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Jingle dancer hopes to help heal the world

Nine-year-old Serenity Wapass-Large loves "dancing to the songs and hearing the beat of the drums"
Serenity Wapass-Large
Serenity Wapass-Large, 9, is a jingle dancer from Saddle Lake. She says she dances to help heal the world.

SADDLE LAKE – With measures in place restricting the size of gatherings, and many communities in a state of emergency, nine-year-old Serenity Wapass-Large has taken to social media to share her message, and do her part.

Serenity, whose Cree name is sipihko acahak kamamak, is from Saddle Lake.

"I am a jingle dress dancer. During the summer I travel to different pow-wows and I have been dancing since I was two years old," says Serenity. "I love dancing to the songs and hearing the beat of the drums. It really brings me joy and happiness. I feel good when I have my jingle dress on."

On April 5, Serenity's mom Lakota Large, posted a video online, showing her daughter dancing outdoors on a road.

"I chose to dance jingle as it is also known as a prayer dress. It's considered to bring healing to those who are sick," explains Serenity. "My feather fan is also my guide to assist me and my prayers to those who need it."

She adds, "I know what is happening in the world, and I'm glad I can help people in this time of need. I dance along with all the other dancers all over the world to help heal the world from this COVID-19. I pray for all you and your families to stay safe and healthy."

The nine-year-old also offers some simple advice that everyone can adhere to: "Wash your hands."

Serenity says she is proud to represent her late kokum Amanda Large, through dance. Her kokum's love for the jingle dress dance was phenomenal, she says.

Serenity also thanks her chapans (great-grandparents) Louise Large and Ross Bull for their support and showing her the ways. She is also thankful to her kokum and mosom (grandparents) Sheila Poitras and Derrick Dustyhorn, for their time and commitment in taking her on the pow-wow trail. And of course, her mom Lakota, and her dad Tj Wapass continue to support their daughter in her love of dance.

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Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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