Blackfoot Medicine Speaks offers an educational and entertaining cultural experience of Blackfoot storytelling, cultural sharing, and mesmerizing song and dance that reflects our connection to our ancestors, our land, and the spirit of the Blackfoot people while celebrating our rich culture. We are performers who provide a unique and fascinating experience for audiences of all ages.
We believe in the importance of telling our stories from First Voice. First Voice is an ownership statement by indigenous people. Since colonialism, interpretation of our cultures has been provided by non-indigenous people. First Voice requires that the actual carriers and custodians of cultures be heard, legitimatized and respected.
Blackfoot Medicine Speaks Dance Company demonstrates through First Voice that oral stories reflect spiritual connections to the land and all living beings. Blackfoot Medicine Speaks wishes to remember the history of our people, the inherent qualities of our culture, and the knowledge that the culture imparts about the physical and spiritual world in which we live. Our culture is much more than the physical manifestations of the objects.
Our uniqueness was recently recognized in Alberta Tourism’s award winning “Remember To Breathe” advertising campaign. The commercial is primarily airing in international markets and can be viewed on our video page HERE. Our BMS performers appear at the 2 minute, 16 second mark.
To our knowledge, Blackfoot Medicine Speaks is the only organized and professional Blackfoot powwow dance company in Southern Alberta.
A separate vignette entitled Drums, Like Hearts was recorded by Travel Alberta and can be viewed on our video page HERE.
Our dance troupe is a collective of approximately 40 professional Powwow dancers and drummers. The dance styles cover the entire range of Powwow dance. We have both female and male performers, ranging in age from tiny tots (under 6) to over 60 years of age. We offer an opportunity for young dancers and drummers to practice their art form in a supportive environment while gaining practical and professional performance experience.
We also assist our dancers in acquiring regalia, materials and supplies for their outfits. All dancers are paid an honorarium for their services and depending on client’s budget, we will pay travel costs for the dancers. We also support the economic prosperity of our dancers and communities through performance fees and relationship building via cultural understanding and appreciation of indigenous people.
We have performed indoor and outdoor venues, small and large in size. Our two largest performances to date were in Mongolia to over 40,000 people in 2007 and at the Urbana 2009 conference in St. Louis, Missouri to over 25,000 people.