Source: The Alberta Teachers’ Association
Focus: Secondary Students
Summary: First Nations, Métis and Inuit music and dance embody cultural identity. For example, “First Nations people had songs for grieving, for birth, for joy, for prayer, and for so many other significant ceremonies and events. No ceremony, feast, or event could function without the prayers, dances, and songs of the First Nations people. Singers, drummers, and ceremonial people are treated with respect and honour for their gift of song.” The First Nations, Métis, and Inuit spirit and intent of music and dance is at the heart of music and dance.
First Nations music and dance were outlawed by the Indian Act as a tool of forced assimilation and cultural destruction. As a result, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit music and dance went underground for many years. During the dark times of cultural persecution and banishment, the Métis jig remained, due to its European origins and Inuit forms of music and dance were marginalized.