Residential Schools. Our country continues to unveil their truth. The atrocities. The loss of culture. The loss of self. The loss of family. The reality around this and the location of lost graves brought on pause and reflection going into our shoot at Dakota Dunes Resort, just outside of Saskatoon on National Indigenous People’s Day. We partnered with Tourism Saskatoon in filming a drum and dance performance by Donnie Spiedel’s Buffalo Boy Productions.
Before the performance, we were given the opportunity to spend time with the dancers, dressed in their traditional and often sacred clothing, accessories, and artifacts. And for the first time for Sik Pics, we took part in a smudge ceremony that included smudging our photo, video, and audio gear. It was moving. We felt clarity in our intentions, energetically cleansed and invited positive energy into our roles that night.
The performance was expressive, visually stunning, honest and filled with Donnie’s welcome sense of humour. A dream come true when capturing photo and video content. These dances and stories have been here for thousands of years, and we take great interest in learning and understanding each other better. And to do our best to present this in the visual story we were there to help create.
When Donnie spoke about what their performance offers, he said, ‘it resonates with you. It ignites something in you. If you come with an open mind and allow yourself to experience this, you’re going to go home thinking it was good use of your time, that it’s another enhancement, enrichment to yourself as a human’.
We couldn’t have said it better. We walked away from this shoot on National Indigenous People’s Day, deeply impacted and enriched by the entire experience. This photo and video shoot is one we will never forget.