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.”

Speak Well, Hear Well, Live Well Giveaway! You Get a Car…and YOU get an iPad!

I’m kidding naturally…sorry.  Control yourselves people, I am not Oprah but a socio-economically challenged speech pathologist.  This small blog giveaway is to help celebrate & promote May – Speech and Hearing Month.  It is fun to have a new slogan, this year May Month has been rebranded with “Speak Well, Hear Well, Live Well”  by our friends at CASLPA

This blog post is about the NDNSPEECHMOM MAY MONTH GIVEAWAY!!  Enter and win the following:

Handcrafted (not by me) Beaded Earrings

In addition to the earrings the prize pack will arrive with “mystery” gifts! (Are you intrigued? You should be…mysteries are awesome.)

How do you enter? I’m glad you asked! To enter simply leave a comment on this post saying how you plan to celebrate Speech & Hearing Month and a winner will be chosen on Friday, May 13, 2011.  Everyone is eligible to enter from any and all countries…including CASLPA employees.  (You do not have to be a SLP or Audiologist to enter.)
For extra entries you can do 1 or all of the following (leave an additional comment for each extra entry):
1. tweet about this giveaway (include an @ mention to me @ndnspeechmom and/or a link back to this post)
2. follow my youtube channel
3. subscribe to this blog
I don’t expect many entries so comment away and win you some NDN bling and a mystery gift!!


Yesterday was the anniversary of this blog, and to celebrate I present the first (of possibly several) SLPeep/SLGeek games.  What are the SLPeeps? Besides being the title of one of my blogrolls they are a professional network of smart, savvy (dare I say sexy) Speech Language Pathologists that initially found each other on twitter.   A few days ago I butted into a twitter convo about dialects and regional differences and the idea for this game was born….could we determine where each SLPeep was from simply by hearing their voice?

Everyone was invited to send in a recording of themselves reading THE RAINBOW PASSAGE, which is a standard reading passage.

Here we go…..to play leave a comment matching the 16 SLPeeps to one of the following accents. **NOTE some accents will be used more than once, but ALL will be used at least one time.  There will be a prize for the winner (whoever correctly guesses the most correct.) Also, the 16 wonderful SLPeeps are also eligible to play.

a)      Barbados

b)      Ireland

c)       (Massachusetts) USA

d)      (Missouri) USA

e)      (Montana) USA

f)       (New Jersey) USA

g)      (New York) USA

h)      New Zealand

i)        (Newfoundland) Canada

j)        (Ontario) Canada

k)   Trinidad


  1. @SLPTanya – Ontario, Canada  
  2. @MtMarySLP – Montana, USA 
  3. @namastebyday – Missouri, USA
  4. @SLPrj – Newfoundland, Canada  
  5. @TriniSLP – Trinidad
  6. @albrechtjn – Ontario, Canada 
  7. @azspeechguy – (Long Island) NY, USA
  8. @commforall – Missouri, USA
  9. @tuitree – New Zealand
  10. @zealousidler – (NYC) NY, USA
  11. @scarie – Ireland
  12. @SpeechTechie – Massachusetts, USA
  13. @e_stricks – Missouri, USA  
  14. @lausie18 – New Jersey, USA 
  15. @SpeechReka – Barbados
  16. @kimberlyslp – Newfoundland, Canada