- By Tamara Ikenberg
This weekend and next week, Indian Country will be awash with awesome events, from spectacular online powwows, to poignant intergenerational art shows, to events leading up to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Day on Wednesday, May 5.
Consult Native News Online’s handy event roundup to help create your own personal cultural calendar.
The therapeutic and spiritual power of dance will play a major role in this weekend’s virtual Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women March, presented by the Raleigh, N.C.-based nonprofit MMIW NC Coalition.
“Dancing is not only an amazing way to bring awareness to MMIW, it is a form of prayer, in honor of those we have lost as well as those families who are grieving or still searching,” said Ojibwe dancer Michelle Reed, co-founder of featured group Woodland Sky Native American Dance Company, based in Crystal Falls, Mich.
Pre-recorded videos of Woodland Sky and more Native dance groups will be streamed throughout the event, according to Crystal Cavalier, founder of MMIW NC Coalition.
Cavalier said she was impressed with the video Woodland Sky submitted.
“Michelle does her sidestep jingle and the jingle dress is always healing," Cavalier said. "And one woman in the group is doing women’s traditional dancing and she’s just very beautiful and graceful.
“They're giving a commemoration to the women who have passed and letting the dancing help heal the families. I want them to let the families know that they're not alone.”
The virtual march will also feature conversations with families of MMIW, and addresses and performances from personalities and entertainers including activist Aminah Gaffar, actress Tantoo Cardinal and singer Pura Fé.
In his current solo show, Tlingit artist Preston Singletary reflects on his relationship with his late father through glass sculpture adorned with traditional Southeast Alaska Native formline design.
“With this show, I’m trying to process how I understand my father and celebrate his connection to nature, while mythologizing his activities and celebrating his life,” Singletary said in an artist statement.
According to Singletary, his father, who passed last November, was a fascinating and multi-faceted man whose interests and passions ranged from playing Delta Blues to carving soapstone, to poetry and fly fishing.
Carved paddles, salmon, boats and more water-oriented works dominate the exhibit by the world-renowned artist with pieces in museums including the Burke Museum in Seattle and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.
Tribes from all over the U.S. and Canada will Powwow like it’s 2019, albeit online, at the 2021 Gathering of Nations Virtual Powwow.
Filled with drumming, dance parties, live music performances, appearances by Miss Indian World Cheyenne Kippenberger, a virtual Indian trader’s market and much more, the massive virtual Powwow is free to view on Saturday, April 23, and costs $9.99 to livestream on Sunday, April 24. Purchase tickets here.
As Hollywood primps and prepares for this Sunday’s 93rd Academy Awards, the Indigenous film world will focus on its own luminaries during the Native Women in Film Festival
Women in all aspects of the film industry, from directors, to location managers, will discuss their roles and the power and potential of Native women in cinema during the Festival’s Conversation Series.
Speakers include women involved in major motion pictures, including Allison A. Taylor, location manager for “Straight Outta Compton,” Loretta Todd, director of “Monkey Beach” and Marcei A. Brown, assistant director of Jordan Peele’s directorial debut “Get Out.”
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