Growing up in a small community on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia, I was immersed from a young age in the practice of song and dance that had been passed down for countless generations. It was through this experience that I entered into a relationship with my ancestral memories. Today, as a dance artist, within a practice that interweaves many artistic disciplines, I have found a means to make a tangible connection with my ancestral lineage.
As Executive and Artistic Director for the Dancers of Damelahamid the work that I do is to ensure the continuation of what has been of such great importance to my parents and grandparents, and now to me. I treasure dance as the most significant inheritance I have from my ancestors and it will be a life journey to strive to develop the art form to its potential. For me dance, song and story have provided a protective environment to address the limitations placed on our Indigenous peoples and to create a healing space. Our bodies, our thoughts, our emotional attachments and our prayers are connected through the ceremony of dance. In our performances we are not only turning to our ancestral knowledge for our own reconciliation but we are sharing and supporting others through our art.
Artistic Director, Margaret Grenier