Na-Me-Res is a sanctuary for homeless Aboriginal men living in Toronto. Some may also have mental,emotional and substance abuse issues. Through a program of traditional teachings in native culture, history, story telling and the alike; counsellors help the residence reconnect with their heritage and ready them for life in the urban setting. The Pow Wow is in part a fund raiser they organize, and celebration's for National Aboriginal Day and the Summer Solstice. nameres.org
Kitokipaaskaan - Prairie Chicken Dance
The Chicken Dance is one of the oldest forms of dancing. The dancers regalia is very different then that of the modern Traditional, Grass and Fancy Feather dances. The Men's Chicken Dance Style originates amongst the Blackfoot people. The Blackfoot are very proud of this dance. It started out as a religious society known as the Kiitokii Society. The Kiitokii Society is still practiced to this day on the Siksika First Nation in Southern Alberta, Canada.
This is the story that is told of how this society came to the Blackfoot. Long ago there was a young Blackfoot man hunting to get food for his family. He heard a noise in the distance. It sounded like something was thumping on the ground. He got very curious and followed this sound. As he approached the sound he saw these prairie chickens dancing in the tall grass. He took his bow and arrow and shot and killed one of these birds.
He brought the carcass back home and his wife prepared it for the evening feast. As the man's family was done eating their dinner, they went to lay their heads down for the night. When this man was sleeping he had a dream that this prairie chicken spirit came to him and asked him "Why did you kill me? We were doing a sacred dance of my people". The man replied that he needed to feed his family. The prairie chicken had honored this and told this man that he was going to teach him the sacred dance of his people. He was to go out there and teach every man this dance and if he did not do as he was told this prairie chicken was going to come back and take this man's life. This is how the Prairie Chicken Society and Men's Chicken Dance came to the Blackfoot people.
Video and Sound; Garry B