If you have been to a Ranch Ehrlo Society powwow, then you most likely have seen or met Jerry Shephard. Jerry has been a staple at our annual powwow from the very beginning.
Initially, Jerry heard about our powwow through a member of the community whose child was a participant at Ranch Ehrlo. His curiosity was piqued upon learning that everyone was welcome, and he decided to come see for himself.
Hayley Maurer, Ranch Ehrlo principal, said, “When Jerry arrived at the powwow our first year, I was so taken by him. He has an aura about him when dressed in full regalia. Every year following I looked for him, hoping he would be back, and he hasn’t disappointed.”
Jerry is Nakota-Cree, originally from White Bear First Nation, which is located north of Carlyle, Saskatchewan. His traditional name is kane-a-mis-tim which means dancing black horse.
After travelling across Saskatchewan and living in various places, Jerry soon made Regina his home. He welcomed five children, three girls and two boys, having now been blessed with seven grandchildren in total. Jerry is a very talented artist, and we hope to have some of his work up at Ranch Ehrlo very soon.
Powwow has always been an important part of Jerry’s life. He began his dancing journey at the age of five and gradually worked his way up to dancing men’s traditional and earning the right to wear the eagle feather. Powwow has taken Jerry as far as Ӧdeshӧg, Sweden where he spent 10 weeks each year dancing from 2004-2017 at High Chaparral amusement park.
“Powwow is a healing dance, it heals your body, mind, and soul,” expressed Jerry.
Powwow dances are beautiful expressions of Indigenous spirituality, history, and culture. Ranch Ehrlo Society is grateful to have our annual powwow each year and honour the culture and history of our Indigenous staff, participants, and members of the community. It is important we all work together on this journey towards truth and reconciliation.
Jerry has seen a lot of changes at our Ranch Ehrlo powwow over the years, expressing his amazement with our diverse crowd, growing attendance, and large committee involvement. He is continually impressed with the organization and number of activities we offer from face painting and carnival games to snacks and supper.
“The powwow committee and staff make it a very warm and welcoming environment. The fire is always burning with a place to sit and relax, there is always someone to help you find what you need and something for everyone to do,” stated Jerry.
As Jerry reflected on the event, he believed this was the first powwow that he had participated in that His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, and Her Honour Donna Mirasty attended.
Having become one of the many faces of Ranch Ehrlo’s powwow, and forming meaningful friendships with staff, participants, and members of the community, Jerry is often recognized and asked when the next Ranch Ehrlo powwow will be and if dancers or drummers are needed.
His message to the community is that the powwow at Ranch Ehrlo is open to all, respectful, and always a day to remember!
“I love your powwow,” said Jerry.