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Director’s Welcome

Welcome to another year of Kehewin Native Dance Theatre Performances and Workshops.  School performances, Festivals, Conferences and Pow-wows have taken us from Alberta to Ontario and south to Arizona. From Native to Non-Native audiences the receptions have been the same. Laughter, thunderous applause, Elders’ enthusiasm and support as well as future bookings have made this year one of our most successful!


Have a cup of java or some herbal tea and enjoy the 2018 Kehewin Native Dance Theatre Newsletter.


Rosa John

Artistic Director

Fall 2018-Eagle Song/Buffalo Tracks

In August/September we will be working on a new show with Cotee Harper, Beany John, Stryder Diabo-Tailfeathers, Melvin John and Rosa john.  The new show, EAGLE SONG/BUFFALO TRACKS will follow the story of a Winter Count writer who receives a song from an eagle that tells him to go in search of the Buffalo story.  The writer/artist does this following the instructions of the eagle who tells him to go to the people of the 4 directions who will give him a gift.  Once there, he learns about the power of the Crown dancers and their history.  He learns the traditional story of the disappearance of the buffalo into the mountain and the contemporary story of the railroad and its effects on the American Prairie Peoples.  He receives a gift of the buffalo robe upon which he will share his story and as he continues on his historical journey which leads him to the story of the horse and the Horse Dance.  He learns about the vision that led to the Horse Dance and is given another gift of horse hair.  Finally the young man returns to his home and while drawing out the story he is visited by the eagle that came to him before and realizes his story is now complete.  We are very excited about this project and the sharing of these stories and we feel that our audiences too will enjoy and learn from this collaboration.


Well, that’s all for now, see you next year!!!!

Summer 2018- Summer Dance Training Program

We are now gearing up to our Summer 2018 Dance Training Program which begins July 2 and ends with the Final Performance August 3.  We have 7 youth registered and expect this year’s show to be even more exciting than the last!!!  We will once again haveTony & Violet Duncan, Melvin, Rosa and Beany John doing the dance training with: øShana Pasapa coming in and doing a 1 day POW (power of women) martial arts training, Jameson Brant and Dawn Ireland as guest elders and Monique Diabo as training counselor. We hope to see everyone there at the Lyle victor Albert Centre at 7:00 PM!!!!

Spring 2018 March Ontario Tour

As difficult as it is to leave Arizona, it was time to head east and north to Ontario for the yearly March Tour of the Summer Dance Training show.  From March 16-22, 2018, Coral Houle-Dion, Caitlin Cardinal, Julion Watchmaker, Chloe Houle-Dion, Chance Kehewin and Jenika Shirt Flew to Toronto, rehearsed for 2 days and then toured the show to 7 communities, performing 9 times in 1week in Rama, Port Elgin, Owen Sound,  Kettle and Stoney Point FN, Trent University and Lakefield school.

Audiences were so impressed with the youth’s presence, performance and post-performance speaking abilities, that they were asked back next year without even knowing what the show would be about.  After a successful tour, the youth enjoyed a day of pow wowing and a day of sightseeing and shopping in Toronto.


A union with Shumka at the Jubilee Auditorium

During the Winter we were approached by the Shumka Ukrainian Dance Troupe to join them in a joint First Nations and Ukrainian dance show which they were working on all Winter.  The show would be presented April 27 and 28.  We were asked to present our performance of Eagle’s gift of Dance as part of their performance. 


The show was a profound success and our dancers Caitlin Cardinal, Melvin John, Kiera Quinney, Emry John, Jody John, Tyshae Badger, Julion Watchmaker, Violette Omeasoo and Rosa John thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Fall/Winter 2017

In the Fall and Winter we were back in Arizona helping with performances and workshops with Violet and Tony Duncan and their 4 delightful children.  Between Pow Wows and performances we had a busy Fall and it culminated with our Sedona New Years performances and storytelling.


Our winter was also busy, busy, busy and one of the funnest and memorable experiences was performing Trickster Stories and facilitating animal mask workshops with hundreds of youth and their parents.

Summer 2017 Summer Training Program

In the Summer of 2017 we had our Summer Training Program with 7  youth from the Kehewin, Frog Lake and Saddle Lake communities.  They trained for 6 weeks in both men and women’s styles of Pow Wow, Contemporary and Hoop Dance under the tutelage of Tony & Violet Duncan, Melvin, Rosa John and Beany John. They also took part in the costume creation under the expert facilitation of Jenny Blackbird.  Workshops and performance this year were all about the need to tell our stories.  The desperation of the people for the stories that attach us to our histories.

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Director's Welcome

Welcome to another year of Kehewin Native Dance Theatre.  Well, COVID-19 tried to get us down in 2020 and now again in 2021 with the 4th wave.  But guess what….we haven’t gotten low, Instead KNDT has grown!  After all our tours, festivals and performances were cancelled in March 2020, we were afraid our doors would have to close, but with emergency grants from CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS and the INDIGENOUS CURATORIAL COLLECTIVE, KNDT was able to pay salaries and explore alternative methods of performing, hosting workshops and training. We have gone online with most of the work and our storytellers have been working tirelessly sharing stories with schools, symposiums and festivals.  


So, sit back, relax and join us in reflecting on the last 2 years of KEHEWIN NATIVE DANCE THEATRE.  Stay safe and wear your masks, we wish you all Good Health and Happiness. 


Rosa John

Artistic Director

Spring 2020 KNDT Celebrated 30 years

In June 2020, KNDT celebrated 30 years of Dance, Theatre, Music and Storytelling, with an online festival.  We had performers from Canada, the US and Mexico.  Former trainees performed, Dancers that had danced with KNDT performed and spoke about their experiences as KNDT performers.  Musicians that have worked with KNDT since the beginning, in 1991, shared their stories of working with the Collective.


KNDT also received funding from the National Arts Centre to create a video surrounding the subject of Dancing On The Land.  The video included members of the the KNDT Collective who reside in Tiny Houses on the KNDT site, as well as those working in their own bubbles elsewhere.


Rosa John, our Artistic Director, shared hundreds of stories with audiences from Ontario to Alberta and all the way to Arizona online.  Creation stories, Hero stories and Trickster stories all came alive in Zoom classrooms, FB Live performances and corporate Zoom meetings.  KNDT is looking to once again go online with the storytelling shows in 2022. Stay Tuned!


Although we could not hold our regular Dance training in the Summer of 2020 or 2021, we received funding from Canada Council and Alberta Foundation for the Arts to host 2 amazing training programs; Tipi Teachings with Melvin John and Mistatim Teachings with Jody John


Melvin John, our Technical Director had the honour of sharing Tipi Teaching with 7 youth from Kehewin, Blood and Frog Lake First Nations.  The youth were amazing, Learning the cultural teachings of the 13 moons and raising a 24 foot tipi.

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