Horse Dance

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 the University of Saskatchewan hosted a Horse Dance at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in conjunction with the family of the late Gordon Oakes Red Bear. All students, faculty, staff and members of the university community were invited to attend.

This was the final of four Horse Dances that were planned to prepare the university for the opening of the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre.

The Horse Dance is a ceremony to ask for good fortune, in this case for the students, faculty and staff of the U of S and the surrounding communities of campus.

What is a Horse Dance?

As a university, learning and exploration are among our core values, and in that spirit we encourage all to explore, ask questions and take comfort knowing that we are all learning together. 

The Horse Dance begins with pipe ceremonies for both women and men, followed by a traditional feast. After the feast, horses and riders will enter the area and the dance begins. Each of the singers present will complete a round of four songs.

When the dancing is complete the host has a gift giveaway, with recipients being called upon to come forward and accept the gift with a handshake. Those participating will then receive a ribbon that has been blessed.

To receive the strength of the horses, the host then leads a healing walk on the path the horses travelled. At the end of the ceremony, the Elders offer berries to be shared with everyone. 


For more information, please contact:
Candace Wasacase-Lafferty
Director, Aboriginal Initiatives