September 1st, 2015 Last Updated on: January 20th, 2016
WHITEFISH JR'S!!! We love Whitefish Jr's at Powwows.Com! Many powwow dancers describe this drum as one of the best to dance to, while powwow fans jam to their music as they travel down the Powwow Trail. Rocky Weenonis, one of the lead singers, shares his love for powwow and surprises by revealing his very favorite way to sing!
DK: Whitefish Jr's! One of our favorites here at Powwows.com! Will you introduce yourself to us please?
RW: I am Rocky Weenonis. I am one if the lead singers. I have been singing with with Harvey Dreaver for 15 years!
DK: What's your tribal affiliation? What are some of the things about your tribe that you want us to know?
RW: I am Cree and my tribe is original holders of the rounddance ceremony. That's my favorite style to sing, but we do embrace powwow too.
DK: Your people have such beautiful ways! What are some of the ways your tribal heritage influences your life?
RW: First of all, my culture is alive and thriving and it's a way of life not a heritage. Heritage is when a way dies out, however our ceremonies, practices and language are very much alive and doing well, and it influences my daily decisions in life. I pray in my language, I think in my language, I act according to our beliefs as Cree people and I also make songs in my language– for powwow that is.
DK: That's a great perspective. Your definition of the difference between “way of life” and “heritage” is amazing as well. We love, love,love your powwow music but we'd love to learn more about your favorite style… round dance ceremony! Is it okay to share a little about that style with us? We'd love to learn!
RW: It is a ceremony of feast, song and dance, we celebrate life, spirit life and earth life, we make friends, we rekindle old friendships and we dance and sing.
DK: Fascinating! I really enjoy a good round dance and a lot of our Powwows.com friends do as well! What can someone expect who's never attended one before?
RW: It usually starts off with a pipe ceremony, depending in the reason of the roundance. It starts at 7pm and goes to the early morning hours around 4am or 5am. Rounddance usually happen all winter long. Many families host different kind of rounddances, for birthdays, memorials, graduations, honouring youth and elders, and Christmas round dance.
DK: What a gorgeous way of life! You're blessed to have two powerful ways to sing! How did you start singing powwow? Please tell us about your journey in powwow music?
RW: I started as kid going to ceremonies. Then, I was amazed to see singing and how it gave me a great feeling in my body heart mind. My father sang and his dad sang, all my uncles sang, so I come from a long line of singers.
DK: What's life like singing with Whitefish Jr's? Tell us about some of your experiences singing with your drum?
RW: Powwow drum has taken me all over North America and overseas as well. I am so very grateful for the drum. Elders tell us to take care of our drum and it will take care of us. I see now that it is true. I never would have thought I would be going to some of these places in my life and it's all because of the grandfather drum.
DK: And now our powwow singing is so popular! What do you love most about singing powwow music? What do think makes your drum group so successful?
RW: I love the feeling that it gives people that warm healing and loving feelings. I love the feeling that it gives people that warm healing and loving feelings. The drum is so powerful. It gives me a feeling that I can never get anywhere else. It's indescribable and amazing Our songs and way of style and also our seniority is what makes us successful.
DK: So many folks look up to you and your drum, especially our youth. Any words of wisdom for our young people and those on the Powwow Higway? Do you encourage others to follow this path?
RW: Yes, it's a beautiful way of life and it keeps young people away from drugs and alcohol.
DK: Any other good reasons to enter the circle?
RW: It takes you places that are beautiful and you meet new people positive people and you learn respect.
DK: Wonderful! How do you think powwows help spiritually?
RW: It gives you humility hope faith and love.
DK: Humility comes before honor, right? One of our great virtues! What are some of your favorite powwow memories or highlights of your life on the powwow trail?
RW: Travelling with my family! My wife back up sings for us. Going to new places makes it like mini vacations every weekend. Winning big contest titles. Singing and travelling with my singing buddies. Meeting new people.
DK: Powwow life is delightful! And it has been delightful to learn from you! Anything else you want to tell us?
RW: I can do great presentations I'm a great presenter, I speak my language and I could really help any organization that wants to hire me with my knowledge. I can teach how to sing and how to act accordingly around the drum.
DK: Thank you so much for your music and for your time!
RW: Thank you very much and have a good day!
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