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Interview With Dynamic Dougie Rain – Northern Traditional Dancer

Posted By PowWows.com February 8th, 2015 Last Updated on: February 8th, 2015

Interview by Dawn Karima, Native Culture Editor

Q) It's great to visit with you!!! What are some of the facts you'd like us to know about you?
A) I've been working with children, youth & families for over 20 years in different capacities. I'm an avid outdoorsman/hunter. I love Latin beats. I try to be entertaining and lastly, I am Grampa, a Papa and a hubby (or just a live in boyfriend of many years..haha).

Other than that, I am non-stop sarcastic and satirical.

Q) Awesome! What is your Native heritage? What are some of your tribal values that shape your character? How so?

A)My late Father was a Nakota (Stoney) and my Ma is Cree from the Maskwacis (formerly known as Hobbema) area. Tribal values? Its a mother's love and motherly values that helped shape my character…she was very influential.

Q) Such a strong cultural heritage! In light of your background and your loving family, what do powwows mean to you?

A) I love to dance…with the right jam I can totally lose myself in a song. Powwows is about expression to me. At risk of sounding corny or something to that effect, the freedom to express myself on the dance floor at a powwow is nothing more than an appreciation for what Creator gave me. Its not about the talent or skills, its about the power of choice to celebrate God's generosity. Basically I dance for God first, then myself. I don't believe I dance for the people because not everyone will “appreciate” my style. If the people appreciate what I do then that's an absolute bonus. There are thousands of ndns out there and they all have their champions…and that's the great thing about powwows, we can celebrate each other.

Dougie4

Q) Absolutely! Unity is our strength and powwows bring us all together! How did you enter the Circle?

A) I was born into a powwow lifestyle, my late father used to organize the local powwow and had my two older brothers and me initiated at an early age, so its been a major influence in regards to having an appreciation for identity, our learning & practices as well as our history. Actually, a major contributor to the development of my character as an NDN man.

Q) How did you choose your dance category? What does dancing your particular style mean to you?

A) When I was just a kid, separate dancing categories was quite new to me. Back then people just danced. As years passed and powwows developed, I was drawn to the “traditional' style because I really dug the way a “sneak up” looked. Traditional dancers then stomped the ground and reminded me of bulls, powerful & stoic. My own style, I developed through the years always changing always looking for a way to be unique. Being unique is something that means a great deal because I've always believed in expressing who I am.

Q) What insights do you think powwows give us about ourselves? What do you hope that folks will discover about Native People and Culture at a powwow?

A) Ideally, I hope folks will learn is how important their own “tribal” histories practices are and gain a mutual respect for other tribes. In regards to powwows, my hope is that people realize that cultural practices differ from tribe to tribe, and that powwows only scratch the surface when it comes to everything else that is powwow involved.

Q) As you reflect on the many powwows you have experienced, what do you think makes a powwow a good one? What are some of your favorite powwows?

Dougie4

A) I don't have a particular favorite powwow, but I think an old school energy makes a powwow feel good. In this day and age there are some that believe there are too many specials and give aways that take place. I believe in the importance of “story & stories”. One cannot express their own stories in beadwork, in song & dance, if there isn't a story to be told. Many stories begin with an honoring at a powwow, initiations as well as memorials. These, I believe are the practices are what make a powwow to begin with. I was blessed to observe a gourd dance at the Navajo Nation Fair in Window Rock. I learned much from brothers Andy Cozad and Steven Toya, Sr. about the gourd dance which actually reinforced my own belief of honoring and story telling through song and dance. The gourd dance giveaway was the highlight of my weekend at that particular powwow.

Q) What a precious reminder for us to appreciate every part of our Powwows! Thank you so much for sharing with us today! What else do you wish we knew about you that we don't already know?

A) Haha…this is not a simple question! I'm just a simple man with a simple lifestyle.

(Photos by Bert Crowfoot, provided by Mr. Dougie Rain.)


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