Delta celebrates Native American Heritage Month with song and dance

Native American Heritage Month

By Jack Rechsteiner, managing editor

UNIVERSITY CENTER – Waskwane Stonefish, a member of the Delta Pioneers’ women’s basketball team, brought her family and heritage to Delta College for Native American Heritage Month on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Waskwane introduced herself, along with the rest of her family, to the people gathered together in the Delta gymnasium for the event. Waskwane talked about her history and Potawatomi heritage while also explaining the different facets of traditional and competitive powwows and the costumes and dances that accompany them.

“I’ve been dancing since I could walk; I grew up around powwows,” says Waskwane.

Waskwane said that her preferred style of dance is the more upbeat fancy dance, which is what her father Walker also performs, and that her sister Beedoskah is a jingle dress and hoop dancer. Waskwane and Beedoskah have represented the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians across the country, winning championships as dancers at competitive powwows. Beedoskah is currently attending Michigan State University, but made the drive to Delta College to dance with her sister and family. Waskwane’s mother and father, Mona and Walker respectively, came from southwestern Ontario to be a part of the event with their daughter.

“We celebrate love and life through song and dance. This is a very important part of our heritage” says Walker.

After introductions were made, Walker danced the stage first in full fancy dance ensemble. After his performance, Beedoskah performed an example of the jingle dress dance and then Walker, Beedoskah and Mona performed a dance together. To bring the event to a close, Walker asked everybody from the audience to come up and join hands to do a circle dance together. Everyone in the gymnasium linked arms with one another and moved to the beat of the drum for one final dance of the day. Walker closed out the event with a word of appreciation.

“We’re very happy and honored the school let us come here and share our tradition with you. Thank you so much,” says Walker.

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