Native Dancers Perform for International Crowd in Geneva

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown August 11th, 2016 Last Updated on: August 11th, 2016

The U.S. Mission in Geneva sponsored a celebration of Native music and dance at the United Nations during its Independence Day festivities which featured performances by Gathering of Nations – Native Footprints, Puyallup tribe and Champion Hoop Dancer Nakotah LaRance.

Here is an excerpt from the opening remarks from Ambassador Keith M. Harper:

In the dance and in the song and in the drum, you will see a celebration of the beauty of Native ways. You will see a stubborn attachment to tradition, without resistance to innovation and reinvention. This is a celebration of living traditions. Curtis photos of Native Peoples from the 19th Century are terrific. But today, today, we celebrate the here and now. Today we celebrate contemporary Indian Country in song and dance.

We will share with you performers from three different traditions.

Our first group of dancers in the Puyallup Canoe Family, here with the generous support of the Puyallup Tribe. We want to thank Chairman Bill Sterud, the entire Puyallup Tribal Council and especially Councilman David Bean for their support that permitted these dancers to share their traditions with you.

The Puyallup Tribe hails from the beautiful Puget Sound region of Washington State. Every year, the tribes in the Great Pacific Northwest join each other in a Canoe Journey that is indeed a sight to behold. This is one of the families who participate.

Next, we will have Native Footprints – a sampling of Pow Wow dancing. One thing many tribal peoples do in the Spring and throughout the Summer is go to Pow Wows. These are gatherings – usually intertribal – events of song, dance, competition, artistry. Among the most important and special Pow Wows of the Year is the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque, NM.

Thousands of dancers from all over North America participate. Well, from the Gathering of Nations comes Native Footprints Performers.

We want to thank the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation for their generous support.

Finally, returning to Geneva are Nakotah LaRance and Steve LaRance. They hail from the Southwest of the United States. Nakotah is the reigning National Champion Hoop Dancer. Accompanying Nakotah, is his father, the renowned jeweler, artist, flutist and singer, Steve LaRance.

Official photographer for U.S. Mission, Eric Bridiers, was on hand to document the event. Please enjoy his photos below!

Looks like everyone enjoyed some world class dancing! So happy they were able to share their gift on an international stage.

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About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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