An Ile des Chenes woman is using her newfound love of jigging to show her support for Indigenous people.
During the spring, Janessa Roy started watching a YouTube video with her students of someone jigging. Instantly falling in love with the dance and being inspired by the woman doing it, she decided to give it a go. Roy is not Indigenous and says her family has strong ties with the Abenaki people in Quebec.
"I think it is huge that I live in Manitoba. Even though my ancestors have lived in Quebec for hundreds of years, they chose Saskatchewan and then they chose Manitoba. So just being in the home of the Metis Nation, what a wonderful way to learn about this beautiful culture."
On Monday, Roy will be jigging on a small bridge on Ile des Chenes' outskirts and live streaming.
"I can hardly wait for Monday to come. I am going to pack up my dance bag, grab shoes and my skirt, and I've got a nice big speaker and orange balloons and a beautiful flag," Roy says. "I really wanted to something super impactful."
Balloons are Roy's signature, as last year she used them to spread positive messages around her town. She is hoping her dancing shows her own heart for Residential School Survivors and the families who lost children to the schools.
"It is just heavy. My hope is that I can acknowledge and respect (that) while at the same time give people hope. The songs are lively, they are happy. I really hope that I could just give people hope."
When she told others of her plans, Roy was welcomed.
"I have had nothing but positivity and welcoming. (It's been) just supportive. It has been so awesome. Every time I talk about it I just get so many goosebumps because I am so grateful and excited."
Roy says she has gotten the help of instructors over the spring who taught her how to jig.