HELENA — Pow wows in the Native American culture are more than singing and dancing - they’re also healing through storytelling while gathering as friends.
Tracy KickingWoman says her son Harlan KickingWoman has been dancing since he was 18-months old while his father George KickingWoman sang to him.
The songs themselves are not simply lyrics, but stories from their ancestors that are used to heal, and also educate future generations about the past.
"We just keep our kids going because they are our tomorrow. It's really good to keep your kids involved in that, for Native American people," said Tracy KickingWoman.
Summer weekends for the KickingWoman family were filled with pow wow events. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gathering in person wasn't realistic due to social distancing. So songs, dances, and pow wows went virtual.
"The video it was good; we accepted it, it was different, but we knew people were watching," said Kicking Woman.
She said she hopes in the future they will be able to gather again with friends, cousins and family once again in the pow wow circle.
"Probably have more of a meaning and probably be more powerful from being on video and then transitioning back into the pow wow circle, it would probably be like we never left," Kicking Woman added
As for her son, he says dancing and singing with his dad makes him feel good because he feels it is healing.
George and Harlan did get a chance to perform for the All Nations Health Center N8VZ last month in Missoula. The father and son team took top marks in the group performance category.