Summer Bear Dance Troupe

First Nations

The Summer Bear Dance Troupe focuses on educating and sharing aspects of the Aboriginal community with audiences. The Troupe performs dances such as the Grass Dance, the Traditional, the Fancy Feather and Shawl Dance, the Hoop Dance and the Jingle Dress, while acknowledging the different regions where the dances originated from. The regalia (clothing) of the dancers is usually handmade by the group and is customized for each dancer and carrying meaning for each individual.


Barbara Nepinak formed the Summer Bear Dance Troupe wanting to share the cultures of the Aboriginal community and has Ojibway, Cree, Assiniboine and Sioux tribes represented within the group. The name of the group originated from the original Ojibway name of Nepinak - "Neebin-ni-maqua" meaning Summer Bear. 

The Summer Bear Dance Troupe has traveled internationally to perform in places such as Australia, Brazil, the United States, Sweden and Taiwan. The Troupe has performed at many events including Folklorama, the 1999 Pan American Games and yearly at The Forks annual Summer Solstice Celebration.