Sponsors: CNPS Social Justice committee, the Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education Department (ECPS) of the UBC Faculty of Education, and Green College
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Indigenous Enterprise will provide several dance performances that are representative of the cultural and traditional aspects of North American Indigenous tribes. Each dance has its origin and retains unique movements that are initiated from the dancer and continue through the dancer’s regalia, such as feathers, bells, hoops, etc. The dances promote physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional healing through the graceful movements that replicate certain elements of Mother Nature in rhythm to the beat of the drum that is representative of a heartbeat. Dance provides an important place in the social, cultural, and ceremonial aspect among the tribes of North America. In conjunction with chants, prayer, protocol, etc., certain ceremonies also involve specific dances and movements that are equally an important aspect of the ritual process. It is said that for a person to have balance and stability in life, the person must have identity. Indigenous dancing, singing, ceremonies, cultures and traditions are forms of identity. Indigenous Enterprise dancers and presenters will share their views of positive healing that derives from their identity as Indigenous dancers. The presenters will discuss personal and enlightening traditional and cultural experiences that work in parallel with general therapeutic practices in a reciprocally positive manner.
Perry Shirley is a member of the Navajo tribe and was employed with the Navajo Nation government for 32 years and retired in 2016. He has extensive knowledge of the governmental aspects of the Navajo Nation, and its relationship with the U.S. Federal Government and state governments. Perry spent much of his career managing revenues derived from natural resources developed on Navajo Nation lands, which was the primary source of financial revenue for the tribe for many decades. Perry has insight of Native cultural and traditional influences on the healing of mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional well being.
Kenneth Shirley is a member of the Navajo Tribe from Arizona and was raised on the Navajo Nation reservation in northern Arizona until he moved to the Phoenix, Arizona metro area at a young age. Kenneth developed a relationship with the sound beat of “the drum” at the age of two and soon after was introduced by his mother to Native Indigenous dancing, also known as “powwow” dancing. Kenneth experienced what has been defined as “culture shock,” having to relocate to an entirely different non-native living environment. He was subjected to much misunderstanding from school class mates including teachers in the Phoenix area schools he attended. While attending Arizona State University, Kenneth founded Indigenous Enterprise LLC in 2015. The purpose of Indigenous Enterprise is to share Native Indigenous culture throughout the world and to lessen the misunderstanding that exists of Indigenous people. Indigenous Enterprise has performed at the Sydney Opera House in Australia; London, England; Canada; and most recently on the national stage of the NBC’s “World of Dance, as well as in the nationwide televised celebration of the Inauguration of the U.S. President Joseph Biden, representing the state of Arizona.
Ty Lodgepole Is a member of the Dine Nation (Navajo Nation) from White Cone, Arizona, but currently residing in Phoenix, Arizona. He dances the men's Prairie Chicken Dance which comes from the Blackfoot/Sik-Sika tribes in the Northern United States/Southern Canada region. He has been dancing since the age of 10. Along with the dancing he is a graphic designer, music producer, and creative director. Doing design work for many across the world and traveling across the world dancing, he has also accomplished to obtain a Music Business Degree in 2019.
Jorge Gonzales is a member of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community and also half Mexican, from Phoenix Arizona. Attending Scottsdale Community College, Jorge formally was Mr. Indian SCC with 6+ years of dancing the men’s hoop dance. Originating from the Taos Pueblo New Mexico Indians, the hoop dance is a healing/storytelling dance for those who are feeling sick physically, emotionally, and mentally. The story tells the side of a man on a visionquest seeking a message from our creator, and the images made with the hoops are the images he saw during his time in the desert.