Public Event Live-Streamed on Zoom
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IKWE NOOJIM OWIN NIIMI IDIWIN – Women’s Circle Dancers
Kim McWilliam, JoAnn Restoule, Jaqueline Morgan, Gwen Monnet, Holly Douglas, Maybel McDonald, Brooke -Lin Jestico, Danielle Chartrand, Serena Rotter, Jeannie McDonald, Jeannine Walker
Cultural Presenter – Joanne Restoule
The History of the Healing Dance – the Jingle Dance
According to Oral History over 100 years ago, it is said that a vision or a dream came to the Anishnabe people. In this vision or dream, a man of the village saw 4 women, who appeared wearing distinctive dresses in red, yellow, green, and blue. The dresses were covered in shiny metal cones, that made a great sound as the women danced. The woman held themselves in an upright manner and danced in a circle, as the sun travels across the sky, carrying a bag filled with the sacred medicines.
This vision was transformed into reality, the women of the village were called together (the Healing Warrior Women) and they worked preparing the dresses as they had appeared in this sacred vision. The people gathered in the village and the singers began to sing for the women who were wearing the sacred dresses. Very gently they stepped onto the earth and began to dance. The man who had been gifted this vision was in attendance with his family, and his youngest child- a daughter who had taken very ill. As the dancers made their way around the centre in a circle stepping gently upon the earth, it is said that the young girl sat up and began to watch the dancers. In time it is said that she stood up and very slowly made her way towards the group of women and joined them in the sacred dance. This is a time in our history where we witnessed the healing energy of this sacred dance and vision…. which is why it is known as the Healing Dance.
In broader terms we can now see how the Healing Dance-now known as the Jingle Dance has been sent to us as a gift from the Great Mystery- Kitchi Manidoo. Sent at a time in our history when there was great suffering and uncertainty. At this time our people were being greatly impacted by the Spanish Flu and many of our relatives were travelling to the “Other Side”.
The gift of the Healing Dance-Jingle Dance allows us to open our minds and our hearts, to believe in the mystery and energy of healing as part of the strengths we have been given to use on our life journey.
The resurgence of the Healing Dance-Jingle Dance comes to us at a time where we are once again facing great uncertainty. The gift of the Healing Dance is here to help guide us into the teachings of the Sacred Circle-where we have been taught that we “Are all One” and to support one another in all ways, to live the Good Life Teachings. We have been told by our Ancestors that when we dance, ”We dance for the people”.
“NOOJIM OWIN”…THE GIFT OF THE HEALING DANCE….WHEN WE DANCE, WE DANCE FOR THE PEOPLE is a Community Cultural Revitalization Project presented at CVAG January 19 – February 14, 2022
The Comox Valley Art Gallery is honoured and privileged to be present on the Unceded Territory of the K’ómoks First Nation. CVAG recognizes the enduring presence of First Nations people on this land. CVAG is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with artists, guest curators, writers, cultural advisors, community partners, our volunteers, donors + members. CVAG’s convergent programming is made possible through the support of our funders: Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, Government of Canada, Province of BC, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, Comox Valley Regional District, BC Gaming / local support: ABC Printing, SD71 Print Shop, Sherwin-Williams Paint Store, Muir Engineering Ltd., Izco Technology Solutions, Cumberland Village Works / The community collaborators + co-presenters the Healing Dance Sacred Circle + School District 71 Indigenous Education.
Image: courtesy of JoAnn Restoule