When we receive eagle feathers from the tribal council or
elders in the council or in the tribe, itís
something that we earn by accomplishment: helping the
people, the way of life, defending the warriors, defending the way
of life even on foreign and domestic soil. So itís very
important for Native people when we wear the eagle feathers to
wear them in a very special way.
Growing up they never let me wear Eagle feathers until I
was a man, until I did a feat of some kind.
I see a lot today kids wearing eagle feathers more than
some of the men and they didnít earn the right to get that,
you know, some of them just for the look of it, I think. Itís
just not right, you know. I tell people that sometimes and some of
them understand it and some just donít agree with it.
all of competition dancers or professional dancers have to be up
to date on the music and the change from one drum group to another
because they all vary their styles. Now that there arenít that
many war songs or wars being fought,
there are a lot of songs that basically are around social
attitude, social change, a lot of the feelings that are expressed
within the family themselves, maybe an affection for someone. Some
of the young people in particular take some of the melodies from
even some of our rap songs, some of our contemporary songs and
apply it to music.
BEAVER (Stoney Park,
When you look at every race, they use the drum, thatís
why today we call it ďheartbeat of a nationĒ, it
doesnít matter which nation it is, we all use the same
drum but in a different form though.
Every human being that there is their heartbeat is right
BEAVER (Stoney Park, Stoney Tribe):
My dad started us off. My whole familyís actually rodeo
family and my dad set
us off on this way, so. Thatís what my dad told me. He said this
drum is gonna take you a long way. Youíre going to be singing in
front of a big crowd, he said, take it, keep going, donít quit
and give respect to your drum.
Iím the drum-keeper and itís my job to keep all
these guys in line, straight all the time.
Just to keep the boys
on the edge I usually throw them a new song about 5 minutes before
we sing it so they can sit there, sit tight and sing it out. Thatís
the way I usually do it. They pick it up pretty good and itís
becoming a habit, too, now, so.
(Stoney Park, Stoney Tribe):
Learn as you go. Weíve been on the trail for so long
that everybody knows, you know, the song and all that, experience
it you know
BEAVER: But I enjoy
this life. Itís pretty good, you know and plus itís music,
pumps you up. Yeah. Thatís what I like about it and making
everybody dance, giving them a healing song and all that, doing
all kinds of different kinds of songs. Itís a challenge when
you do a different kind of a song* for me because I have to lead
that song off.
STONECHILD (Stoney Park, Stoney Tribe):
You sing for your long life, good health, you know, you
sing for the people out there,
you know, you sing to the drum and itís a healing tool
for everybody. Itís
a lifestyle to everybody. For instance, like a basketball team
they travel city to city, itís a job to them but itís a
lifestyle, too. Like weíre out powwowing every weekend, itís
just a lifestyle, itís our culture. I
look it like Iíd rather be singing at a drum, you know, *
traveling powwow to powwow than be drinking, you know, drinking
around, you know, or getting into trouble, you know.
DANIELS (Stoney Park, Stoney Tribe):
And I guess you can say we live on the road, we live on
the trail, you know, heading different powwows, hosting here,
competition there. All
that. When you add all that together itís just mainly having
fun. Thatís about it. Having a good time.
BEAVER (Stoney Park, Stoney Tribe):
I feel good make songs, make those people dance. I like
medium speed and jivey ones, like tongue twisters, thatís what I
like about it. Also while Iím playing
I feel good. I donít drink and I donít do drugs
around the drum. I donít even do that.
I like to get down with it. Makes me feel good to be who
KING (Stoney Park, Stoney Tribe):
It makes me feel good to sit around a drum, get together
with all my brothers here and
joke around and play jokes on each other , go see
different places, go all over, meet new people. Youíre in for
the girls. These guys are
here for the girls, half of them.
SAULTEUX (Stoney Park, Stoney Tribe):
Itís a really beautiful thing to do -- powwow: sing,
dance and mostly itís just being with my brothers going place to
And this drum itís really powerful. Itís two brothers
there that make the sound and it makes
all our hearts beat as one, all our voices as one,
and it makes me feel good to sing, and itís a really
good feeling to be singing with all my brothers.
Itís a really good feeling.