In the heart of winter came something unforeseen, unique and beautiful; it was the sound of a drum and the cry of a warrior. A nation had awoken.

I’m speaking of Idle No More, now a global movement. The songs at the peaceful demonstrations have captivated people worldwide, igniting a feeling of pride, purpose and excitement within the hearts of First Nations people.

The power of holding hands and moving forward with a common goal is profound. Throughout the world, people have been drawing inspiration from the movement in order to make positive changes for themselves and their communities.

After being inspired by Idle No More, one person from Mayo is hoping to give people an alternative to destructive lifestyles while reclaiming identity and culture.

Michelle Peter is a member of the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun. Her dream is to revive the traditional dance group that she was once part of and gain the recognition needed to attend First Nations gatherings such as the Moosehide Gathering in Dawson City and the Kamloopa Pow Wow in Kamloops, BC. The group will also add some excitement to the various community events by performing locally.

Peter has begun holding practices and writing proposals for funding to make her own regalia with the help of elders.

The reaction among community members has been extremely positive. There is a keen interest by the younger children to get involved. After beating a drum a few times, children were drawn to the sound and fascinated by it — a moment that was beautiful to witness.

Peter is determined to realize her dream of dancing in Kamloops this year at one of the largest pow wows in Canada. She has found the passion and excitement that every person needs in order to live a fulfilling life and she would like to thank Idle No More for providing her with that. Mussi Cho!

Peter would also like to thank her dance teacher, Hilda Clark for her mentorship. She encourages her people to find the inspiration needed to make real changes in their communities.

Dreams are within reach and a great way to start is with the beat of a drum.