Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tribal Vision Dance on CTV news

We were on CTV news last week after the Aboriginal Awareness Week Launch at Laurier University. You can check it out here.

Break Time

Tribal Vision is on a break this week as Derek and I are participating in the Aboriginal Artists in Schools program at Prince Charles School. After Day 2 we are having a blast. As fun as this change of pace is, we are looking forward to getting back to Tribal Vision performances and workshops.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 2 & 3 in Eastern ON schools

The last two days that we spent in Eastern Ontario doing school shows were a lot of fun. We went to 5 different schools over the three days. Our show on Thursday in at Tyendinaga PS went very well. We found a gas station on the reserve which was awesome. When you have to fill a 15 passenger van you take any price breaks you can find.

Ok so we call Adrian the logistics manager. He has a GPS that he brings along to get us where we need to be. When we were trying to get from Sharbot Lake to Trenton for the next show with barely enough time to begin with, we turned to the trusty device to find our way. THIS is the single track dirt lane that it sent us on! Dang thing should have been one way it was so narrow. Adrian was soooo carsick because it was so bumpy and windy.

We met the children of one of our contacts at our show in Sharbot Lake. This is Seamus and Keegan.

So the view from our room in Sharbot lake was beautiful. The lake was still partially frozen and yet there were some ducks out there swimming away. The restaurant was fantastic, the food was amazing. I found it pretty cool that the whole place was heated by a wood burning boiler that was out in the parking lot. Pretty cool.

At our last show in Trenton on Friday afternoon at St. Peter's School, we met some really awesome kids. They were so enthusiastic that it just made our trip so great. When you get to do something that you really love you can't call it work but when it is appreciated like that it just truly makes your day. Those students were so much fun!

When ever I see goats it just makes me smile. We saw these little cuties across the road from the gas station in Tyendinaga.

It was an interesting few days going from shows with lights and a stage to shows on gymnasium floors. That truly keeps things interesting to say the least.

We saw a HUGE deer on the teeny tiny road out of Sharbot Lake yesterday but I couldn't get the camera fast enough. This picture will have to do.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Algoma Limestone school district shows

Yes, that was the view on the drive to Belleville this morning. Wow, this was an intense drive. We left Brantford at 3:30 am to make what should be a 3.5hr drive to our first performance. This stretched into a 6 hr + journey. I am a pretty easy going person, it takes a lot to make me want to tap out but daaannngg..... It would have been worse to go back then to keep trudging on so that's exactly what we did. We trudged. My stress levels were through the roof at times because the ice would build up on the wipers and I couldn't see. We stopped literally in the road to bang the ice off the wind shield. At times Derek would roll down the window and bang the scraper on the wipers as we were driving because we were on the 403 and couldn't stop. This worked for a while until he broke the wiper. We had to pull off and luckily the first gas station sold wipers that fit the behemoth! Yay us! So this only put us back 10 minutes while we were over 2 hours behind already.

I will apologize once again to the staff and students at Bayside SS for being so late, we really did try our very hardest to make it. We only had time to improvise a demonstration type show for 30 minutes instead of our 60 minute mulitmedia show that they had booked. We are so proud of our show that it breaks our hearts to have to give people anything less.

After our second show and our first meal of the day at like 4 in the afternoon we finally go to our hotel for the night. What is the first thing that the guys do? Why pull out the laptops of course. You gotta love free wifi! lol.

I hope everyone back home is dealing well with the last winter blast. Please be safe, drive carefully. We are off to Shannonville tomorrow. Can you believe I have never been to Tyendinaga before? I am super stoked for this...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CTV news coverage

Yes, I am a nerd but when I saw we were going to be on the news I grabbed my camera and took a picture. Not the best screen shot but I was excited. There was a shot of Adrian and even some of me but they didn't turn out so good on my phone. I hope everyone has a great day. Spring finally!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Laurier Brantford Aboriginal Awareness Week Kick off

We were invited to participate in the Launch of the Aboriginal Awareness Week for Laurier Brantford today. The building is very nice inside. The event was held in the foyer which has excellent acoustics. I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing at times because we make a bit of noise getting ready and our change room although perfectly positioned didn't have a door to contain us.

I often blog about our backstage life and our contact today was a bit mortified that I would post pics of our change area. Well I did but I have to say, even though it was a washroom, we had a nice space, good light, big mirrors and snacks. What more could you ask for?

I just discovered that one of the speakers today is a hypnotist. I thought that was super cool and wish we could check out his show on Thursday. I have never seen a show like that but I have heard they are hilarious. If you are in the Brantford area on Thursday at 4:30 come check out Darren Thomas's show.

There is one thing that Downtown Brantford ON needs and that is parking. There are a few (tiny) lots here and there and a parking structure but that doesn't exactly work for our behemoth. As we were trekking back to the van it suddenly came to me why people ask us if we dress like that all the time. We passed some pedestrians and they were whispering to each other "hey look some powwowers". lol.

We spoke to this reporter from CTV after dancing today. I wish I had my camera with me when we were speaking but alas...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

University of Western Ontario Powwow

We finally made it out to our first spring powwow on Saturday. Because we have been doing a lot of performances and workshops lately if the kids didn't really want to go we may have just stayed home. It turned out to be a really great day. You can tell it was the first powwow of the year for us because we were a little rusty in our preparations. We would normally always take chairs with us and this time we didn't. And wouldn't you know it, this powwow was a BYOC event. Drat. Well at least there were a few benches that we were able to snag a spot on.

Because London has a Haudenosaunee community so close to it they did a lot of Iroquois social dances as well. Pictured above is Derek and Adrian taking part in Wasa:se. Derek and Adrian sang with Straight Sound for the day.

We will be performing on Monday at the kick off of Aboriginal Awareness Week at Laurier Brantford then heading to Eastern ON for the rest of the week. I hope everyone is enjoying this gorgeous sunday.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wesley's Camp Out

I am so very happy to have been asked to be a part of this event. We don't usually sit in the crowd at performances because we are often a distraction but today we did and am I ever glad. It was such an emotional experience and we were all choked up for most of the evening. Adrian admitted he had a bit of a hard time singing his first song.

We had a long talk with the kids on the way home from Niagara Falls tonight about giving back and taking care of people. I just felt that we were right where we were supposed to be tonight and I am grateful for people like Wesley and his parents. He gives me hope that the future is bright.

The keynote speaker this evening, Cindy Blackstock was outstanding. Her speech was so powerful. I learned so much and I left this evening feeling very fulfilled. This was just what I needed after all the yucky stuff happening in the world lately. The night was so emotional that even the MPP for Niagara was choked up. In the photo above is MPP Kim Craitor, Mayor Jim Diodati, Cindy Blackstock and Wesley Prankard.

Please take the time to check out Shannen's Dream as well as the I am a Witness Program and Jordan's Principle. It would be great if you could sign up to support these great organizations.

Lost Dancers Show

We performed with the Lost Dancers today as part of a March Break program. The people we were dancing for were running behind so the kids were playing around a bit in the gym waiting. They had a catered lunch which was scrumptious. They had haudenosaunee cornbread. love.

It was nice that this show was in the gym that the lost dancers practice in every wednesday. That made everyone feel comfortable.

The kids really enjoyed dancing today. Smiles sooo big during the round dance.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

McMaster University Elders Conference Workshop

The workshop today was in the Council Chambers. The portraits on the wall are beautiful. The students we worked with we had met before a couple of months ago. Well, not all of them but quite a few we met at Cathedral High School in Hamilton. When we went to their school we didn't really get to do the workshop because the fire alarm went off and we all had to go outside.

Today was the day that campus walking tours were taking place so parking was at a premium. We had to park the behemoth (our van) what felt like 10 miles from where the workshop was taking place. Once we were done and on our way back the sun was out and it was just beautiful. The walk back to the behemoth was gorgeous. We saw these cool imprints on our way.

Man oh man, they had these super fun looking climbing apparatuses heavily fenced in. It's a good thing too because we would have swarmed them.

We have tomorrow off so we will be taking Kristen to a soccer tournament and cheering her on. Then on Friday we will be heading to Niagara Falls to celebrate "Wesley's Camp Out". If you are in the Falls please come out and support this event. I have seen on twitter that he has put up the tents and started the camp out. Let's hope he has all good weather!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March Break Workshop at Woodland Cultural Centre

The workshops that we have been doing of late have been for fairly large groups. We limit the groups to 50 people so today when our group was smaller we didn't quite know what to do with ourselves. I have gotten used to having to project my voice as loud as I can to be heard and today it was so nice to just speak to the participants in my normal voice. It felt more intimate to me and I truly enjoyed that.

When it was time for the break out groups, it was interesting dynamic because there were parents and kids split into each of the groups. They still all tried their hardest and the creativity with the routines was great.

If I could have done anything different I think I would have turned the heat down in there because even the kids were sweating it out. Phew.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wesley's Camp Out in support of Shannen's Dream

We are very honoured to be asked to take part in the event to help celebrate "Wesley's Camp Out". This event will be taking place on March 18 in Niagara Falls ON. Wesley will be camping out for 48 hours to raise money to support Shannen's Dream and Northern Starfish. He has a vision of every northern community having a play ground.

It makes me so proud to be involved even a little bit in an initiative driven by someone so young to help people right here in Canada. If you can come out and support this we would love to see you!

Ryerson PS

When we first bought the head set microphones the guys would play "backstreet boys" during sound check. Don't tell them I told you. That's their little secret. I don't use those microphones very often and that's a good thing because my huge earrings often rub on the headset and make a very annoying noise.

I woke up this morning to the awful news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In this age of internet and television when things like this happen on the other side of the world it makes me feel powerless and like I should be doing something. Well all I could do was try my hardest to generate good energy during my hoop dance and will it over to those suffering. I know that sounds pretty hokey but that's all I have to give.

As you can see the guys love playing ball in elementary school gyms. The fantasy of being able to dunk is still alive!

The energy in that gym today was amazing. If I could bottle it, I would put red bull right out of business!

Have a great March Break everyone.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Falgarwood Falcons

Today we were in Oakville ON at Falgarwood PS. I ended up driving separately from the guys and I hope that doesn't have to happen again. As the people in the HOV lane whizzed passed me because I was a loner in my car I was annoyed that I had to slow to a stand still several times. I am so happy that they have those lanes!

We did a show and 4 workshops with the kids. There was one particular class that seemed to have two overachievers. They were both chosen for the sing off and wow were they gooooood.
Well we are off to Ryerson PS tomorrow, have a great evening.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

workshop with Grand River Rafting

So today was a blast. We worked with a group of grade 11 boys from a school in the GTA. They came out to spend the day on the Grand River. I could tell when we began that this was going to be fun. They had a great sense of humour and got right into playing the fun games with us.

When we were teaching them some basic dance steps they were really catching on quickly and making it their own. In all of these that we do with students there is at least one teacher who gets right into it as well and today was no exception. Sometimes I think the teacher's want to play more than the students do.

The picture above is a shot when we were announcing the winner of one of the contests. Yes, these kids really did like winning.

I love how all these people were there and not one of them told me that my plumes were crooked. lol.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Beadwork Page

I have created a page about beadwork. You can see it here. I will continue to add to it as I work on more beading projects. I hope you are all having a fantastic weekend!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Our Voices Workshops Burlington ON

Today we did some workshops for Teachers in Burlington. We had a blast! These guys all participated and got right into the spirit of what we were trying to share. We had arrived very early and so we went to check out the area. We came across a cool running store and I picked up some new insoles for my mocs. The are called Superfeet so I am hoping they will live up to their name. Because what we do is so high impact insoles are very important.

While we were checking out the area we came across a cute little park right on the lake. I had no idea that Canadian Geese were so productive. hmmm.

We were asked some interesting questions today. One stuck out in my mind. A person asked me how to approach teaching about Native culture without food and dance. I had never really thought about how people tend to delve into different cultures through these gateways. Food and dance are so important to all people really. And let's be honest, they are the most fun things to partake in. In all seriousness I told her that she should focus learning around the people that are indigenous to the area. Make it relevant to the students by focusing on what is important now, what issues are these people facing. If you want to promote cultural awareness and understanding then make the connections between history and the issues that are effecting us now. Knowing history is important but we are not museum pieces, we are real living and breathing people who have triumphs and setbacks.

I wanted to commend Sherry for taking one for her team and doing the solo. That was awesome!

We welcome your comments or suggestions. Drop us a line. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Native Studies in Mississauga ON Show

This afternoon we were in Mississauga ON for a show and a workshop for a Native Studies program. We really appreciated the students that helped us bring in all our gear. The performance space was on the third floor and yay, there was an elevator.

During the workshop one of the students asked Adrian if he could use his drum. The guy belted out a song and had the rest of the room backing him up on a song. That was truly amazing. That made me feel so good. These students are not predominately Native so to see that and the respect they had for what we were doing made my heart happy.

There was one other thing I wanted to mention. During the dancing portion of the workshop, there were these guys that were mixing our dancing with c-walking and that looked pretty dang amazing. Pretty talented these students were. I think that dance is a great way to find common ground. I love it when people want to share with us a bit of their own culture through dance and today that's exactly what those fella's were doing.

Alternative Learning - Waterloo ON Show

You have got to admire students who can improvise a basketball net. The gym we were in this morning was fairly spacious but was without any nets. This did not deter these guys. LOVE IT! this totally reminded me of that "heritage moment" commercial about the dude that invented the game. Yes, there is a hole cut in the bottom of the trash can.

We met the Principal of the Alternative Learning Centre and this truly is a small world because we were both friends with the same family from my reserve. It's not like Waterloo is a world away but I still find it interesting when things like that happen.

The gym was fairly spacious but the store room is a bit tiny. We end up using gym store rooms as change rooms during our shows because we have to make a lot of quick changes and we need to be close to the performance space. This particular facility didn't have change rooms at all so we made due. We have actually been in smaller spaces if you can believe that.

The energy of the students was great. You just never know with older (high school) students first thing in the morning. They had great participation and some really interesting questions. I really enjoyed performing for them today.

Nia:wen kowa to Nikki for the donuts and coffee this morning. That was so nice. When we had to rush off to our second show she made sure we had pizza to take with us. That was so awesome because we truly didn't have time to make any stops on our way to Mississauga.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Branlyn PS

We just finished a workshop with the grade 8 classes at Branlyn PS. The students were asking Adrian if he realized that he looked like Xzibit. I had never noticed before but once they said it I had to laugh. I think it has to do with his deep voice as well. Funny stuff today.

We will be spending a lot of time in the van tomorrow. We will be in Waterloo in the morning and then in Brampton in the afternoon.

Yesterday was so beautiful out that I went out with my camera. I was taking pictures for a project we are working on with Grand River Rafting this summer. We will also be working with Treks in the Wild. If you are looking for things to do with the family or with your co-workers on the Grand River these folks have tons of fun things going on.

Speaking of the Grand, when I was crossing over the bridge the river looked pretty cool to me. It looks like the tectonic plates in the earth. Ok, I guess my imagination is pretty active.

I had some company while I was out and about yesterday. This is my sidekick Magnus.