Friday, February 25, 2011

King Edward School Toronto ON

Today we were all together again and at King Edward School in Toronto. It was a little worrisome this morning around 6 am as it was wicked snowing. We had to take it slow and steady and hope it wasn't a snow day in Toronto. As it turned out the weather was fairly clear in the city. It may be hard to tell but the guys are NOT doing the YMCA dance they are actually making a T V for Tribal Vision. Yes, we try to take the mundane out of loading the van.

This school has the best Custodian. I wish I got her name I believe it was Anna but I'm not positive. She was great. I keep mentioning that it's the little things, well she was just so helpful with the parking of our behemoth of a van. You could just tell that she took pride in her school. All the staff that we met were just fantastic. So easy going and genuinely nice.

I am always so impressed with how well the students sing and dance but today we had the best singers and dancers yet. Wow and I mean Wow talented.

I always enjoy working in big cities because I am a people watcher. Take the lady above for instance. Those have got to be the coolest boots that I have seen in a long time. The way she was walking made me think she was suffering for her fashion.

And these two. Absolutely adorable dog. And again cool boots. There is a theme here I think.

I have yet to find out why there is a giant canoe that you can see from the Gardiner but it looks pretty sweet.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Eastview PS

Back in December we held a Holiday promotion/draw. We raffled off a free workshop from entries posted on our Facebook page. The winning school was Eastview in Oakville ON. The guys went to do this workshop while I headed in the other direction to Sarnia. The guys said that it was loads of fun but I didn't want them to rub it in because I really enjoy working with the kids and I missed out.

On another note we were at WCI on Tuesday and we were featured on the local news. Check it out.

Lambton College

Yesterday was quite interesting for me. We had to split Tribal Vision up and send Derek and Adrian to do a workshop at Eastview PS in Oakville, while I went to Sarnia with Grand River Rafting and Treks in the Wild. The support staff from Lambton College had a PA activity in a very nice park. We arranged an afternoon of outdoor activities. My portion was obviously teaching dancing. Yes, the above picture is the space I had to work with. I figure you can dance anywhere so I made it work. It was awful chilly while I waited for my next group to come.

The participants were broken into 6 teams and they rotated to 3 stations. At each station they competed against a different team in the outdoor challenges. At the above station they had to cast the fishing line for accuracy and also do moose calling. While the guys were setting up their stations I was practicing with the fishing line. There were a lot of people out for walks and several stopped and were joking that this was a strange way to ice fish. lol. I told them I was fishing for snowballs.

This is Barry laying down the hoola hoops that you had to cast your fishing line into. It is a lot tougher than it sounds.

This is Andy from Treks in the Wild. He was dressed as a lumberjack for the day. When the participants arrived I noticed that quite a few had on flannel coats. I didn't realize they were given extra points for a lumberjack costume. Maybe it was regalia they may have actually been lumberjacks. (inside joke). I just thought that this was a weird fashion statement out Sarnia way.

All in all, it was a great day. I hope Derek got pictures from his workshop so that I can put them up soon.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Human Rights Assembly - WCI

It is Human Rights Week at Waterloo Colliegate Institute in Waterloo ON. Today we were very honoured to be a part of the kick off assembly as this week is going to have an Aboriginal Focus at the school. I know I have mentioned in the past that it is the little things that make our day, well this morning when we arrived at the school there were people at the door to greet us and take us straight to our dressing room. That may not sound like much but you have no idea the amount of time we often spend trying to find someone at our performance venue that knows anything about what we are doing there.

Once in the change room we were delighted to find Tim Horton's coffee, donuts, croissants and water. Fantastic start to our early day.

The sign above was posted in the wings of the stage and really made me giggle. Having a Brother who is very involved with lighting for Theatre, Live Music, etc etc, I can truly relate to a Lighting Technician's frustration with people who don't realize that it is a definite skill setting lights to make you look good.

The Assembly was a lot of fun although there was something strange that was happening. Through out our performance there were these fluorescent house lights that are suspended from the ceiling that were swinging back and forth squeaking away. The crew was telling us that they had never seen that before. I couldn't decide if that meant the place was haunted, there was another earthquake or we had just put on too many holiday pounds. lol.

The Keynote speaker today was Myeenghun Henry. It was nice having a chance to visit with him before the assembly. He is co-ordinating the 1st annual powwow at Connestoga College this February 26. It should be fun so come on out and check it out if you are in the KW area.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Native Lineage

On Friday we did a workshop for Teachers and it was quite different from working with students. The one glaring difference was that I had to explain my physical appearance at least 15 times to the adults whereas the kids are more interested in why we are dressed the way we are as opposed to why my skin is so light. I found it quite interesting that once I explained my lineage (again and again) they were able to listen to what I had to say. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by this as I am guilty of it myself from time to time.

I am always surprised when I hear that people from other cultures pretend to be native for whatever reason. I guess the romanticism of Native culture makes it more interesting to research although I believe that all cultures are fascinating and you should be proud of your own history whatever that may be.

On another note, it was gorgeous out today so we went for a hike in a new area. We found a cool hill to train on. It will be 5 peaks season soon and we all love trail races.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Teacher's Resource Page

Today we did a workshop for Teacher's from the Toronto Catholic District School Board. They had an PA day and we were able to take part. We presented an introduction to Aboriginal Music. We talked about the drum and it's significance to our Culture. We then talked about rattles and had the teachers make a version of a horn rattle that they could make with their students. It was a lot of fun today and quite a change of pace from working with kids. We made a page with instructions on how to make the rattle if you are interested you can check it out here.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Family Day weekend.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Native Dancing and Singing workshops

Today was our last day at Baden PS. We had such a great time there. The students were all willing to try and that makes it soooo much fun. For the last three days we had been singing and dancing powwow style with the students so we thought we would try something different and share some of the songs and dances that are our traditions. So we did some social dances of the Haudenosaunee people. Once again the kids surprised me with their energy and enthusiasm. (I need a nap now).

Tomorrow we will be doing a workshop for Music Teachers in Toronto. I hope they have as much energy and enthusiasm as the kids do.

It felt like spring today didn't it? Let's hope it stays this way.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dance And Singing Workshops For Schools

Singing and Dancing workshops are really becoming such a great team building exercise. Teachers and Students are loving all aspects of them. Teachers get to see their students being creative while participating and cooperating with other students. Enjoying the Arts is such a great learning experience, being able to do this in such a way that is fun for all students is our secret. Dismissing stereotypes and answering age old Questions are another way of making this educational and fun. Not wanting to give all our secrets away, I would say that teachers and students maybe skeptical at first but after 5-10 min. they are all about it and by the end we know students are singing and dancing down the halls! Because before we leave the school a couple teachers have told us and i've heard students! To enjoy these Workshops book early! We are at Baden P.S in Kitchener all week! These students are very lucky to have such great teachers at their school! GO BULLDOG'S!! HOKA HEYAAA!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dancing for the Elders

Last week the kids danced for the Elders at the Iroquois Lodge in Ohsweken. This was the first time Ava danced all by herself in a performance. She killed it! So proud. All the other girls there dancing were fancy dancers so she got to solo it. She was right on beat, had some moves, raised her fan AND stopped on time.

Kristen glided around the room and was just so graceful. I loved being able to just relax and watch. Jake had a sporting event so he wasn't able to participate. I hope we are able to go the next time Lost Dancers are invited to dance at the Lodge.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Baden Bulldogs

We are going to be in the Kitchener area this week at Baden PS. We worked with the grade 3s and 4s today. Wow, they have sooo much energy. I just loved that it was valentines day so most people were in red or pink.

They are the Baden Bulldogs so I just had to get a pic of their awesome guard dog/mascot that greets you when you enter the building. I am really looking forward to the rest of the week with them.

Happy Eat-as-much-chocolate-as-you-want day! Ok I know that's not what it's called but that's how I celebrate!

Much love!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Beadwork and regalia in progress

It is time to buckle down and get our beadwork projects finished. I do believe that spring is right around the corner and with that brings the one day powwows to get everyone ready for the upcoming season. Our goal for this evening is to try to get the grass dance harness that is pictured below finished.

Derek is working on the top half and I am working on the bottom half. We both did it a different way but I think I am technically closer to being done. I want to get the beading down so that I can get back to my lonely sewing machine. Every time I pass by it I think I can hear it calling out to me to sit down and make something. lol.

We will be doing workshops in Kitchener all week. I always get lost in that city so I am hoping that after going there everyday for a week will help with that a bit.

Below are some pictures of projects we have finished recently for the family.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ontario Arts Council

Derek and I are taking a week off from Tribal Vision performances to work with the students at Glen Morris PS through the Ontario Arts Council, Aboriginal Artists in Education Program. We have been having a great time. This school has a very relaxed vibe that we really like. The kids are all open to new things. Even though they might be unsure they are still willing to try and that is pretty awesome. We finish up there on Friday and then it's right back into the swing of things with Tribal Vision. We will be at Baden PS next week. Wow, this cold snap this week really makes it hard for me to leave the house so I for one really miss last winter.

Stay warm, my friends.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Culture Works show at ILA

We performed for a group of students from The University of Western Ontario today. They went on a tour of the reserve and then we danced for them. It was a PA day for the kids so they got to come along and dance. I was happy to have them today because we had someone to keep baby busy while the others we performing. Adriel is giving the girls a hoop dance lesson.

Derek was warming up before we started so I thought I would snap a few pics. I think he is getting used to me constantly putting a camera in his face. I can't help it, I love my camera!

Jake is dancing for the people. I love to watch him because he is just such a bundle of energy that you never know what he is going to do next.

Adrian brought his mini me today. He just stood and stared when his dad starting playing the flute. I think he is going to be a singer/musician just like his dad.

Last minute preparations...we are almost ready.

The show went fantastic, I was so proud of everyone. Every time I watch the kids dance I think my face is going to split open I'm smiling so hard.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Original Native Artwork

I went to my parents place yesterday to take some pictures of my Dad's work. I really looked around the yard for the first time in a long time. My dad sees art in everything. He made these masks out of old plastic jugs and they looked amazing. Growing up I was often mortified when my friends would come over but I have come to love my dad's quirky creativity and I hope that I inherited even a fraction of his ability to see beauty in everything.

I made a page of his work. Check it out.