The video above features these two songs (among others) during our dance demonstrations at our First Nations Dance and Art Summer Camp in July 2016. I started Hoop Dancing in Lethbridge, Alberta over a decade ago, so teaching Hoop Dance in Lethbridge was also coming full circle for me in a physical sense.
The summer camp also represented coming full circle in my experience with Contemporary Indigenous dance and performance. Much of my experiences have been with International groups of dancers and/ or artists from different nations, and backgrounds. However, they were always experienced or trained in both traditional and contemporary forms of art, history, and knowledge (Indigenous and Western). This experience has given me the opportunity to experience a wealth of knowledge from people of different nations including Anishnaabe, Cree, Blackfoot, Mohawk, Maori, etc. I was able to use these experiences in our summer camp, which included a diversity of youth, representing nations such as Blackfoot, Cree, Mohawk, Navajo, and Maori. It felt like I was bringing together a new circle of Indigenous dancers. Like throwing a rock into a lake, creating a ripple effect. Even though we may not always see each other, wherever we go, wherever we dance, we are carrying the experience and knowledge of our mentors, friends, family with us, always. We are circling together.