Jingle Dress tee

  • Jingle Dress tee


Image is of our very own jingle dress dancer Brianna Olson-Pitawanakwat (co-founder of Native Arts Society)

A little backstory behind the Jingle dress dancer pictured on the orange shirts. The image comes from an original portrait by Nehiyaw photographer taken in treaty 6. The model is Bri who co-lead of Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction and co-founder of Native Arts society. Brianna is an Anishinaabekwe Jingle dress dancer from Wiikwemkoong unceded First Nation.

The Jingle dress is a healing dress that came from the Anishinaabek people, specially Whitefish Bay First Nation. It is a Healing dance that came to our people through a dream. It emerged during a time similar to now, during the Spanish flu pandemic that ravaged our Nations at the beginning of last century. The Healing dance was and still is a part of our healing medicine today, and a symbol of our Nationhood and resilience.

The image stands as a testament to the strength, fortitude and resurgence of our people despite the devastating impacts of colonization and the attempted eradication of our people thru ongoing genocide. The dancer, Brianna, is a inter generational survivor of residential schools whose mother attended Indian day schools and whose grandmother was forced to attend Spanish residential school. This dance and many of our cultural practices were banned in this country until about the 1960’s.

So many of our relatives who struggle and suffer with poverty and the impacts of trauma on the streets of Toronto faced abuse at the hands of these schools. It is our honour to come to them weekly to offer ceremony and healing with the jingle dress dance, other dances and the sacred medicines. They continue to carry the songs, language and teachings themselves despite the forced and systematic assimilation they faced.

We hope that the orange shirts/hoodies with the image of the Jingle dress dancer remind us all of the healing and resurgence we are entitled to as Indigenous peoples. And remind the rest of this country of their responsibility to remember and put an end to their false supremacy over these lands and waters and their own complicity in the ongoing genocide this country perpetuates.

We are still here. Pane, forever. ✊🏽♥️