Forum for questions and comments

Please post your questions and/or comments as a comment to this post.  We would love to hear from you.

21 comments:

  1. Mrs. O'Neills's Grade One ClassMay 14, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    On behalf of Mrs. O'Neill's Grade One Class, we generated a few questions that we did not get to ask at your performance this morning, here at Agnes Hodge Elementary School. We were amazed at your talent and culture and want to learn even more! If you don't mind answering some of the following questions, that would be greatly appreciated:
    - How do you get/make your outfits?
    - How do you do the Smoke Dance, as well as the Hoop Dance?
    - What is Turtle Island?
    - Why do you dance?
    Thank you !

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    1. Hello to Mrs. O'Neill's class! Thank you for your questions. I will do my best to answer them for you.

      We make all of our outfits. We start by drawing out the outfit on paper so that we know what we want to make. Then we purchase the fabrics and beads that will be needed to make the outfit. The sewing of the outfit can be done in anywhere from 2 weeks to a months time. The beadwork however can take up to a year to complete.

      The Smoke dance requires fast footwork and keeping time with the drum. Your feet must hit the ground with every single beat of the drum. This requires the dancer to be light on their feet and take some practice. The hoop dance requires lots of imagination. The dancer must figure out how to hold the hoops so that the audience will see what the dancer wants them to see. Again this takes lots and lots of practice.

      Turtle Island is the the term First Nations people use for our Homeland which is North America.

      We dance to give thanks to the Creator that we are able to dance. We dance to create good energy and we dance for the enjoyment of the people.

      Thanks again for your questions!

      Naomi

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  2. Thank you for showing us those dances.Me and my schoolmates had lots of FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! those phrases are very cool and funny.THANK YOU AND HOPE YOU COME A AGAIN:):):):):):):):)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. I'm so glad you had fun. We did as well.

      Keep dancing,
      Naomi

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  3. Thank you for coming and dancing for our school. It was really interesting to learn all the calls and dances. How many people are in your group and what is your favourite dance? M. Selwyn and I hope to learn more.

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    1. Hi M.,

      There are 3 people in the group however sometimes other members of our family join us when we are asked to perform on weekends or evenings. My favourite dance is the Fancy shawl dance. Thank you for asking.

      Naomi

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  4. Thank you for coming to Selwyn school. How many dances do you know? I love native dances!!!!!!
    from,
    A. Selwyn school

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    1. Hi A.,

      Well I have never counted but I would guess that I know approximately 30 different dances. There are sooo many more and I love getting the opportunity to learn. Thank you for your question.

      Naomi

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  5. HI Nomi and Derek!!!!You were very very very good and I liked it a lot.I hope you come back!!! How long have you done this and why do you like doing it so much? How long did it take you to practice (like remember ALL the moves and the words?)Did any one inspire you?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! F.selwyn school

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    1. Hi F.,

      We have been doing this as a group for about 5 years now. We have always loved to dance and getting to dance and sing with people each day is just the best. We practice as much as we can and it's just like anything else, the more you practice the better you will be at it.

      Take care,
      Naomi

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  6. Our grade 2/3 class at NBES thought your show was great! We especially liked the stories that you told about the dances. We have a few questions: Who makes your dress clothing? Is any of it made out of animal skins? What types of animals did the warriors hunt? How did you learn the dances? Did you make up some of the steps? Thank you for the fun show. We learned a lot!

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  7. Hi Grade 2/3! We are so glad that you liked the show. I will do my best to answer your questions. We make our own clothing, everything from the headdresses right down to our moccasins. If there is something that we have trouble with (sewing or beading for example) we will ask family or friends to trade with us. I might sew something for Derek and he will bead for me. All of our moccasins have leather soles. We also use turkey feathers as well as eagle feathers in the headdresses. Almost everything else is either velvet or cotton. We hunt deer, turkey, pheasant, moose, rabbit, as well as go fishing and grow lots of different vegetables. We learn the dances by watching our older family members and other community members and we learn by participating and doing the dances. The only dance where we make up our steps is the smoke dance. All the other dances that we showed you that day have specific steps and formations. Thank you very much for your questions!! Nia:wen, Naomi

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  8. Our grade 4 class thoroughly enjoyed your presentation at St. Martha yesterday! We really liked the jingle dress dance and the hoop dance. We were amazed at how many animals Naomi could make with the hoops and how gracefully she danced with all of those hoops. We also liked when Derek danced really fast and we thought it was interesting to learn about how the women showed support for the men when they went to hunt or to battle. We thought of a few more questions for you:
    How long did it take to make your clothing?
    Where did you get the eagle feathers?
    Where are you from?
    How long did it take to learn the dances?

    Thank you for coming to our school. We learned a lot and enjoyed the experience!

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    1. Hi there Grade 4 at St.Martha's, Thank you so much for your note. The clothing can take between 6 months and a year or more to make depending on how much detail is in the designs. Learning the dances doesn't take all that long but practicing enough that you have your own moves and style can take a lifetime. Most of my Eagle feathers were given to me as gifts but some of them I traded beadwork for. I am from the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve. Thanks again for your questions!

      Nia:wen,
      Naomi

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  9. Hello! My "Wonderful Ones" thoroughly enjoyed your Pow-wow presentation yesterday (Oct. 19, 2016)at our school (N.M.P.S.) here in Brampton. They really connected with the messages in your teachings and were highly impressed by the dancing, drumming, and singing. Several of them have continued talking about how "awesome!" "epic!" and "so cool!" it was! :) Myself, I absolutely loved every part of it!! Joining in the circle dance (Friendship circle dance?) was very exciting! One of my students is keenly interested in finding out more about you and your traditions. She asked right away after the show if she could go to the website to write to you (so cute!). Here is her message, which she typed herself:
    "Hello
    you were great!!! why did you come to our school ?
    what is your phone number ? I love you!"
    (from V.J.)

    Some questions from others are:
    - can you come back again? (most asked question in class!)
    - how did you learn to do the hoop dancing?
    - how did you learn to do your dances?
    - why were there only 3 people?
    - where did you get your clothes from?
    With much thanks and admiration for an excellent presentation, Ms. C's Wonderful Ones
    October 20, 2016

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  10. Hi there Ms. C's Wonderful Ones! Thank you for writing to us. I was taught how to do some Hoop Dance moves from a few different dancers over the years and I have practiced a lot to try and be smooth and come up with my own style. We learn by watching others and practicing as much as we can. We bring three people because that is the way we wrote this show. Schools don't always have a lot of space for large groups of dancers. Thank you so much for taking the time to send us a message!

    Nia:wen,
    Naomi

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  11. Hello, I hope you saw me at Oscar Peterson P.S. I have a question, Are you proud to be an Native American and why? Thank you for inspiring me to be who i'm today. Thank you!

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  12. Who made your costumes? Can you teach me how to do Naomi's dances?

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    1. Hi i'm erik from devon Gardens

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  13. Hi I am Natalie I am from North Delta.I go to the school Devon Gardens school.I have a question for you.When did you started learning these dance and how many school have you been too?

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  14. My name is Savannah and I was at your performance at Devon Gardens, and my question is, how do you carry all that weight from your costumes ? Another question is how many dances have you preformed in your dance career ? By the why, this ones for Naomi. I love your dress that"s made out of the tobacco shells. I love Tribal Vision Dance!!!

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