Dancing the Way present “living parables”
On June 11, 2007, Jim and Jan Uttley traveled to Cass Lake, Minnesota, on the Leech Lake Reservation near Bemidji. My People International’s Dancing the Way was on their annual tour, making a stop at the Great River Pizzeria in Cass Lake. So they loaded up their van and with friend Emily Proulx, headed out from Winnipeg.
This Native dance ministry team, presents Native dances as a way of presenting the Good News of Jesus by illustrating scriptural truths as “living parables.”
Wiconi’s Jodi and Jacob Trevizo led the group. Jacob, Xumano/Mexicano, is a grass dancer. He explains the tradition behind the “Grass Dance.” It’s a re-enactment of, Native men on the plains stomped down the tall prairie grasses to prepare the land before setting up their tepees. Jacob shares in his testimony that his dance is a picture of preparing the way for Jesus to take up residence in broken people’s lives.
His wife, Jodi, Cherokee/Creek, is a beautiful Fancy Shawl or Butterfly dancer. Her dance illustrates how Jesus is the one who takes us from the cocoon of our old lives to new life in Jesus. She shares how we are free in Christ to dance and live an abundant beautiful life wherever He leads us.
Peter, Oji-Cree, a Native elder from Thunder Bay, dances his dance in his white and black regalia. He relates how he was one of the thousands of young Native children, who at a very young age was taken from his family and put into residential schools where he was severely mistreated, forced to deny who he was as an Indian. He was forced to assimilate into the white man’s ways. His depression from this trauma led him to alcohol.
One day, after many years of drinking, Peter came home to face his children. Looking into their eyes, he saw their fear and hatred.
That painful experience turned him around and set his feet on a new path. Through salvation in Jesus Christ, he was set free from alcohol. Jesus Christ’s love and forgiveness took him from bondage to freedom. God showed him he didn’t have to listen to the voices that said he couldn’t who he was created to be as a Native Christian.
As we dined on great pizza, we watched and listened to stories of hope and healing. We learned biblical truths.
They that wait on the Lord will soar above like an eagle and
see the glory of our majestic God hovering over His beloved.