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Celebrate Lily Daniels-Biography

Sue Deranger

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JUNE 1997      SPECIAL POWWOW ISSUE v27 n02 p12  
Lily Daniels The name Lily Daniels symbolizes kindness, caring, generosity and a helping hand. Lily is known for many of her great contributions to the First Nations community in Saskatchewan, especially to the Powwow circle.

Lily was born on the Gordon's Reserve, although she is a member of the Kawacatoose Band. She spent many years in a Residential School and worked hard all over Southern Saskatchewan as a young woman.

Lily moved to Regina in the early 1960s. Once there, she raised her 6 children: Gary, Kevin, Lyle, Leanne, Lisa and Allan, as well as contributing to the Regina community. She was actively involved with the Regina Native Women's Association at the onset of this organization. She helped established their first Day Care Centre and went on to work at the Regina Native Women's Girl's Treatment Centre.

Lily always had a commitment to young girls and women. She lost her mother at a very young age. Lily never wanted other young girls and women to feel as lonely as she did as she was growing up. She has definitely filled the lives of many people. Lily has helped them find themselves and to always know they had a "kookum, mother, sister, auntie," and a friend in her.

For many years Lily had reoccurring dreams of a group of girls dancing Powwow and a shawl with a rainbow and a teepee painted on, it. Although, Lily had organized a Powwow troupe for the Regina Native Women's Association, she finally acted on her dream and created the Rainbow Fancy Dancers in the early 1980s. The dancers in this group all wore shawls with a rainbow and a teepee painted on them. She worked night and day to make her dream and her Dance Troupe a reality. She spent her own time, money, and energy on these dancers. Lily sewed their dresses herself; drove the dancers to performances around the city, province, and outside of Saskatchewan. Sometimes Lily did this virtually on her own. Lily's name became synonymous with the Rainbow Fancy Dancers.

Lily not only worked with her dancers, she also helped other people and organizations form dance groups. She helped young people become involved in dancing and sponsoring Powwows at Connaught School, Sacred Heart, Herchmer, the Core Ritchie Centre, the Circle Project, the Provincial Correctional Centre and the Albert Library - to name a few.

Lily does not only teach dancing, she teaches people about their culture, their traditions and their values. She makes sure her dancers know who they are and have pride in themselves. Lily makes sure her dancers "walk their walk."

Lily is not only active with her dancers. She is also active in the community. She gives talks at many agencies such as the Foster Parent Association; and she cooks for many feasts and gatherings. She counsels anyone that comes to her for help, and she is always there for those who need her. Most of all Lily is found giving hope, inspiration and faith to many of her people and especially the youth.

Lily is vibrant, cheerful, and an essential part of the Saskatchewan First Nations community. Lily's smiling face, caring, kind and generous attitude makes her a welcome sight at all Powwows and social gatherings.

Saskatchewan residents are lucky to have someone like Lily in their midst.