Canada - 'Our culture is powerful and strong,' Indigenous song-and-dance group Coastal Wolf Pack says
June is National Indigenous History Month. It is a time for all Canadians — Indigenous, non-Indigenous and newcomers — to reflect upon and learn the history, sacrifices, cultures, contributions, and strength of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people. Throughout the month of June, CityNews will profile Indigenous people, and share their stories and voices, so that we can celebrate the difference they have made in their communities and to our country.
Tsatsu Stalqayu is a traditional Coast Salish song-and-dance group. The group has more than 50 members, both male and female, of all ages. The variation in age and gender allow for more song, dance and stories to be shared on stage. The members represent Indigenous communities from the Coast and throughout the Fraser Valley in British Columbia including Musqueam, Nanaimo, Kuper Island, Cowichan, Tsartlip, and Skway, to name a few. They all come from different homes but they all come from one creator, which they believe brings them all together to sing and dance as one.
“We have been singing and dancing to our Coast Salish music our whole lives. Our Tsatsu Stalqyu family started sharing a very few songs and dances with the public in the fall of 2009 and since then our three generation branch of Tsatsu Stalqyu family group has composed our own songs and dances with many different events across the Lower Mainland,” James said.
Some of the dances the group shares tell traditional stories of how Indigenous people were pre-contact (before the arrival of Europeans).