We are a Mi’kmaq powwow group that go by the name of Stoney Bear. We originally went by the “Akutiek Singers” which means“we are related”. We have held onto our language and the teachings that come with the ancestry of our people. Powwow and singing has became a way of life for us. It has given us the opportunity to come together and find common ground in the name of song and celebration. Our group consists of Michael R. Denny, Sulian Denny, Pasamay Doucett, Cyril Julian, Frederick Knockwood, Derrick Paulette, Cyril Julian, Steven Julian, J. R Isadore*, Julian Wells* and Leo Marshall Jr. (*not present during recording) Although we powwow throughout eastern Canada and the states, our home roots are Eskasoni, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Here, the song of the big drum was introduced to us by Mike Doucette. He is an elder, who gave us the teachings of honoring and conducting ourselves around the drum. Also, John Richard Sylliboy taught us contemporary/northern song. We say Wela’liek to both these men. Without their dedication and help we would not exist as we do today…
Akutiek – We Are Related
We were asked to sing the Mi’kmaq Honour song for the Residential School survivors at a home powwow… 2 push-ups into the song, we felt the need to cry, we continued to sing, while the survivors danced around the arena.
Our mothers, father and grandparents went to the Residential School in Shubenacadie, NS. After we sang, as in our traditional way, some of the survivors came to the drum with offering of tobacco. It was a moment in our healing, and a memory that will forever stay with us.
We would like to thank the many maritime drum groups that have helped us along the way… Our elders Mike Doucette, Clark Paul, Vincent Marshall for teaching us the way of the drum… Our families for traveling the miles with us and our home communities for always supporting us!