Indigenous dancer calls performance for Pope ‘spiritual’

A world-renowned dancer from Saskatchewan who performed in front of the Pope on Friday in Rome called the moment “spiritual” and “very emotional.”

“It was an honour to be asked by Chief Bobby Cameron (of Witchekan Lake First Nation) to come and represent our people of Saskatchewan,” Kevin Haywahe told CTV National News’ Donna Sound in Rome. “It’s not only Saskatchewan, it’s even through Canada and the United States.”

After private meetings between Pope Francis and First Nations, Inuit and Metis delegates this week, all parties met the Pope at the Vatican on Friday, where the leader of the Catholic Church issued an apology for the church’s role in Canada’s residential school system.

During his dance, as well as a sunrise ceremony hosted outside the Vatican, Haywahe said he could feel the emotion from Pope Francis and other church leaders.

“We made eye contact, him and I, and I see it in him that he appreciated it, to learn of our ways,” Haywahe said.

He also said he was glad to be able to share more about Indigenous culture and dance after performing in the streets outside the Vatican to people visiting from around the world.

Watch the full interview with Haywahe in the video at the top of this article.

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