Friday, December 27, 2013

Holiday Break Beadwork Projects 2013

The whole group has been very busy over the Holiday break being very crafty.  Derek completed 2 medallions (the one pictured above and another that has already been sold) and I worked mostly on earrings.  

I was able to do a bit of work on Kristen's outfit and I made her a new barrette as hers was starting to fall apart.  

This year I gave out hand made earrings as gifts to a few people on my list and these two pairs are the only ones I thought to take a picture of before I gave them away.

I was involved in a "Secret Santa" beadwork exchange group on FaceBook this year and this is the  gift I made.  I can post it now because I know it made it safely to California just before Christmas.  I am still anxiously awaiting my gift.  This is so exciting....

Thursday, December 5, 2013

St. Thomas Aquinas SS

We spent our last day before our official Christmas break with the students at St. Thomas Aquinas school in Brampton.  We did a little dancing, did a little singing and had a good morning.  We never really know how much students have learned about First Nations people before we visit them and it was pretty cool that these students had some awareness of our Culture.

Nia:wen.  We really appreciate the mugs we were given.  If any of you are friends with Derek on Facebook you will know how much he enjoys his tea!  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Beadwork projects for our December break

Derek and I both have looong lists of repairs and beadwork projects that need our attention.  Derek started and is in the completion phase of a new choker for Jacob's outfit.  

All he needs now to complete this outfit is a belt and side drops.  We have ordered the beads for that project and have been waiting quite a while for them.  Hopefully they come soon.

Myself I am working on a crown and cuffs set for Ava's Haudenonsaunee outfit.  The velvet that I am beading on was actually purchased at a market we visited in Ankara, Turkey back in 2011.  As Derek and I were browsing I saw this velvet and some beautiful matching broadcloth and I just knew it was for Ava. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Tribe Called Red - Video Shoot Audition Call

If you are a Female First Nations dancer between the ages of 20 - 30 and would like to appear in a music video then please contact Nicole Holland as the audition is coming up quick!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Whirlwind Month...

November has flown by so quickly and saw us split up into two groups several times this month.  We visited some pretty awesome schools and had a blast doing it.  I found this image on Facebook on The Cohes Falls and The Iroquois page.  They post some really interesting stuff there.

When we do school performances quite often we use the gym store room as a change room and I don't usually pay much attention to the equipment.  However this week at one of the schools I happened to notice this bin of rubber chickens and I thought to myself, "Now this is a fun school.  Clown class and everything."

One of the days Jacob came along to perform with us and we were split into two groups.  It was great having him and the students were so impressed to see a teenager on stage.

We were at Lisgar school and in the pod that we were doing our workshops in I saw this colourful wall of Morriseau style art.  They are all so beautiful.  Great job students!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Assumption College School

Yesterday was a busy day for us.  In order to work with school schedules we had to split the group and send 2 of us to Assumption and the other 2 to two other BHNCDSB schools.  (wow homonyms lol) Adrian and I had a great time at Assumption.  Because of space issues we ended up in Mrs Difelice's classroom for both of our workshops.  She was pretty great about it and several of her students would have had to take our workshop twice.  The three pictured above did elect to stick around and participate twice and we were grateful for the support.  They ended up leading out some of the dances and we had some good laughs.  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Prologue for the Performing Arts: Tribal Vision

We are thrilled to doing performances in Toronto through Prologue.  We have completed our first week and it went quite well.  We haven't spent a lot of time in Toronto schools so this is new and exciting for us.  I must say the parking situation in the big city schools leaves much to be desired when you show up in a 15 passenger van.

We performed at the Prologue showcase in May and I found this video of our presentation.  Check it out here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

ArtStarts Tour - Northern BC - Haida Gwaii

We have concluded the first week of our ArtStarts Tour.  We spent the week in Northern BC with the majority of it on Haida Gwaii.

The views from the plane were spectacular.  We were major tourists taking a ton of plane pictures and video.

Our very first performance was at Alvin A McKay ES.  I had to get a picture because she was Jen & Adrian's long lost daughter.  Wearing his shirt and her pants and shoes.  From that moment on, we knew we would fit in.  

The rest of the week we spent on Haida Gwaii.  It is an extremely beautiful place.  I so hope that we get another chance to go back in the future.  

Our home base for our time on the Island was in Masset.  North Beach is gorgeous in the fall, I can just imagine how it looks in summer.  We met some really interesting people and our host John was truly inspirational. 

Our last performance this week was in Sandspit.  We were thrilled that the children had learned a traditional Haida song and shared it with us.  It really made us proud that the students wanted to share it with us.  

There was an earthquake 80 kms off the coast of Haida Gwaii on our last day.  I didn't feel it at all but seeing these signs did have a way of making me a bit uneasy.  

While we waited for the Ferry back to the mainland we went for a hike at Spirit Lake.  It is so beautiful there that it almost looks fake. 

We are mainlanders through and through.  As the ferry was docking and we got a bit of cell reception Derek types in "Tim Horton's" and it gives him an address.  We go to disembark and he asks the attendant "which way to timmies?" and the Attendant gives him a weird look and says "Well, you get back on the boat..." so needless to say we were in for a bit of culture shock.  

Friday, October 4, 2013

First People's Festival

The Waterloo Region Museum hosted a First People's Festival this week and we were honoured to be a part of it.  We would start the day with a performance and then do a series of workshops on dance and music the rest of the day.  There were workshops on all sorts of interesting and relevant topics spread throughout the Museum and the Doon Heritage Village grounds.  

I was very encouraged by the level of discussion we were having with the students over the course of the Festival.  I for one, thoroughly enjoyed myself.  My only regret is that there is never enough time for me to sit in on other presenter's sessions.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

McMaster Welcoming Powwow

It was a great day for a powwow.  The Aboriginal Student Association at McMaster University in Hamilton ON hosted a welcoming powwow and what a fun day it was.  We had plenty of people come by and so many of them actually came out to dance.  The Organizing committee arranged for some pretty sweet catering.   I made a short video of the day I hope you check it out.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Last week we visited six schools in the ALCDSB in Eastern Ontario.  We shared Haudenosaunee social dances with the students and our visits flew by.  

Five of the six schools we visited were high schools so we were wondering how well this would go over.  But as you can see from the photos we had no shortage of volunteers to get up and dance.  

While we were out that way there just so happened to be a bit of a gathering one evening.  It was also "Talk like a Pirate day".  There were a couple of people dressed like pirates and I am seriously kicking myself for not getting a picture when one of the pirates was singing at the drum.  That is not something I will probably ever see again.  

It is really great being back working with students now that summer is officially over.  The summer break is nice but we really enjoy what we do and miss the little smiles, giggles and great energy of the students.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Chicago's 60th Annual Powwow

What a great weekend we had in the "Windy City".  The powwow committee brought us out to do some smoke dance exhibitions during the powwow this year and the hospitality was amazing.  This was the first time that any of us had every been to this powwow so we were very excited to be asked to do this.  

We met some really cool people and were thankful that Heather and Soleil joined us during our presentations.  The Stanley Cup made an appearance on Sunday and we just barely made it in time to get a picture before it had to be whisked off.  Ava is a huge fan so she was pretty ecstatic to be there.  

It rained all day Sunday and the powwow had no rain site. We were pretty happy that the head judge Adrian Cline made the decision to award the prizes based on Saturday's contest only and have Sunday as a social instead of a contest powwow.  He was prepared and had 7 judges on Saturday.  

I will be posting videos from the powwow on our YouTube channel later this evening, surf on over and check them out to see the adult categories contest from Saturday night.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Powwow Season & Smoke Dance Competitions

Its been a busy powwow season, which is great fun!  We have travelled to Oneida,WI, Kahnawake, QC, Salamanca, NY, Oneida, ON.  We also were honoured to be Head Dance Judges at our home powwow Grand River Champion of Champions Powwow Six Nations ON.

 Salamanca Powwow - teen's take over the canopy, its all good, great young adults! Awesome energy!

 Kahnawake Powwow - junior ages take over the canopy.  Kids are so funny, all smiles all the time!

 Salamanca Special contest switch dance so Kris & Aj show their Grass Dance style! Nice outfits!!

 Quick Pic at Salamanca

 Grand River Powwow - Ascension "The Highlight" Harjo

Wikwemikong Powwow - Smoke Dance line up

Home coming Concert for  Crystal Shawanda at Wikwemikong Heritage Festival - Derek & Wes

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Living Arts Centre - Mississauga ON - Canada Day

Come and check us out at the Canada Day celebration at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga on Monday.  We will be performing at 1:15, 2:15, & 3:15.  There will be lots to see and do for the whole family.  Come by and say Hi! 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

National Aboriginal Day 2013

The Herbie Fund Benefit - Sick Kids Hospital - Toronto ON

So at the Herbie Benefit we decided to encourage participation in the smoke dance.  Jen was even able to get Gord Martineau from CityTV up to dance.  He was a good sport and I hope that the Benefit was able to raise a lot of money for Sick Kids Hospital. 

Solidarity Day - Chiefswood Park - Ohsweken ON

Carousel of Nations - Milton ON

It was a beautiful day for the Carousel of Nations in Milton Ontario.  Below are some photos from todays event.  There were many interesting groups and performers and we were honoured to be asked to participate once again.