For Immediate Release
September 13, 2021
Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation, Treaty 6 – The Creeland Dancers released the following statement today on news of the passing of former long-time Creeland Dancer, Reed Nitawokiwinow:
“He led the Creeland Dancers to the Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, to the Atlantic Ocean in Prince Edward Island, and all across this vast country we call home.
He led the Creeland Dancers to countless square dancing competition wins, to jamborees and festivals near and far, and entertained thousands upon thousands of people all across our territories.
We recall being young dancers – the ‘toe tappers’ – watching Reed Nitawokiwinow (the lead dancer of the senior group) dance with his partner Tamara. They danced with grace, poise, and effortlessness, and he led his group with dignity, energy, determination, and always laughter.
We remember watching the senior group win competition after competition and wondering if we would ever be able to dance as good as they did. Just a few years ago, after some gentle coaxing, Reed and his dancing partner Tamara danced for for their last time together to honour our late mooshum Ken.
Even though he was sick, he dusted off his shoes, probably quickly prayed for some energy, patted his knees, and gave it one last kick at the can. He danced to honour our late mooshum Ken, and bowed his head with love to our kookum Therese. Our hearts beamed with pride at the sight of this old timer getting on the dance floor to lead his group one last time. We all knew we had witnessed something incredibly special. One of our current dancers remarked after dancing with those old vets that dancing with them was somehow ‘different‘, that there was something special about how they danced… and she was right.
Sadly, Reed’s journey here on Earth, and his courageous battle with cancer have come to an end.
When he last danced that evening he exclaimed to us in passing “boy I wish I could dance like you guys do!”
No Reed, it is us who wish we could dance like you.
On behalf of our founder Therese Seesequasis, and all Creeland Dancers past and present, we extend our deepest condolences to late Reed’s children, his mom Lorette, and the entire Gamble/Nitawokowinow family. We also offer special condolences to those fortunate Creeland Dancers who had the honour and privilege of performing with such a great dancer.
Please say hello to Mooshum Ken for us as you dance your way to those pearly gates. Your legacy with the Creeland Dancers will never be forgotten, and you will forever be missed.”
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