First Dance

Everything is symbolic for me. Most of what I do, I do for a reason. It is all part of my “healing” or “just trying to get through this life”. So, back in the day, before all of the death and destruction came into my life, I loved to dance and sing and party and laugh and have a good time. I wrote a bit about it in The Cedar Canoe, calling a chapter The Day the Music Died.

I will soon be heading into year six of recovery from my son’s death and year eight from my sister, Shirley’s death. I am happy to say that there are happy times. I notice small changes in myself because I have not given up but continue to try to be out there in the world with you all.

On Friday, I went to our Pow Wow. Red Lake is a small community with big ideas, filled with creativity, drive and never give up-ness. Years back Pow Wows were held here in our town but because of some difficulties with crowd controls, apparently a by-law was passed making them illegal. At least that is what I was told and so for years, we have been Pow Wow-less. Then some people decided it was time to bring it back. It is making its come back with all of its beauty and power. The children are learning their culture and you can see the pride on their faces.  The weather wasn’t cooperating; it insisted on raining but that didn’t stop the drummers and dancers, everything was just moved inside.

I thought it was fitting, as I just recently gained my Indian Status through Bill C-3 that I rise up myself and dance. So I did. My friend, Gibbet, who happens to also be the only Mic Mac woman I know (We’re all Ojibwa over here),  is a major contributor to the Pow Wow. She is also a proud member of our Legion Branch. Gibbet said, “Want to dance with me?”

I was up and off, on not very graceful legs. But what the hell, it doesn’t matter how you look, does it?

Then Gibbet said, “When are you going to make your jingle dress?”

Oh, oh, that’s all it took…

I want a jingle dress.


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