What kind of dance did you just perform?
It’s called the Modern Day Warrior dance. We tell stories of our ancestors. We try to be a brave warrior and try to walk a good rope, by not offending anyone, disrespecting people or gossiping. We try to be the best helper we can.
How long have you been doing this traditional dance for?
Since one o’clock. I’m just joking. Since 1997, so 13 years now I’ve been dancing. We travelled all over the world and across Canada and the U.S. In 16 days we’ll be flying out to Taiwan for two weeks, sharing the dance over there.
Why do you want to share this dance with people?
It gives awareness to people that our culture is strong and beautiful. When I think about native culture two words come to my mind: Respect and kindness. Those are what truly encompass what our culture is all about.
Describe your costume. I see a lot of feathers and bright colours.
One of the Cree names I’ve been given is Eagle Bear, so I intertwine those two animals within my regalia. The eagle represents hope and knowledge and the bear represents courage and gentleness. Those are the four things in my life I try to encompass in everything I do. The colours are yellow for Oriental, the white for European, the red for First Nation and the black for African. Those are the colours I honour and utilize every time I dance.
Describe the music you dance to.
It’s a very powerful experience to dance to a drum. It’s the best way to express our story and continue on the tradition.
What are your thoughts on the Servus Heritage Day Festival this year?
It’s awesome. It’s a good turnout once again this year. The First Nations dance has always been a popular pavilion for the past 32 years and I think it will continue to thrive to get bigger and better as the years progress.