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(Many Paths)
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Regina Girl Prays For The World Through Social Media Jingle Dress Dance
by Creeson Agecoutay - Host of Indigenous Circle/Video Journalist, CTV News Regina

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 pandemic.

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 the healing.

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."

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