Translator (Innu-Aimun): Rose Gregoire
Interviewer: Franziska von Rosen
Place: Sheshashiu, Labrador
Franziska von Rosen: Could we start by you giving us your name and a bit of your background?
Kathleen Nuna: My name is Kathleen. I was born here in the “country” and I grew up in the “country” [Nitassinin]. My parents taught me in the country. There was no school when I was a little girl, until I was 20 years old.
FvR: Today we were doing some dancing. Was dancing part of your experience growing up?
KN: Yes, my parents took part in dancing in the country, at Christmas and at New Year’s, and at the feast nanatuakateskuakanu. We call that the Caribou makushan. We eat together the caribou in the country. In Sheshashiu we see the drum sometimes when someone gets married. He can use the drum here for that when we dance all night.
FvR: Do you have a dance then too at a wedding?
FvR: That would be similar to what we saw today?
FvR: How do you feel about dancing?
KN: I feel so happy because I did not go to dance like that when I was a girl. I love to drum dance. I love that.
FvR: What does it make you feel like?
KN: I feel like an Innu woman. I don’t feel like many here in Sheshashiu. I don’t [really] feel at home here. In the country I live in a tent. I feel different when I live in a house. I love to be in a tent.
FvR: Are there any special women’s dances or are all of the dances mixed?
KN: The special dances are in the country. My grandmother danced by herself beside my
grandfather’s drum. My grandmother did not go around in a circle; she just danced there [in one spot]. That was her special dance.
FvR: Is there a name in Innu-Aimun for that dance?
KN: I do not know.
FvR: Is there anything more you would like to say about dance?
KN: I tell my grandchildren how I love to dance to the drum. I do not know how to dance to that music rock ‘n’ roll, but drum dancing is beautiful.
FvR: Thank you very much, Kathleen. That was beautiful.
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