Thursday, December 17, 2015

Grade 3 First Nations Class Project from a HCDSB school

We have the opportunity to visit lots of schools and classrooms all across Ontario and we have been able to talk with Teachers about what they do when it comes time to teach units on First Nations people.  We met Mrs. Long at St. Anthony of Padua in HCDSB who we felt is doing a great job.  She and her students turned their Grade 3 portable into a longhouse.  They let us visit it and I had to share it with you because they did a fantastic job.

This sign was hanging as soon as you entered the portable.  I really liked how the students drew the parallel between addresses in modern times and the clan symbol on a longhouse.  

There were fire pits all down the length of the room.

They even had smoke holes above the fire pits.  the blue represented the sky and the crinkled paper was the smoke rising.  They also had corn strung and dying throughout the longhouse.

They had storage baskets made and cloth to represent animal hides. They did a great job on the baskets.  To this day basket making is a highly prized skill.  I loved that they picked out this detail to add to their display.  

One girl showed me the corn pounder she had made.  What is this called?  A Mortar and Pestle is that right? Corn pounder to me.  lol. Corn is such a staple to our diet, having this included was great.  I believe they had a large trough on display that we would use to cook in but I got distracted and didn't get a picture of that.  

Another girl showed me her model garden with the three sisters (corn, beans and squash).  I love that this is included but I would have liked it if they were growing all together as they would have been.  The corn stalk providing a spine for the beans (which provide nitrogen) to grow on and the squash providing ground cover and protection from animals with its spiny vines.  

A group of students worked on clothing and made these super cute snow shoes.   They also made bags and dresses.  

I was happy to see some lacrosse sticks were made.  I find when we go into schools the questions always seem to be about who our enemies were and about fighting so I was thrilled to see this project focus on daily life.  Including lacrosse is a great way to start a discussion on how disputes were settled.  

The model longhouses were cute.  The students also made models of other types of homes for comparison such as wigwams.  The fact the students were aware that not all native people are the same and that we have vastly different lifestyles as represented by our homes was great.  

Great job Minions!!

Friday, November 6, 2015

St. Agnes School

Us with Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky and FNMI support teacher Ms. Webster

Derek and I were fortunate enough to spend the week at St. Agnes school in Waterloo through the Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Artists in Schools program.  

We used that week to share some First Nations music and dance with the students.  

Nia:wen St Agnes for your participation, your eagerness to learn, your enthusiasm and your giving spirit.

Unrelated to our visit but a nice tie in is that it is random acts of kindness day.  The school has been running a food drive and today was a celebration of the food drive and the end of our visit.  TGIF everyone.  I hope you did something nice for someone else today.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

JTLC workshop schedule 2015-16

This look like some pretty great workshops to take.  Art Teachers looking for new ideas, this is a great place to start. 

Monday, October 5, 2015


Hi Everyone, please forward this flyer on to anyone that might be interested in auditioning for this show.

Monday, August 24, 2015

New Credit 3 Fires Powwow 2015

Photo by Barry Gray - Hamilton Spectator

I attended the New Credit powwow just on Sunday afternoon to dance with all my little nieces and nephews and cousins.  I am the first in my family to participate in powwows and it makes my heart so full that the younger generations of my family are now taking it up.  I had the best day dancing with them and just enjoying the weather and the good songs.  

Because we were so lucky this summer to travel and be a part of the Aboriginal Pavillion at the Pan Am Games we didn't get to powwow so Sunday was very special to me.  I'm so grateful for this life and the opportunity to pass on the teachings shared with me.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Mini TFO!

In June Tribal Vision Dance spent the day in the Mini TFO! Studios shooting some episodes featuring some powwow style dances.  We are pictured above with the host "Lexie".  Mini TFO is a french language program geared to kids aged 2-5.  

This is Buffy Shields.  She did the hair and makeup on the show for the host.  I truly wish that I had her do my face as she is wickedly talented.  You can check her out here to see some of her work.  You can also follow her instagram for some cool pics.  As we chatted through out the day I found out her family is also from Six Nations!  How cool is that?  What a small world.  

The show also has a wardrobe department.  I had a small rip in the zipper of my dress and the wardrobe master quickly sewed up the hole and I didn't even have to take the dress off.  Impressive.  

The set is teeny tiny so before each segment was shot they had to figure out exactly where everyone would stand and which rug squares could be used as the dance area.  We were able to shoot four segments that day.  You can check them out below.  

Friday, July 31, 2015

Pen Pal Day - Reflecting On Our Relationships

The Pen Pal Gathering is an initiative created by Suzie Miller (Above) to help build relationships between students from Six Nations/New Credit and Caledonia.  The whole thing started in 2006 and has been growing steadily over the past nine years.  At the Pen Pal Gathering this year they did things a little differently.  It was split into 3 days and hosted in different places in both Six Nations and Caledonia.  

The students would pose for photos which were made into a Two Row Wampum.  They also signed each others t-shirts and signed peace posters.  

We were a part of the entertainment program along with Saidat and KZ.  They are fantastic and we look forward to more opportunities to work with them in the future.  Next year is the ten year anniversary of this event.  If you are a teacher you can check it out at here to sign up your class to participate. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Canada Day Celebration in Vienna, Austria

We had the great honour of celebrating Canada Day at the Canadian Ambassador's Residence in Vienna, Austria this year.  They put on a wonderful evening of music, food and entertainment.

Vienna is the City of Music and you could find something great to listen to pretty much anywhere.  

We were able to do a ton of sightseeing.  This is the last picture we could take before entering Schonbrunn Palace.  

We went on quite the nature hike to get to the medieval castle which was just a short 30 minute train ride outside of the city.  The hike though was more like 45 minutes.  Well worth it!  

We mastered the transit system and were able to get around the city with ease.  

During our stay we were able to check out Donauinselfest on Danube Island.  This is a huge free music festival.  We had a great time and on our way home we met this guy on the train.  We noticed his shirt right away and we just had to introduce ourselves.  

Most of our group are coffee drinkers.  The specialty coffee in Vienna is called "Melange" and it received the thumbs up from everyone.  

We all had such a great time.  We would like to thank Ambassador and Mrs Bailey for having us as their guests.  We had the trip of a lifetime.  We created an instagram hashtag #Anishinaustria as well as #6nayalldayallday.  Head on over there for more pictures.  

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Riddu Riddu Festivala

I had the great pleasure of checking off a "bucket list" item recently.  Tribal Vision performed at the Riddu Riddu Festival in Northern Norway and we got to see the midnight sun.  It is definitely a beautiful sight.  It is a strange sensation being somewhere so far from home that the sky looks so different.  

This is Karoline Trollvik.  She is the Festival CEO and she and her team, family and volunteers did an amazing job.  Everything ran on time and the everyone made us feel welcome and at home.  

Lenna met us at the airport and took great care of us making sure we were fed and getting to the festival.  Once there she worked in the cafe so we saw her often.  

Shelley Niro was part of the Six Nations delegation at the Festival.  This is a multidisciplinary arts festival so in the library of the Northern People's Centre they had an exhibition of her artwork and Her film "Kissed by Lightning" was also shown.  

The Six Nations Women's Singers put on a wonderful performance on the MainStage.  It was really cool to see people who had never heard this music before swaying and dancing.  

Ava served as a Host on the MainStage on Friday evening introducing the headlining acts.  She did such a great job.  

Saturday was "Six Nations of the Grand River Day".  The Women's singers put together a really cool program of activities with each Singer presenting a craft or game for the people to try.  At the end we wrapped it up with some social dancing.  

All of the musical acts were top notch but my favourite was Chirgilchin.  This group killed it on stage.  When they collaborated with Arvvas, I couldn't sit still.  I just had to dance.  

Jacob, Kristen and Ava participated in the Nuorat Youth exchange program with Indigenous youth from all over the world.  At the end of the program some of the youth shared dances from their traditions.  This is a Mask dance from Greenland.  

This group representing different regions of Russia were so polished it was hard to believe they are all under 25.  

The town that the festival is held in has no hotels so all of the artists are housed in local homes.  The festival organizers send the artists with groceries to cook breakfast.  Yes, you are seeing that right.  Squeeze Bacon.  Thank you Norway.  

There was so much more happening at this festival that I didn't get to a chance to mention.  A Children's festival, Vendors, traditional northern homes of different types of peoples opened up for visitors to see and experience, wood carving, Cheri Maracle's one woman show "Paddle Song", great main stage acts like Nanook and Katchafire.  Thank you so much for having us Riddu Riddu we loved every minute.  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Opening Night Showcase - Aboriginal Pavilion Pan Am Games

July 16, 2015 was the opening showcase for the Aboriginal Pavilion of the Pan Am Games.  We were pretty stoked to be included in such an incredibly talented line up of artists.  

Outside the Green room there were some sweet cultural exchanges going on between the Tonantzin Aztec Dance Group and the Tuktoyatuk Siglit Drummers and Dancers.  If you get a bunch of cultural dance groups together and give them a few hours to kill, jam sessions will ensue.  

We met the wickedly talented Niiko Soul.  As it turns out he is based fairly local to us.  London ON and area look for one of his shows, he is a great performer.  

There was so much laughter and visiting going on backstage that it was hard to get a picture of a whole group at once but I was able to get some of the The Dakhka Khwaan Dancers.  The put on a very powerful performance that night.  

These ladies did an excerpt from a piece by Penny Couchie entitled "When will you rage?".  These are just a few of the many talented artists that night.  We didn't get to meet everyone but we are really proud to have been a part of the event.  

There is another full week of programming happening at The Aboriginal Pavilion at Fort York in Toronto and it's FREE!  Come out, bring your family you will not be disappointed.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Festival of Giving

The Festival of Giving is Chatham's biggest charity event that raises money for Children's Treatment Foundation.  This year the theme was Wild Wild West and we were to do a short performance on the MainStage as well as perform in the "Western town" area.  

I was kind of dreading arriving at the event and seeing people dressed up in headdresses and Poca-hottie outfits.  I was so pleasantly surprised that this didn't happen and everyone was culturally sensitive.  Yaaaay.  

They had a mechanical bull that none of us tried out but one of real cowgirls did.  (She didn't last long).

They had some cool swag for the performers including this sweet hat that Derek scored.  

The place looked great and everyone really seemed to get into the spirit of the event.  The food was pretty fantastic, I mean they had a chocolate fountain.  Giddy up.