Ice sculpture, Dane-zaa Dreamers

I was honoured at this year’s High on Ice Festival in Fort-St-John, BC. with the privilege of designing and sculpting a First Nation piece. I didn’t know anything about who the local band was and any of their history. So I started to read about the Dane-Zaa people and learned a few things about their ways. As I read, one thing captured my attention right away…THE DREAMERS.

Here is an excerpt from the virtual museum website
Naache (Dreamers) are the Dane-zaa people who travel to Heaven in their dreams and bring back songs. The songs provide teachings, visions, and prophecies from the creator. The Dreamers share these songs with our people to guide us through our life on earth. Most of our dreamers gained their abilities only after dying and coming back to life; like the swans, Dreamers can fly to heaven and return to earth.

So the general idea with the piece was a tipi at the bottom with a beaver engraved on it as it is the symbol of the Dane-zaa people. The smoke is the dream with the drum and the dreamer, connecting to heaven with the swan.

Thanks to Pat Jansen who is the District Vice-Principal of the Aboriginal Education Centre in Fort St-john. She filled my everlasting ignorance about the world and some of it’s people.