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Songs Of Spirit Reach Out Through Bars

Billy Brass

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JULY 1979      v09 n07 p39  
Songs of Spirit Reach Out Through Bars The Native Brotherhood of Sask. Pen. attained a degree of cultural recognition along its path of trials and aspirations. Today, it is the current INTER-TRIBAL SINGERS who project this on-going form of restoration! In short, they are the heartbeat of what Culture we hold inside a concrete jungle.

The INTER-TRIBAL SINGERS are Indian brothers who are determined individuals; They fell hard and for them prison signifys a time to think and to try and leave old haunts and habits upon their respective return to Society. They do this endeavor best by their practise of Traditional Pow-Wow singing on most evenings of the week out in the Prison yard. They are good and there's no doubt they will be a part of "Big Tops" and other functions one day out there in "Freedom" land. Inside the walls of this maximum security prison, they, obviously as well, provide the highlight of any workshop or function with outside guests. The practise sessions include continuous replays of Traditional songs from recorded L.P.'s their own progress from video-taped re-runs and so on!!

John Favel, a Cree of Poormans reserve, Sask. is the Lead Singer; Joe Campeau, a braided Saulteaux of Porcupine Plain, Sask. is the N.B.H. Pow-Wow Chief. The other singers are; King Bighead, Saulteaux of Nut Lake, Sask. (As well as the current President of N.B.H.); Ralph Bear, Cree of Little Pine Res.; Ralph Stonechild, Cree of File Hills, Sask.; Gabe Wolfe, Saulteaux of Muskowekwan Res. Sask.; Norbert Dumais and Vince Day Chief. Last but not least well deserved Cree/Saulteaux Singer from White Bear res., Steven Jimmy.

They naturally use a Traditional Drum, which was originally made in Alberta. This past spring two elders from the Regina Area came in, Bill Creely and George Mantee, to perform a Sacred Pipe Ceremony. At the same time they blessed the drum. Our grateful acknowledgements to them for that.

Prison is no place to be for anyone. Our intentions are NOT to praise prison - but merely to let you know, that, we are involved in some way in the continued growth of Cultural renaissance. As the drum beats and the INTER-TRIBAL SINGERS chant, it is a message delivered in the winds of Mother Earth's heart beat. Catch that message in the Sacred Winds of Creation because it is for you, all our brothers and sisters, Elders and Emphatically, for our children and little people who are the leaders of tomorrow's Sun-rise!

In Spiritual Harmony
Billy Brass - Indian Artist