Nakoda (Assiniboine), A’aniiih (Gros Ventre), and Sioux
Ha medog e ya be. Emagiya Owaga Wachebi. Hello my relatives, my name is Dances with Lights. My legal name is Taeshon Mirage Scheaffer. I am an enrolled member of the Nakoda tribe from Fort Belknap Indian reservation with Aaniiih and Sioux blood ties. I am 17 years old and will be a senior in high school. Art is a part of my culture, with my talents ranging from drawing, painting, sewing, regalia making, appliqué work, porcupine quillwork, and welding. I am a honor roll student and participate in volleyball, basketball, and tennis. Also I am a jingle dress dancer.
My painting is inspired by an Nakoda/Aaniiih encampment. When the sun goes down, the families go into their lodges and do Native games/story telling by firelight. In one lodge, a young girl is telling an oral story with use of her hands for profound effect. Storytelling/oral history is how our culture, traditions, and languages are passed on. In another lodge, two youth play stick game, in which memorization, counting, guessing, and friendly competition are the goals. Native games are the development of the mental skills/physical skills of our people in a cultural/spiritual family environment. I grew up with storytelling/Native games.