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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Yesterday I biked into Cates Park/Whey-ah-Wichen in North Vancouver for the Celebration 30 Year Legacy of Chief Dan George, an artisan festival, the 4th or 5th year of this festival. Mostly traditional singing-drum-dance groups of the Coast Salish  sang and played at this event. Cates Park is on Tsleil-Waututh Nation land. I like singing a lot the traditional style of Native people. I learned how to sing this  singing style through cds,  listening and imitating the melody of songs from live drum-singing groups of the Pow Wow music.  What taught me more about it was when I became interested in Pow Wow music from the Plains Culture in the early 90’s.  I became obsessive about it so much that I made The Song Journey, a video about Native women singers and drummers who sang traditional and non traditional style Pow Wow music. Video was  funded by ITVS.  Non native people refer to the style of Native traditional music as chanting is what I have heard. I never thought of it as that.  So now I know where some of the songs come from since I heard some songs sung at Native night @ Vancouver Aboriginal Centre and at other events. I like knowing the history of the songs, how they evolved because I always hear the same melody in this area, (but I like the song melody) in the Vancouver Regional District area. One of the songs I heard comes from the Chief Dan George family.

One of the aunts of the George family described what it was like to go with Chief Dan George to Los Angeles, other various places and to meet famous people.  Yeah, he was a very good actor, I’ll say.  For me the film I always remembered of Chief Dan George was Clint Eastwood’s Josey Wales and the Outlaws. Jeraldine  Keams   a Dine’ actor had a principal role in it too.  She played scenes with him.

An Eagle song played.  Dancer danced it. One of the singers/drummers said, the eagle is closest to the Great Spirit, the Creator.  That is why the eagle is  revered among many First Nations in North America.  I know Hopi has an eagle dance, too.  When the dancer danced, I made a prayer.  Felt good inside, the  whole thing.

Then I saw Russell Wallace. Saw Will George. Saw his poetry book.  Viewed Salish Seas, a book published by the Indigenous Writers Collective.   Said hello to both.

Viewed some beautiful jewelry made by First Nations jewelers.

Also I know it is not good to dwell upon negative issues such as the apartment issues, which I experience right now.  Listening to this music took it away for the day.

Then I made my back home to Surrey. Biked to the Waterfront sky train station in Vancouver to return. What I like about biking is that a person travels to a destination. If a person does not know the area very well, the biker-traveller just bikes it, see where the trip takes it.  I usually notice the length of time to arrive at the destination.  I left Surrey about 2 or 2:30 p.m. and arrived at Cates Park about 4 p.m.  Did not  miss the  whole event.  Good to experience this area, but have not been there for a long time.  Area and point-of-view at the beach is extremely  different  than Semiahmoo First Nation in White Rock. To travel by bike is very different  than a car.  On a bike, the biker experiences the smells and how it is with everything. It takes longer.  When travelling uphill, the biker huffs and puffs.