real sense of accomplishment from it.  (after they sleep for a week. lol.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Character Development - TDSB - Sing / Dance Workshop

During our sing / dance workshop not only do they learn many cultural teachings, the students also learn creative team building. Upon further analyzing our workshops and how it pertains to the curriculum I came across this Character Development poster- Build Character Build Success  from the TDSB site.  Our sing /dance workshop has all the attributes of this model.  We also dismiss a lot of stereotypes in a fun way.  When the workshop is over Teachers and Principals always tell us they hear their students singing down the halls. 

This Sing / Dance Workshop is great for all ages. This picture is from an all boys boarding school grades 9-12.  Our workshops are geared to the age and skill level of the students from K - 12.
We have even done this for Teachers as a Professional activity day!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waterloo Region District School Board - Youth Equity Leadership Camp

We were honored to be ask to present our  "Visions of Turtle Island" multimedia  presentation to these future leaders.  I can hardly wait to perform.  One of my favorite parts of the shows is getting participants up to do the Cherokee Stomp Dance. This is one of two participation dances.  Our shows are very engaging, we like to have a lot of fun when performing.   This event is Dec 8 at Edgewood Camp and Conference Centre 

Today we were at Pineland P.S in Burlington

When we do these workshops you never know what type of energy from the students your going to get.  These students energy level was probably the highest we have ever seen in a good way.  The students singing level was amazing and they had a lot of skilled dancers and lots of creativity.  Which is really great to work with. Great Job!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Chris Hadfield PS and Tecumseh PS

Yesterday was a very busy day.  We finished up at Tecumseh PS in Burlington for their open house.  This video is of Derek doing the Men's fancy war dance from that performance.  We had been performing all day and I was giving it my all but apparently my last Hoop dance wasn't quite fast enough for one of the young fellas at this show.  It is a good thing to have someone tell you the truth once in a while.  It makes you work harder.

We spent the day at Chris Hadfield PS in Milton.  We had to miss our lunch because the students had such great questions that we just couldn't leave while they wanted to chat, this is what we love about performing.  *note to self - bring a lunch.  During our last workshop the whole school went out into the halls and the boys volleyball team ran through the school getting good luck high fives.  That was awesome.  Can anyone please let us know how they did?  We would appreciate it if you would leave a comment.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last Minute Shows - Booking Agent

Tribal Vision Dance has on more than one occasion taken bookings at the last min or helped fill a roster spot in a program.  We are a professional family dance group which makes us more flexible. I know that things come up unexpectedly and we always do our best to help.

On a different note we are presently looking for a Booking Agent specializing in school bookings, we are currently looking for the right fit for us. If you have any suggestions please email us.

Here is a nice flute song for your listening enjoyment Flute song

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More pictures from recent shows

Beautiful murals...

At Laurier Brantford

 On tour in Algoma Limestone Catholic District School Board

Monday, November 28, 2011

Laurier Brantford

Tonight's show at Laurier Brantford went really well.  The Student's Association did a great job of making us feel welcome.  We really appreciated how well organized Nicole was. We would love to work with these peeps again.  We also just loved that we could use the sound system in the venue so our set up and tear down was easy peasy. 

Check out this awesome rug.  This was in Holy Name of Mary school in Marysville, Ontario.  They had the most beautiful murals as well.  

We have been so blessed to have spent so much time out in the East so the guys thought we should show our appreciation with a gift.  It looked beautiful and it was a special moment for us all.  

Friday, November 25, 2011

UNGS: A chat about Attawapiskat

UNGS: A chat about Attawapiskat

This is a great piece about something that has been on my mind constantly lately. Please take a moment to read it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Back in Eastern Ontario

We had a really early start to our day, being on the road by 4 a.m.  We thought things were going along great until we were loading in to the first school and locked the keys in the van.  Ack!  I was so grateful that someone was able go help us out and the show happened right on time.

We then headed to Tweed Ontario for our second show.  We stopped in at Vito's for lunch and I for one recommend that place.  Tasty,tasty.  We will be at Queens University tomorrow, if your there say hi!

Friday, November 18, 2011

OESC cards are in!

I'm very pleased that we have received our Ontario Education Service Corp ID cards.  We are always working to ensure that we meet all guidelines for our performances and workshops in schools.

Happy Native American Heritage Month to all our friends in the US.

Yesterday we were all over the place with two performances.  First we were in London ON for a multimedia show for wee tiny audience members.  That was our first time with an audience of totally pre-school aged children.  I was so happy that they were engaged and enjoying themselves.  Wow, it really takes some serious thinking in how you make yourself understood.

We then had to go to Toronto to help out the local youth dance group "Lost Dancers" at Education Day for the Canab Festival.  It was a whirlwind day and I am looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend.

Have a safe and fun weekend!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chicago powwow

Just found this today.  If you are in the Chicago area this weekend, go check it out.  I've never been to this powwow but I have heard good things about it.  Maybe next year....

I have also found this poster as well.  If you are in the Toronto area you might want to go and check this one out.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

CH Norton PS

We returned to CH Norton PS today.  I am just so impressed with the students at that school.  They are so outgoing and willing to try new things.  They work together really well too.  I think that speaks highly of the staff at that school and I believe those kids are going to do well in the future.  They just made me so happy being around them.  We are looking forward to returning to Eastern Ontario next week.  We do still have availability in December if you are interested in having us in your school give us a call or email.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Saying it with Humour - The Art of Bill Powless

The "Saying it with Humour" exhibit is currently showing at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford Ontario.  One of the most interesting stereotypes about Native people is that of the "Stoic Indian".  Well I wonder where that comes from because laughter has always been a big part of life.  That is one common thing that I found no matter what community you visit anywhere on Turtle Island, you listen for the big loud belly laughs and you will find the Natives.

This piece is called "April's Fool".  This art show features original works as well as a lot of the cartoons Bill did for the local paper as well.  The opening featured Micheala Washburn debuting a character she has been working on for her comedy show.  If you ever get a chance to check her out I hightly recommend it.  

If you are in the Brantford area I hope you stop by the Woodland Cultural Centre to check out the show. I believe it runs until Christmas.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Manito Ahbee Festival

Derek and I attended the Manito Ahbee Festival in Winnipeg over the weekend.  Neither of us had ever been so we were pretty excited to be there.  For us the first event was the Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards which are broadcast live on APTN.  We were so confused trying to get into the MTS Centre that we wound up on the red carpet right when Derek Miller (who won 2 awards) was going by. We of course got a picture of the 2 Derek's (it's on facebook).

I took this picture as we were getting to our seats.  The place was filling up and I must say the stage looked amazing.  I really enjoyed the awards show.  The amount of support that the people showed to the musicians was just so inspiring.

I loved how well run this powwow was.  They kept things moving along really well and keep pretty close to the schedule.  At one point we were 10 minutes ahead.  Yes, you did read that right.

This is Will Hedgepeth, owner of Red Eye Supply.  He won the Men's traditional special.  As you can see from the picture above there were a lot of men he was competing with.  I couldn't even get them all in a shot.  It was pretty exciting having someone from our area win the special.  Congratulations Will!

The Young Bear Singers were set up right below our seats.  They were recording a CD this weekend.  They were sounding gooood.  You can always tell what drum groups are sounding good by the number of people crowded around them trying to get a personal recording.

I want to say a special congratulations to Derek as he took 4th in the Sr Men's Fancy category.

I would give the Manito Ahbee festival a big thumbs up.  I especially enjoyed the powwow and would go back in a heartbeat.  I had one tiny negative.  This was the only powwow I have ever been to that I couldn't get any Native food.  What's up with that?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Halloween.  I know we did.  We finished up our engagement at The Museum  in Kitchener today.  If you have never been, you really should go and check it out.  That place is really great.  Now is the time of year that we go into high gear with beadworking and outfit making.  That makes now a great time to book us for your school or event!

Check out our new pages for the multimedia show and workshops.  Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

TheMuseum Kitchener Dance / Sing Workshops for Schools

Naomi warming up before our 4 sing / dance workshops as apart of the Children's Filmfest put on by THEMUSEUM downtown Kitchener.  We were fortunate to be able to use space at a dance studio right around the corner!!!

Derek just being silly " Hey you look familiar" During the workshop he teaches students how to dance, why we dance and where the dance comes from.  Today he is demonstrating Grass Dance.

Adrian doing his thing! Getting students charged up and excited about singing! Students learn 5 main points of interest about singing in this shortened version of our workshop. We only had a total of about 40 mins to do both sing/dance. But we are very versatile.  The students all sang very well and had a great time doing it!

Derek thought he would stretch after he was done, wow those other dancers are flexible lol  Great dance studio.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

imagineNATIVE Film Festival Welcome Reception

It's time for the imageNATIVE film festival and it seems like just yesterday that we were there last.  Adrian was honoured to be asked to take over the MCing of the social part of the day.  He really enjoys doing that sort of thing.

We have been working on Derek's Grass dance outfit and I think it looks pretty good.  I don't know if flowy is a word or not but that's how I would describe it.

The day was set up like a social where dancers could come and participate in intertribal dances with different groups doing short demonstrations throughout the day.  Pictured above is Eric Pipestem who did an awesome hoop dance.  I took other pictures of his performance but as you can see from these I was a bit pictorially challenged and they didn't turn out.

During the intertribal social portion of the day Jacob was asked to a fancy feather dance exhibition.  Eagle Flight Singers were there to sing so Jake got a rockin' song.

Just before Jen and Kristen danced Kristen leans over to me and says "it's on".  I giggled to myself and thought "competitive much?"  lol.

Derek and I hope to get out to some more of the festival this year.  If we see you out come and say hi!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Family thankful for support - Fort Erie Times - Ontario, CA

Family thankful for support - Fort Erie Times - Ontario, CA

Here's a link to an article about our Stevensville visit on Wednesday.

Team Kelsey - Stevensville PS

We were at Stevensville PS on Wednesday morning.  Our cousin Kelsey goes to this school and she has been battling an illness for a year now.  We thought we would come and share the celebration of her being back at school by doing a presentation for the students.  I had such a good time.  A lot of family came out from the Reserve to see the show and that was so great.  I have the most supportive family.  I wanted to mention that Kelsey is collecting full size chocolate bars for the Halloween Parade at McMaster Hospital this year.  

We were also at Crawford Lake that day to do a craft workshop and some storytelling with the Native studies students in Halton.  A bonus for me was that Janace Henry was there with Indian Tacos and donuts for dinner.  Yesssss.  

On Thursday we were at Acton HS for a workshop and were pleasantly surprised to find that we had met a lot of students the day before at Crawford Lake.  The Acton students were a blast to work with and we would love to go back there again.  When we saw the school logo I couldn't get that David Wilcox song out of my head all day.  Yup the one you're singing now.  

Have a great weekend and see you all next week.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dreamwalkers Gathering

Last week was the Dreamwalkers Gathering which is put on by NPAAMB.  We took the students through some basics about The Drum as well as had them dancing with us.  I truly wish they had this sort of thing when I was in High School.  It was awesome to see so many Native Students from all over Southern Ontario over the course of the three days.

During one of workshops we noticed that the students were all looking behind us and when we turned around there was Q-Mack the Keynote speaker had a table balanced on his chin.  I'm talking about a 6' table at that!  I was glad I was able to get him to stand still long enough for this picture.

On Thursday we were at Monsignor Doyle in Cambridge.  I loved all the artwork on the walls of the school.  If I went here I would have been in a chipper mood all the time.  It's hard not to be with all this colour and positive messages surrounding you.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Unity Day and Ontario Tourism Summitt

So we go through a lot of repairs on our outfits. My least favourite thing in the world is replacing the soles on moccasins but that is exactly what I found myself doing on our way to our first performance today.

I was getting ready for our second show and discovered a huge rip in my hoop dance dress. I didn't discover it until right before we were about to start so all I could do was put clear hockey tape on it. It held, sort of...
I guess it's time for a new dress.

Our first performance was at the newly opened Milton Centre for the Performing Arts. The changerooms were fabulous, with enough space for us to really sprawl and get ready. We hate to rush so we turn up early to events so we can take our time getting ready. It was a good thing today because we actually got to start early.

This is Sherry, she is one busy lady. It is always a pleasure to run into her at events around Halton.

We finished off our evening at the Sheraton Centre in Hamilton for the Ontario Tourism Summit. I had the very best time here as the people were all so nice. We are off to the Dreamwalkers Gathering for the next few days. I hope you have a great week.