Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Eastmain, QC powwow

We will be attending the Cree Nation of Eastmain Traditional powwow in early September.  We will be doing some smoke dance demonstrations.  I am really looking forward to it.  We really like to visit powwows and celebrations that we have never been before so this is going to be great.   If you're up that way, come on out and say hi!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Don't Just Talk About It

For the past few months I have been working on a short film project titled "Don't Just Talk About It". You can check out the Facebook page here.  Cher Obediah contacted me early in the spring to talk about the possibility of teaching her how to Powwow dance for this film and to be honest I was very very close to saying no.  But something about the project and the whole feel of the film, which is to push yourself and to get out of your comfort zone spoke to me.  We met every couple of weeks for several months to practice and in the end she chose the Fancy Shawl Dance, which is my favourite.  I promise I did not try to sway her, I let her try all the styles and decide what felt the most comfortable.    I think the hardest part to teach was the concept of being in the moment.  I understand that she had to make sure the film making aspect was working out as well but getting Cher to let go of that and just listen to the drum and move was by far her biggest hurdle.  In the end she did great.  When she danced with all the other Fancy Shawl dancers I hung back a bit so that I could also watch and she had the slightest smile the whole time...

Cher chose the New Credit Three Fires Homecoming Powwow to be where she danced for the first time.  They were really great and supportive of the project and of Cher.  I am sad that my part in the project is complete but I honestly can't wait to see the finished project.

For more information on Cher follow this link...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Long Plain, Manitoba Powwow 2014

We hit up Long Plain powwow on our way home from NAIG.  We had never been to this celebration before so we weren't sure how big it was or what the camping situation was like.  In the end the consensus was that we would go back again for sure.  The "midnight special" men's fancy dance was pretty fun to watch.  There were a number of other specials through out the weekend and the MC's kept things moving at a quick pace.  All in all a very enjoyable powwow.  

Teen Girls Fancy Shawl line up

Teen Boys Fancy Feather

Senior Men's Fancy Feather line up

North American Indigenous Games 2014

We travelled to Regina, Saskatchewan for NAIG 2014.  We had two kids playing for Team Ontario.  One on the U16 boys volleyball team and one on the U16 girls soccer team.  As we took our time driving out we stopped for gas and saw this big ole moose.

Moments after we left the gas station we see a live moose sauntering across the road.  I actually saw two that day but I was driving when I saw the second, larger one so I wasn't able to get a picture.

Yes, we are goofy and stop to take touristy pictures whenever we can.  

Once we got to Regina and got our athletes settled in to the athletes village it was time to find our way to the Opening Ceremonies.  The Opening ceremonies were fantastic, quite the production, very well executed and entertaining.  There were quite a few musical guests and the hand over ceremony of the paddle from the last Host of NAIG in BC to the current Treaty 4 hosts in Saskatchewan was pretty cool.

I really underestimated the size and scope of the games.  Seeing the parade of athletes was almost an emotional experience.  They all looked so happy and proud to be representing their communities and Provinces/States.

After the athletes entered the stadium the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company did a history of Saskatchewan from the last Ice age to present day.  It was so creative that we really enjoyed it.  These buffalo head props were so simple yet effective.

Running concurrent to the games was a separate cultural village with workshops and performances scheduled for each day.  There was even a tent of vendors.  We only made it to the village twice but we were super excited to catch Murray Porter on stage.  

Team Ontario U16 Girls Soccer fought hard throughout the tournament to take the gold!  

Team Ontario U16 Boys Volleyball came through for a Bronze Medal!  In the end Team Ontario ended up third overall in the medal standings behind first place BC and second place Saskatchewan.

Thank you to all the Organizers, Host community, and Volunteers for such a wonderful experience that will be remembered forever.  Nia:wen ASWCO for all the hard work that allowed all the athletes a once in a lifetime experience.