Pa­trick Mit­su­ing

Teach­ing the world about Indige­nous cul­ture, song and dance

Say Magazine - - PROFILE - Loon Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada

Pa­trick Mit­su­ing is Cree from Makwa Sah­gaiehcan First Na­tions in Treaty 6 Ter­ri­tory. He is a proud hus­band to Mar­risa Mit­su­ing and a fa­ther of four chil­dren.

Mit­su­ing is a well-known name on the pow wow trail - he is a world cham­pion pow wow dancer known for his ath­leti­cism and en­durance. He has achieved a num­ber of ac­co­lades dur­ing his 18 years of danc­ing, trav­el­ling all over North Amer­ica and win­ning nu­mer­ous cham­pi­onships, in­clud­ing plac­ing in the Gath­er­ing of Na­tions Pow­wow (Canada) and qual­i­fy­ing in the In­dian Na­tional Fi­nals Pow­wow (United States). Just last month Mit­su­ing earned the ti­tle of 1st Place Cham­pion of the Nel­son “Su­gar­bear” Shog­nosh Me­mo­rial Show­down at the Grand River Cham­pion of Cham­pi­ons Pow Wow held at Chiefs­wood Park, Six Na­tions, On­tario, Canada. He might not ad­mit it if you ask him, but Mit­su­ing has won al­most every ma­jor pow wow ti­tle in Canada and reg­u­larly places in world cham­pion events.

Mit­su­ing was raised by his aun­ties and un­cles on the reser­va­tion and was first in­tro­duced to pow wow danc­ing when he was 13 years old by his un­cle Roy. From then on, Mit­su­ing was hooked. “I love the chal­lenge and thrill of this very tough dance,” said Mit­su­ing. “Fancy danc­ing has gifted me with a lot. I travel to places I would have never been oth­er­wise, I’ve met very cool peo­ple from all over the world, and when I have younger ones ex­cited to meet me, I know I’m af­fect­ing peo­ple in a good way.” Dance is a pos­i­tive way of life for Mit­su­ing and his fam­ily. “It keeps us healthy and learn­ing our cul­ture.”

They say that every dancer tells a story and you can tell by their danc­ing where they’ve come from. As a youth Mit­su­ing ex­celled in track and field and loved to break­dance. Mostly known for danc­ing the Fancy War Dance, ev­i­dence of Mit­su­ing’s ath­letic back­ground can be seen in his danc­ing, from cart­wheels to flips and other moves found only in break­danc­ing.

Mit­su­ing is also an en­trepreneur, a pub­lic speaker and a youth role model. A few years ago, he cre­ated a non-profit me­dia com­pany called Pow­wow Times with the goal of re­vi­tal­iz­ing Indige­nous lan­guage and pro­mot­ing healthy liv­ing through Indige­nous cul­ture and de­col­o­niza­tion. Mit­su­ing now ded­i­cates much of his time to shar­ing cul­ture and dance with com­mu­ni­ties all over western Canada.

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