by Betty Bardswich
M’CHIGEENG— There was a great deal of energy at Lakeview School on August 28 as the electronic music artist Joshua DePerry of Classic Roots rocked the gym along with The Outer Spacerz and a local performer for Pow-Wow Electro Bounce.
Mr. Deperry is a producer, disc jockey and dancer who was at Lakeview school for the week to do cardio and dance moves with the students. He was originally from Thunder Bay and now lives in Toronto and was one of the aboriginal groups to open the recent Pan Am games.
Lakeview literary resource assistant Candi Kaiser organized the event with partners M’Chigeeng Family Resources, M’Chigeeng Community Support and youth workers Eyndil Corbiere and Cher Panamick-Ense as well as Rob Migwans.“We came at midnight to set up the stage,” Ms. Kaiser said, “and it was so much fun.” Ms. Kaiser is the powwow group head at Lakeview, which has 17 members including her son Shade, a grass dancer. He told the Expositor that he has been dancing since he could walk and that he dances at powwows and explained that the group has fun and also does different things such as talent shows and the Lakeview powwow.
The concert at the school started with singing by Grade 5 student Katryna Bebonang who entertained the audience with the Johnny Cash songs ‘Ring of Fire’ and ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ with great stage presence. “I like singing,” Katryna said, “and I joined the powwow group because I like dancing.” She was followed by Mr. DePerry and his friend David Mooney, who drove up from Toronto especially for the Lakeview event. Mr. DePerry explained that he teaches kids powwow dance and urban movement and also talks to them about his life being a drug and alcohol-free Native man. He recently finished the Live Free Live Righteous concert at the Fort William Historical Park in Thunder Bay for fighting racism, hatred and bullying and stated that “we have to try to keep everyone saying, we are all in this together.”
According to Mr. DePerry, the electronic dance music that he is proficient at came out some years ago and includes house dance, tropical dance, electro house, Melbourne bounce and several other genres. Mr. Mooney is part of the Outer Spacerz group, and like Mr. DePerry, is high energy and does electronic vocals and DJ music and had the gym rocking.
“Initially,” Ms. Kaiser said, “we were just going to do a dance, but then said, ‘let’s do a concert, how awesome would that be?’ So we called ourselves Pow Wow Electro Bounce and put a Bluetooth speaker outside and invited everyone in.”