Happy NDN Day

Today is Aboriginal Day in Canada and it is making me think of Pow Wow.  If I  have my way my boys will be Chicken Dancers. (This video offers a brief explanation of the style and example of the dancing.)

I hope Cielo will dance Fancy Shawl.  This video is an example of young girls dancing fancy shawl.


I am also really loving how this music video showcases hoop dancers and a fancy shawl dancer.   I wish I knew the names of these youths. The hoop dancers are champion Tony Duncan and his brother Kevin. I still don’t know who the fancy dancer isThe fancy shawl dancer is Violet Duncan, Miss Indian World 2007 (wife of Tony.)  Much respect out to Nelly Furtado for featuring these talented individuals.

By the way, does anyone remember at the Juno’s in 2004 when Nelly sang with Whitefish Jrs?

It’s a Good Day to Dance

When asked what interests, motivates and inspires me besides Speech Pathology several things run through my mind:

1)      Shopping (certainly)

2)      Food (definitely)

3)      Social media (most assuredly)

However, my strongest and most important interests and sources of motivation and inspiration are best described by my twitter handle @ndnspeechmomNdn is an abbreviation of the term “Indian” which, although not politically correct is the term I grew up using to describe myself as a First Nations individual.  Speech seems self-explanatory and mom is the title I wear most proudly. 

The importance of family and cultural identity is the cornerstone of my life and is something that I plan to pass on to my children.  As a child I danced Pow Wow and was even once Thunderchild Junior Princess in 1986.  (If you’d like to see my beaded moosehide sash my dad has it in his man cave.)  It is difficult to describe the feeling you get when you dance to the drum.  It has been years since I was part of the Pow Wow circle but whenever I hear the drum and the singers start those familiar songs I can feel it in my heart.  Someday I want to dance again, but I especially want to raise my children to be comfortable traveling on the Pow Wow trail.  I was so proud on August 28, 2011 at the Thunderchild Pow Wow because that was the first day I got to take all three children into the center while they danced Tiny Tots.  My nervousness as to whether they would like it melted away when I saw my daughter lift her arms and begin to dance.  I was surprised because I didn’t even know that she knew any steps.  My sons were more reserved but they didn’t panic even with the crowds watching them.   I was so excited I forgot to take as many pictures as I would have liked. 

This compilation video includes pictures from the Thunderchild 2011 Pow Wow and several from my family photo album.  The music is a song called, “It’s a Good Day to Dance” by the drum group Blackstone. 


This is a video that I shot with my phone of the drum group that sat directly in front of us.  I was proud that my children enjoyed listening to the drum so close.  The two men visible onscreen are my cousin Marvin Thunderchild and my uncle Eric Tootoosis.  The name of the drum group is Saddleback and I believe they are from the Edmonton area of Alberta.

I feel as though my focus on family and culture serves me well in my professional life as well since I am a school based Speech Pathologist travelling to several different First Nations communities.  I find it rewarding to work with children in the communities around my home reserve of Thunderchild and I hope that I can encourage more First Nations  people to enter the fields of Speech Pathology and Audiology.   I encourage everyone reading this to partake in the beauty that is native culture and to feel the heartbeat of the drum.  It is always indeed “A Good Day to Dance.”

Pow Wows, Pregnancy and FREE ALCOHOL!!

Ok, I lied about the alcohol.

I meant to blog about the Pow Wow sooner but things got away from me.  In a word, it was amazing.  Seriously it was exactly what I needed.  I didn’t go to the first day because it was raining a bit and I wimped out…but I totally enjoyed Saturday and Sunday.  Was great to go out with my little family, get my kids out in their moccasins and just soak in the sights and sounds.  (Since the Pow Wow my kids haven’t worn anything but their moccs.)

Grand Entry (my brother snuck in with the dignitaries...well actually he is on council so he was supposed to be there)

Sometimes it is difficult finding a seat but we were lucky

2nd row from bottom (dad, mom, bro Wil, sis Lee, bro Chris, Junior and Cielo)

 Whenever I’m at a Pow Wow I’m reminded how much I miss it.  I think I’d like to dance again, but I need to get my regalia together.  (Regalia…as a kid I just called it my “outfit.”)  I definitely want my babies to dance so to set an example I think I will have to get back in the circle.

Ooh shiny

I think Junior would make a cute Chicken Dancer.  It seems to be the style he likes the most,  judging by his actions when they are dancing.

little flock of Prairie Chicken Dancers

Perhaps Cielo will dance fancy like her cousin

little niece

We all had a wonderful time at the Pow Wow although I didn’t find earrings that I wanted to buy…and I ended up not buying anything except for food.  I found an amazing bannock burger but Mission Awesome Indian Taco failed miserably.  I gave up after my first disappointment and made my own later…

nom nom nom

I have another OB appointment today.  I’m totally ready to have the baby, I’m getting a bit tired of all these doctor visits.  Plus, once the baby is born my Cholestasis should go away and I will no longer scratch like crazy.  I hate it when I see people looking at my scratched arms and legs.  I can’t even imagine what they would look like if I didn’t have my meds. 

We finally set up the bassinet – Cielo has a few toys in there for the baby (Buzz Lightyear and Woody.) I have the baby’s clothes sorted from my huge stash of baby clothes now that we know what we are expecting.  We are excited because this is our tie breaker…. 


early morning ramblings from an insomniac

Ok apparently lying in bed and alternating between putting my blackberry down and reading blogs on said blackberry is in fact NOT conducive to sleeping.  (baby doing gymnastics in my uterus isn’t helping either)  I realized that since I obviously wasn’t sleeping I might as well get up and read the blogs on a larger screen.  What was I reading you ask?  THIS.  Girlie cracks me up, particularly with the profanity. 

I’m not sure how this post will turn out, maybe it will be complete nonsense but that is ok because its 3:46 am and I have an OB appointment tomorrow. (oh yeah and I’m still itchy…cholestasis sucks)  Considering how messed up my sleep schedule is, I’m very glad that I am off work for the summer.  I probably won’t start back at work until October just to give us time to get the new baby settled.  We still haven’t picked a name, mostly because we don’t know if it is a boy or a girl.  I have another ultrasound this Thursday so hopefully baby will cooperate. 

It has been an uneventful weekend, meaning *I* haven’t done much.  As usual the husband has been busy – seriously if he stays still for a whole day it makes him crazy.  His latest project is painting the exterior of our house, now that there is nothing left to paint inside.  He finished building a forge the other day for blacksmithing so I’m sure he will be making some things with metal for our new home.  We are going to buy the metal for him to make a couple wrought iron bed type thingies (wow for a Speech Pathologist I’m awfully crappy at descriptions, but then again its almost 4 am.)

We were going to go to a Pow Wow this weekend but between my slovenliness, a visit from my niece and my daughter feeling craptacular that just didn’t happen.  Do not feel sad for me tho, I plan to get my Indian Taco and new earring fix THIS weekend at my Pow Wow in beautiful Thunderchild, Saskatchewan.  Please consider this your personal invitation!  Welcome singers, dancers, visitors and snaggers!!