Hundreds of dancers from native bands stretching from British Columbia to Maine tapped out to the beat of drum today at the Canadian Aboriginal Festival.
The Grand Entry for was led by her highness, Buffy Ste. Marie, (CBC archives just posted some retro clips of Ste. Marie from as early as 1966, including a live recording of Little Wheel Spin and Spin – the only old track she re-recorded for her new album). Ste. Marie won a lifetime achievement award at the Aboriginal Music Awards last night and happily signed autographs for fans at the festival today.
But it was the joyous shaking of the younger dancers, hundreds of whom rounded out the grand entry, that grabbed the crowds.
In its fifteenth year, organizers claim it’s the biggest in North America. “I’ve never seen so many Indians in Toronto,” said the woman behind me in the ticket line. She and her friends came from Thunder Bay.
I tagged along with the Millers who’ve been attending for years, watching Alice work the floor to promote the very exciting pow wow for climate change she’s organizing next summer, and eating moose burgers and white corn soup. Ahh, the ancestors would be proud.