Even if you’ve never been part of a Dance or Ceremony, Indian Summer has something for you. The classes there ranged from crafting and dancing to ceremony instruction, leadership seminars, and cultural studies, so everyone was able to find a place where their interests matched a class offered. I personally took many crafting and geographical classes to improve my Dance Regalia, but others in the contingent took Ceremony instructions and even participated in a High Challenge Ropes Course and Laser Tag. The Geographical courses were very helpful to us, allowing us to compare our regalia with the outfits of Native Americans from the time period we try to emulate, and the ceremony classes opened the attendees to different perspectives and interpretations. The Crafting classes in particular helped me, since it gave me an opportunity to learn an easier method of beading for adornment on outfits than what I had tried previously. Many classes were aimed to helped beginners get a foothold on Ceremonies or Dance, offering advice, knowledge, and time to work on techniques and their applications. The adults teaching the classes were very knowledgeable in their fields, and were always willing to help someone newly interested in something to become even more active in the pursuit of that interest.
Throughout the week, there were three powwows where we could go out and dance to live drums and see what we had been learning put into action. A few dancers were selected during these powwows for performances during the opening and closing shows, including many of our contingent’s dancers. Between the classes, the application of the concepts in those classes at the powwow, and the adult leadership and advice inside and outside these activities, everyone was able to learn new pastimes that they may have otherwise not had an opportunity to discover
When Indian Summer comes around, I know I’ll be there. Anyone with any kind of interest in Native American culture, dance, or ceremony should definitely go. It’s one of the most enriching experiences I’ve been a part of, and I think it was just as enriching for anyone else that attended as well.
Shexaxkapeu Pemikan Gentgeen
(Straight Arrow Dancer)