Live to Dance and Dance to live

As a First Peoples of this land the Pow-Wow celebrations and the drum have always been the heart of the people. It’s a time to gather and forget about all the struggles, hardships, sorrows, tragedies, and turmoil. It’s a display of vibrant colors of the dancers regalia and the vibrant sound of the songs, a display of craftsmanship. The glorious eagle feathers bouncing with the sound of the drum. Dancers and singers travel the summer months from nation to nation across Turtle Island to gather with our loved ones and relatives, to reunite with friends and share stories. The nation’s chiefs enter in the dancing arena with the first song wearing their warbonnets along with the councilmen as well as delegates as we honour our traditions and leadership. It’s a time when we honour our warriors and veterans with an honour song and always remember their sacrifice for our freedom. We don’t see ourselves as victims despite the tragic events in our history during colonization, but as a victorious nation and overcomers of genocide. We are a chosen generation, a peculiar people who lived in peace in this great land that our Creator God blessed us with. 

 As a wise elder from the mountain Cree has stated that the pow-wow is  “to appreciate our bodies that Creator God has blessed us with, we decorate our bodies and thankful to move, dancing with our ancestors. Dancing to the heartbeat of the earth and we dance to live and live to dance”.

As a First Nation myself I grew up on the pow-wow trail and danced in the pow-wow circle. There is nothing like being surrounded by the most beautiful songs, hearing the dancers’ bells and colors of the dancer’s regalia of many styles moving with every beat of the drum. I have never been so proud of my people as I am now. Traditions and cultures are a great big part of our history and as a Cree woman, a Maverick from Treaty Six Territory in Alberta I appreciate the diversity and cultures of my fellow Canadians. 

All visitors are welcome to join the pow-wow celebrations that come in your area, come and hear the songs that bring us alive and dance that keep us moving with the heartbeat of the drum.

Andrea Rain
Andrea sits on the board of Maverick Party representing Alberta. She advocates for more freedom for First Nations across Canada. Featured image is copyright to Andrea Rain and used with permission.