By Waylon Goodleft -waRux-
Valentine’s Day weekend February 13-14, 2015 Young Arikara Society sponsored a Sweet Heart Round dance honoring Elders & Youth of the White Shield Community. Invited singers World Champion singers from Saddle Lake Alberta Northern Cree as host drum. Other individual singers where also invited: Charles Lasley Sr from Minnesota, Aaron Toottoosi from Canada, Allan Bonaise from Canada, Bob Rainey.
The Young Arikara main purpose for putting on the round dance was to honor our youth and elders in the community. We are losing our culture and we hoped the round dance would spark culture enthusiasm in the White Shield Community. A lot of prayers, man hours and hard work went into the round dance.
Many of the elders in the community had positive feedback on the round dance. An elder in the White Shield Myrtle Painte said “it’s not about money all the time its good the Young Arikara Society remembered the elders while they are still on this earth”. Another elder in the White Shield Community Karen Mulluk said “It was clean healthy culture entertainment in our community we need more joyful social events like this.
Before technology social events where common in the Nishu or White Shield community”. Karen also mentioned continue on with what the Young Arikara Society is doing in our community. Sometimes we make mistakes, But good deeds supersedes mistakes for our people.
Charles Lasley Sr singer from Midnight Express singers said “On behalf of me and my family thanks for the invite, and the Round dance was awesome and we enjoyed every minute”!!! Birthday songs where song for celebrations. Serenades where song for loved ones, honor songs where song for those being honored. It was a great turn out for a culture social event. I would like to acknowledge spiritual leader who taught us about the round dance and has been singing for many years he has been to many of round dances. Spiritual leader Councilman Randy Phalen for showing us the ropes.
Also our new found brother Tito Ybarra for being an invited master of ceremonies. Tito brought humor and powwow knowledge to the circle.
Young Arikara Society would like to acknowledge Stickmen Tone Tonez James Phalen and Stickman Mister Baker from Mandaree, for the Wisdom in the powwow circuit and round dance circuit I learned a lot from them. I would like to acknowledge all the singers for their songs and presence at the Young Arikara Society Round dance. It was a social culture event that helped our people feel happy and the Round Dance left everybody in the White Shield Community with good, positive feelings. I would like to acknowledge all those who help sponsor the event Three Affiliated Tribal business council, White Shield School, Fort Berthold Community College and Young Arikara Society for putting on the Sweet Heart round dance.
I would like to acknowledge Virgil & Judith Wilkenson for their prayers, good words for the round dance. I would like to mention the Sahnish elders that participated at the round dance where given a rose and a certificate of appreciation, also the youth that participated were given a certificate of appreciation.
I would like to quote my Mother Myrtle said “if you give somebody just a glass of water or dirt in your hand that is considered a giveaway and you appreciate them”. We appreciate everybody for coming and taking part in the round dance. Northern Cree singer Shane Dion told me this was a good round dance and he left with good feelings he would like to come back another time. Young Arikara Society will be sponsoring another Round Dance next winter with Northern Cree as host drum once again.
Young Arikara Society was formed in spring of 2001 with members Clair Fox, Jasper Young bear and Waylon Goodleft founders. Young Arikara Society was based on an analogy of Hopping Society long ago.
Hopping Society main objective was to teach young men age 15-17 Sahnish songs of various Arikara Societies to carry on songs/culture. Sometimes the Hopping Society would put on horse parades in the past. In the spring of 2006 I was called upon by a few parents who wanted to teach their children to sing powwows songs. The Reeboyz drum group was birthed out of the Young Arikara Society.
Young Arikara Society switched its name to Reeboyz Organization out of respects and rights of Sahnish Societies. Today Young Arikara Society is by name only and it functions as an organization rather than a society. Young Arikara Society aka Ree Boyz organization whose primary purpose is to teach young men ages 12-19 Sahnish songs/culture, to carry on Arikara culture through language, dance and song. To learn Arikara songs that we are losing: honor, traditional, personal as well as compose new songs as we advance in our language.
Accolades of Young Arikara Society/ Ree Boyz Organization Sahnish wiinaxts:
Taught young singers ages 13-19 from 2001-2004
Competed in North Dakota State youth Basketball Tournament 2003
Young Arikara Basketball tournaments 2002-2004.
Arikara Nation Basketball League 2006-2009
Young Arikara Society Round dance 2008, 2009, 2010.
Reeboyz drum group was formed 2006-2010 Sahnish wiinaxts:
April 2007 Arikara Celebration War Bonnet dance: Ree Boyz drum group was brought in the powwow circle. Honor song by Dead Grass Society. At that Time Ree Boyz drum group help feed the people and gave away to Arikara Celebration, Dead grass and other elders in the community. At that time Sahnish winaxxis was brought into the circle in the right way. Annoucing for the Sahish winaxxis was elder/vetern Russell Gillette UTTC chemical Health Director.
Reeboyz won drum in youth singing contest in Hayward Wis May of 2008. Sahnish wiinaxts:
Reeoboyz took consolations in youth singing contest in Hayward Wiis May 2009. Sahnish wiinaxts:
Young Arikara Society Sweet Heart Round Dance February 13-14, 2015.