Yellowbird Apache Hoop Dancers: bringing family together

It was a full house at Kwah Hall on the evening of July 14 as members of the community sat together in celebration.

  • Jul. 20, 2016 5:00 a.m.

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

It was a full house at Kwah Hall on the evening of July 14 as members of the community sat together in celebration of a successful Annual General Assembly.

And what better way to celebrate than through dance.

The featured entertainment came from the Yellowbird Apache Hoop Dancers.

The performers in their colorful traditional regalia with bells attached to their feet left the audience in awe as hoops were incorporated in their dance adding another level of skill and artistry.

A professional family dance company based out of Phoenix, Arizona, Yellowbird is an internationally renowned dance group under the direction of Ken Duncan, member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

The group has for over 30 years, brought the unique nature of native culture all over the world through their vast repertoire of songs, dances and stories to entertain audiences of all ages.

For Ken Duncan’s wife Doreen, it’s all about family being the centre of the world.

“If we want to change this world, it all begins at home, with the family,” she said.

And for Yellowbird, they certainly have been spreading this message all around the world.

Having had six sons and one daughter of their own, the couple who are now grandparents continue with their children to keep culture alive and to fascinate audiences through song, storytelling and dance.

Having travelled over 20 countries around the world they have won various dance championships.

They have performed for American embassies and consulates and have entertained American Peace Keeping Force and Allies at a NATO Military Base in Kosovo.

They have also performed at the London 2012 Olympics and entertained Lady Laura Bush and U.S. Presidents, jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, the Queen of Tonga and the Queen of Denmark.

But for Duncan, it’s a blessing to be able to perform to fellow Native Americans.

“When I came to Fort St. James, I didn’t know what Carrier was. It is amazing how similar we are. Even our language is similar. It is so important to keep this language alive, especially in our families,” Duncan said.

“It means so much to be here. Thank you for allowing our family to share and entertain for yours.”

For more information about Yellowbird visit: