Thursday, June 23, 2011

Joseph Boyden - Orangeville Opera House

Phew today was very hectic. We were at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford for two performances which almost merged into 1. The first was supposed to be for a group of school kids but the audience for the second which was a "headress ceremony" arrived early and sat in on that as well. Soooo we couldn't repeat the dances which had us flying by the seat of our pants, making up our set list on the fly. All in all I was quite pleased with our morning.

We then had to go to North Park Colliegate for what I thought was going to be a quick dance instruction where we showed some students a bit about Iroquois social dancing. Well that wasn't exactly what they had in mind and it again became a "show on the fly". As exhilarating as it is to go into the unknown, it is also stressful so I was very happy with how things turned out.

Adrian and I then proceeded on to Orangeville ON where we did a hoop dance to open up an evening with the Author Joseph Boyden. I am a big fan of his books so I was thrilled to be able to do this. Mind you, I got some serious butterflies when the organizers ushered him out into the audience to see us perform. I think I held it together pretty good.

We have one more day of shows before we head overseas on Monday. I am very excited to be heading to Turkey as I have never been before. Does anyone know of anything in particular we should really see? What's the "must do" while in Turkey?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

National Aboriginal Day performances

Everyday is a good day to be Aboriginal but I think it's pretty cool that there is a specific day set aside for everyone else to learn about native culture. We were at The Valleys PS in Mississauga this afternoon and one of the first things I noticed was this medicine wheel out in the playground. I seen one out in Kingston as well but this time I had my camera.

We also performed in our own community for the Solidarity Day celebration. Because of our schedule we had to go on second to the last. We have a lot of really great dancers in our community and these that were able to come today are just a few. I am so very proud of being from Six Nations because you can't toss a pebble without hitting an exceptionally talented person. We have great artists, musicians, athletes, etc.

The only other act I got to see was actually my cousin. Cheri Maracle did a set to close out the day of some of her own original songs as well as some jazz classics. I always enjoy seeing her sing and it was awesome that we were at the same place. I hope everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather of the summer solstice. I also hope you had an opportunity to learn even a little about one of the many rich and diverse native cultures here in Canada.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sarnia Powwow

The 50th Annual Sarnia Powwow was this weekend. Derek and I went and I have to say this was the best weather for a powwow I attended in years. Because it was the 50th annual there were quite a few fun special contests. Pictured above is the winner of the duct tape contest. The participants had to make their outfits out of duct tape. I thought his was very creative and if I was more talented I would have tried it out. Derek and I entered the switch dance. This involves switching outfits with someone of the opposite sex and trying to do their style of dance. Neither of us made the finals but we had a great time. Sadly, no photos.

Derek has new bustles and this was the first weekend he got to wear them. We stayed up late on Friday night adding new ribbon fringe to his outfit so that everything would match. I think it was worth all the effort because it looks great!

I was pretty excited to win the smoke dance special. The MC for the powwow was Bill Crouse and he is one of my favourite singers. It is always fun to jam out when he sings. I hope everyone had a great father's day weekend.

Halton Catholic District School Board

We spent the last week at different HCDSB schools. We noticed a recurring theme with the fishes. They are very pretty. The gyms we were in this past week were awesome. The floors felt great to dance on. The custodian at the last school we visited gave us a fantastic idea. He showed us how to make a dolly that we can use to cart all our equipment into the schools that is portable. Gracias fella, we really appreciated that.

Niagara Spirit of Youth Powwow

Check this one out if your in the Fort Erie Area

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hagersville and Teeterville Elementary Schools

some students from Teeterville

TGIF! I hope everyone has a fun, relaxing and safe weekend. We started ours off at Hagersville Elementary. The staff and students were so welcoming to us. They showed us an art project that some of the students did and we had to have our picture with the completed installation. It is about water and The Grand River and everything is made from paper mache.

We continued our day at Teeterville Elementary where the energy of the students was phenomenal. I saw these banners on the wall in the hallway and they sum up exactly our philosophy as Tribal Vision.

Well we hope to see you all down the road somewhere. We are sticking close to home this wkd to get repairs done on the outfits. Derek has designed me a new dress and I am so excited to have a chance to sew it together. I will post pictures next week.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Questions & Comments Forum

We have created a forum for Teacher's to post student questions or for anyone for that matter. You can find it here. It is also on the sidebar as one of the pages. We hope to hear from you!

Social Justice and Equity Awards

It was an honour to be asked to take part in the Social Justice awards ceremony last night in Oakville. Each High School in Halton region nominated a student for this award and they were celebrated for their work. Ava danced her heart out for the people and she was pretty excited that there were cookies on the hors d'oeuvres table. Ok, I admit I was too.

We will be finishing out the week with our last performances in the Grand Erie school district tomorrow. The school year is quickly drawing to a close and we are getting in our last school visits before we leave for Turkey on June 27.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More on Penpal Day at Onondaga Farm

I just found this and I think you should see it. We had to leave so we weren't there for this part of the day. I am so happy for the internet and it's ability to preserve these types of things. The students made a living tree and a photographer took an aerial photo. Check it out here it's really cool.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gateway to Nations Powwow in Brooklyn NY

I wanted to start off this post by saying that we had the very best time at the Redhawk Native American Arts Council sponsored Gateway to Nations Powwow. The vibe was so chill there with the whole festival going on besides just the powwow. It was so awesome that I think you should check them out here for more info on the other powwows and events that they have going on throughout the summer.

Yes, all of these pictures are from our short visit to Times Square on our way home. The powwow was held at the Gateway National Park. In the park is the Floyd Bennett Aviator Sports complex that the kids fell in love with. It had 2 arenas, indoor soccer, gymnastics, rock climbing, flight simulators, basketball court and an arcade.

Ava scrambled up the rock wall so quickly and she was able to climb the highest of all three kids. I knew she was a bit of monkey but I had no idea that she could outdo the other two.

We were so fortunate this weekend that each of us placed well at the powwow. I was so proud of the kids accomplishments because each did something new and did it really well. I honestly can't believe how fast they grow up.

The Redhawk Arts Council will be putting on 3 more powwows in the NYC area over the summer with the FDR powwow being the finals where points accumulated from all 4 are tallied and an overall champion in each Adult category will be announced. Well, Derek and I are off to a good start as we are on the board with some points. I hope we are able to get to at least 2 more of these and do well.

Pen Pal Day at Onondaga Farms

Derek with John Malcolmson General Manager of Onondaga Farms

We were invited to participate at the Pen Pal Day at Onondaga Farms in St George ON on friday. I just love getting invited to participate in anything there as I find it to be a great facility. We did a short demonstration for 600 students in a large tent and then had them all try out some dancing with us.

I have a good friend who works at Jamieson Elementary school and she was so happy to see her students so proud to have their pen pals cheering so hard for something in their culture. Those kids were so overwhelmingly positive I almost fell over. I welled up a bit as I was dancing from all the cheers. I asked Derek what he thought and we both felt that it got us soooo pumped up that we danced a bit wild. The energy they gave us was something I have never felt before.

I sincerely hope to get to take part in more things like that in the future.

Parkview SS

Parkview Secondary School showed us the love last week when we performed for them. We weren't too sure how it was going to turn out because this school is mosty co-op students so there was no way to tell really how many were going to turn up. Lucky for us we had a packed house.

It's not too often that I let go of the camera and I guess you can see why. Sheesh. lol.

Now I'm not much of a follower of football but this is one proud city of their team. The Ivor Wynne stadium is directly across the street from the school. I wonder if the students ever get to use the stadium?