My family dances to the rhythm and beat of the drum, as I sing into the crowd, I feel my ancestors smiling. As we sing, our voices are in unison, and we become closer to who we are supposed to be. 
As First Nation’s people, we are blessed that we can communicate through our song and dance, from whatever height of mind and depth of heart we choose. We can articulate our Native Spirit eloquently by dressing in our regalia and headdresses and dancing to the rhythm of the drums.

Our dance group is comprised of only family members. Our name is SGáan Jáad T’ak’anláng, (Descendants of Killer Whale Lady). Killer Whale Lady was my Great-Grandmother, Nora Cogo.

We had the opportunity to dance at several schools throughout this week for the celebration of Elizabeth Peratrovich. Mrs. Peratrovich was a Native Leader of the Tlingit nation. She was an important civil rights activist who worked on behalf of equality of Alaskan Natives. She was credited with advocacy that gained the passage of the territory’s Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945, the first anti-discrimination law in the United States.

Dancing with my family; watching my husband and kids dance and sing gives me new hope for our future. I’ve always loved my culture and felt whole while learning about it but have been distant for years. I’m so thankful that now, instead of struggling to find myself while alone, I am finding who I am with my husband beside me and our kids dancing in front of me. We are surrounded by our Nana’s, Chinaa’s, aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters, daughters, and sons.

For our children’s sake we must continue to dance, for each movement is a strand in the larger web of who we are: the pattern of our lives.
Hawsan dang hl kingsang (Until we meet again)



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