By Windspeaker.com Staff
With files from Jeremy Harpe, CFWE-FM
Teenage Tia Wood from Saddle Lake First Nation started powwow dancing as a baby in the Tiny Tots category, but started to dance seriously at the age of 10, inspired by her mother who danced.
Tia has been chosen by Gathering of Nations powwow organizers as lead dancer in this upcoming major event on the powwow circuit, April 28 and April 29. Gathering of Nations is considered one of the biggest powwows in the world. Tia spoke with Jeremy Harpe of CFWE-FM about the honor.
After last year’s gathering of nations powwow, Tia received a letter from the powwow organizers asking if she would take on a lead dancer role.
“I didn’t even believe it was real, that I would ever have this opportunity. I was very honored and very shocked,” she said.
Tia was named head young lady dancer, heading up grand entry on both days. Tia said it’s probably the biggest achievement a powwow dancer can ever receive.
She is also planning a special tribute dance called the Healing of the Red Dress Special, inspired by the Red Dress Project, where red dresses are displayed in public spaces as a visual reminder of all the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
“So that’s kind of why a decided to do this special, in honor of them.” Dancers have to have a red dress to take part.
Tia said she loves her culture, song and ceremony.
“I grew up around a lot of singers… my parents were my biggest role models. They taught me how to do everything. They really shaped me into the person I am today.” Her parents would take their children to powwows to sing with them, and taught them all how to dance.
“I’m really grateful for them.”
While only 17 years old, Tia has plans for her future sketched out.
“I really want to make music and sing…. Indigenous music. Powwow music.”