The Indigenous Ensemble is a program designed to develop youth competency in Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis traditional and contemporary music, song, dance, storytelling and traditional arts. Under the mentorship of master First Nations and Métis musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers, artisans and production artists, the Indigenous Ensemble engages youth in:
- The study and performance of First Nations and Métis music, song, dance and storytelling
- Forging artistic collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers and artisans
- Presentations to students and community to foster the revitalization of Saskatchewan First Nations and Métis cultures
- Utilizing music, song, dance, storytelling and traditional arts to educate students and the public about Indigenous cultures and history
- Developing a positive sense of self and pride in being First Nations or Métis and acquiring leadership experience.
Within Indigenous cultures, song and dance are more than performance arts and leisure time activities. Song and dance have always been integral mediums of individual and group expression in the ceremonial and social aspects. Today, in addition to perpetuating the Indigenous cultures, song and dance play a vital role in elevating cultural awareness and cross-cultural understanding.
The Indigenous Ensemble is an extracurricular program open to Saskatoon Public Schools students in Grades 7 to Grade 12 who are emerging musicians, singers, dancers, storytellers and artisans, and have a sincere interest in developing their competencies through education and performance in choreographed demonstrative and scripted dance productions. All members will be expected to work toward developing multiple artistic competencies and production skills (e.g., sing powwow songs, dance powwow, jig, tell a story, make regalia and set up a stage).
Program highlights include:
- Dynamic demonstrative dance performances at school assemblies, conferences and other events.
- Performing in a scripted dance theatre production.
- Working with schools, youth and community organizations to provide workshops in music, song, dance, storytelling and traditional arts.
- Dance instruction for younger children at childcare facilities and schools.
- Assisting with Saskatoon Public Schools' sponsored powwows and round dances.
- Participating in powwows, round dances and dance competitions.
- Engaging in cultural dance exchanges and performing in community multicultural events.
To learn more about the Indigenous Ensemble, please contact Don Speidel, Saskatoon Public Schools’ Cultural Liaison, at