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. The program is offered at Nutana Collegiate as a credit program for Grade 10-12; or as an after-school program for students in Grade 7-12. 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 open to Saskatoon Public Schools students 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 (i.e. sing powwow songs, dance powwow, jig, tell a story, make regalia, and set up a stage).
The Indigenous Ensemble is open to all students. No previous experience is required. To learn more about the Indigenous Ensemble please visit the SPSD website or contact Don Speidel, Saskatoon Public Schools’ Cultural Liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org.