On November 21, Fenelon Falls Secondary School (FFSS) welcomed Tribal Vision, a group of First Nations individuals who bring arts education to Ontario schools and specialize in Native Dance.
Throughout the morning, students participated in an interactive Visions of Turtle Island performance organized by Educator Sandy Simms, who entertained and engaged both staff and students in Indigenous dance and singing. Dancer Naomi Smoke, Mohawk of the Martin clan, showcased several forms of Indigeneous regalia and dance styles, while sharing the message of Unity.
“Canada’s historical and ongoing separation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities is well documented. This presentation was an educational and relationship building opportunity for the staff and students of FFSS,” said Sims. “We appreciate the Board’s support of this project as we find ways to support the journey towards reconciliation in our schools and community.”
Teachings were also shared with the audience, including those of the drum, women’s traditional dance, women’s fancy shawl dance, the crow hop, the smoke dance, and the hoop dance.
“The reason Indigenous people dance and sing is because our history is told through dance and song,” said Leland Redeagle. “You don’t sing for yourself, but for the people.”
Staff and students enjoyed learning about the traditions of the Indigenous culture and were challenged to consider the source for prejudice. Students left understanding more about the history of colonization, and the beauty and diversity of Indigenous culture thriving today.