REGINA -- Eight year-old Mimikwas Healy from the Cowesses First
Nation, along with her mother, Rebecca Agecoutay have been staying
at home in Regina and watching the developments of COVID-19 closely.
On Wednesday, under the guidance of her mother, Healy decided to
take part in a call out on Facebook for jingle dress dancers to
pray and dance for their First Nation and the world during the COVID-19
She recorded a short video in their front yard and she started
the video by saying, "I am dancing for the protection and healing
of our nation. I invited you to do the same."
"She's been dancing since she was a year and half and she's always
been able to comprehend that her dancing is healing for others.
She's also a representative of our First Nation, she's the Cowessess
Junior Powwow Princess for this year," said Agecoutay.
"I think it's important for her to be a role model and to encourage
youth to promote positivity, especially during this time with the
pandemic and a lot of anxiety in the world."
In First Nations culture, there are various dance styles in powwow
and each style has its own unique significance, symbolism and spirituality.
The jingle dress dance is a healing dance for those who need it.
"It made me feel good because I helped other people. I dance hard
to lift up their prayers," said Healy.
"The jingle dress provides healing for those who can't necessarily
send out those strong prayers for themselves. When she's dancing
the jingles send the prayers out to those that are sick, those who
can't walk, the babies and the elders and the disabled. Whoever
needs prayers and healing at that time," added Agecoutay.
Jingle dress dancers of all ages from various parts of North America
have been making videos of healing throughout the week.
For Healy, her video has now been view almost 20,000 times and
shared by people in Mexico, Israel, Greece, Japan and Australia.
Indigenous men are also answering the call with some men's grass
dancers joining in and posting videos on social media to help with
Agecoutay says before she was born, she knew her daughter always
had the ability to heal others.
"Her name, Mimikwas which in Cree means butterfly. Butterflies
have always been bringers of positivity and hope and great change
and she continues to live up to her name in that way."