Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

Salish Kootenai College round dance draws decent crowd

By Alyssa Nenemay

Drummers sing as kids and adults hold hands and 'round dance' to the music (Alyssa Nenemay photo). Drummers sing as kids and adults hold hands and 'round dance' to the music (Alyssa Nenemay photo).

PABLO – The stew and fry-bread were warm and the songs were sweet during the first annual “Good Vibes” round dance last weekend. Hosted by Salish Kootenai College’s Student Senate Committee, the round dance aimed to unite the Flathead Reservation community to share positive energy.

The event attracted singers from throughout Indian Country and there was a local line up of MCs including: Bronson McDonald, Jordan Stasso, and PJ Auld. Although most of the crowd shied away from dancing, the MCs kept the festivities flowing with humor. “Did you all just come for the free food and gift cards?” McDonald said jokingly to encourage participation.

Sonny Doney leads several drummers in song at the first annual Good Vibes round dance. (Alyssa Nenemay photo) Sonny Doney leads several drummers in song at the first annual Good Vibes round dance. (Alyssa Nenemay photo)

Round dances originated in the Plains and were traditionally used by tribes as a source of healing and unity within a community. True to its name, guests hold hands to form a circle and dance around singers who use hand drums to share their songs. Usually held during winter months, the round dance is a social function that fosters friendship or even courtship.

Although there were several singers during the Good Vibes round dance, dancers were scarce. Joined by his family, Charles Walking Child of the Cree nation danced almost every song. Walking Child has hosted an Idle No More round dance in Helena and encouraged the crowd to partake. “Don’t be shy to be who you are. These are our ways and we need to keep them going for future generations,” he said

Friendly jibes, encouragement and a healthy dose of fun was the job of the emcees at last weekend's Good Vibes Round Dance. (Alyssa Nenemay photo) Friendly jibes, encouragement and a healthy dose of fun was the job of the emcees at last weekend's Good Vibes Round Dance. (Alyssa Nenemay photo)

As the round dance came to an end guests left full from the stew and fry bread feed, and some won gift cards from Wal-Mart or Safeway. For more information on the SKC Bison Student Senate visit by clicking here.

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