On the Mic: MC, Dancer and Native Leader Kay Oxendine

On the Mic: MC, Dancer and Native Leader Kay Oxendine

Kay kay 2Oxendine is from the Haliwa-Saponi tribe. She has been writing since she was a child, writing her first book in first grade. She enjoys being able to bring her subjects to life on paper, and particularly loves writing about her rich Native American culture. She has been published over 300 times in different newspapers, magazines, and blogs. She also has been published in several books concerning Native American women and entrepreneurs.


She recently ran her own newspaper, 360 View, and currently is Associate Editor and writer for Native Hoop magazine.

Kay has been a traditional dancer, a northern/contemporary back up singer and is now an MC. She has had her feet in Native America for over 20 years and will never leave.

Kay has also worked with PowWows.com for over 20 years, as a member, then moderator and senior moderator.

Kay's hobbies include spending time with her son Johnathan and daughter Rachel, and with family, going to pow-wows and cooking.


Q) Thank you for visiting with us! Will you introduce yourself to us please?

A) My name is Kay Oxendine and I am from the Haliwa-Saponi. Both of my parents are Haliwa and this is all I know. I grew up in Richmond, VA but my heart has always been in Hollister where my tribe lives. I am the baby of my family, I am 51 and have two awesome kids, Rachel Ensing and Johnathan Oxendine. I married and divorced both their dads, and raised them the last 10 years by myself.

Q) What have you learned from being Haliwa-Saponi that shapes your character?

A)I have always been taught to respect our babies and our elders. Our elders because they have led the way and my babies because they will lead the way.

Q) Beautiful words and a beautiful way to look at life! How else to you honor your tribal heritage?

A) I am a traditional dancer and when I dance, I travel to a far away place of peace and love. It is a very comforting time. I now MC more than I dance, but have a pretty good understanding of the dances.

Q)Acting as MC is a vital part of a powwow! How do you feel when you are on the mic?

A) I feel very proud anytime I am around my people.

Q)What are some of the lessons from your Native perspective that balance your life? Did those ideas influence you to begin dancing and lead you to choose your dance style?

A) I know to respect all things and people. I treat others as I would want to be treated. I began dancing when I was 31. It was time. I dance in honor of my grandmothers and because of this, traditional is the appropriate choice.

Q) Such a lovely honor to learn from you! We're thrilled that you are such a precious part of the Powwow Trail!

Dr Dawn Karima is the author of two novels about Native America, THE MARRIAGE OF SAINTS, a part of the American Indian Studies Series from the University of Oklahoma Press and THE WAY WE MAKE SENSE, a finalist for the Native American First Book Award.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find a Pow Wow
Near you

Search the US & Canada

What to expect
at your first Pow Wow

Sign Up for our Free E-newsletter