Felicia Lobster Dancer, Teacher & Artisan
Hello, my name is Felica Lobster, also known as Wasaskotenam in Cree - “woman who lights darkness”. Felicia’s family originates from Nisichiwayashik Cree Nation, but she was born and practically raised in Portage la prairie/Oakville, MB. When she grew older her family would eventually move and settle in Thompson, MB. “I grew closer to my work and culture when I moved to Thompson, and it gives me access to a lot of land resources. A lot of my art is self-taught and handed down to me from my grandmother, and her teachings.”
Felicia is a talented indigenous dancer and aspiring artisan. Her main focus is jingle dress dancing but currently, she is working on her fancy shawl dance. She also creates all types of artwork such as beadwork, sewing regalia, ribbon skirt, hairstyles, and various paintings. She is most proud of the hand drums that she can create out of deer hyde and cedar wood. Cedar wood is a very important plant for many tribes, it is associated with prayer, healing, dreams, and protection against disease. Felicia feels proud of her drum creations because she feels as if it connects her to her culture, her spirit, and her heartbeat. “Thompson and the surrounding area have a lot of natural resources off the land and that’s where we get our inspiration from, for example, the deer hide for the drums, we use resources like animals for everything from food to clothing to music so as to not waste any part of it”.
She finds a lot of inspiration from her community and the people that most inspire her are the elders who fought for this land and who were once unable to practice dance or their culture and ceremonies due to colonialism. Her goal is to continue their legacy so that it is never lost again. Most of her artistic work is shown through her dance performances. When she gets on stage, she hopes to inspire people to keep Indigenous culture alive and to pass along these teachings to the young ones. “My children inspire me the most and teaching them new things every day is what keeps me strong and creative”.
Felicia would love to teach people inside and outside of her culture that many people today still have lived experiences tied to residential schools, or are themselves, residential school survivors. Felicia hopes that Thompson will create a trading post or art center where we can interact and share materials. Currently, she relies on meeting like-minded people in the community via word of mouth and social media networking. Her future goals as an artist are to hold workshops in dance and to teach others in and outside of her culture.