He Can Fancy Dance

Cindy Paul:  He Can Fancy Dance

Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda

Photographs:  "Now he can fancy dance."

artist:  Cindy Paul

songwriter:  Cindy Paul

released:  2015 by Cindy Paul

Cindy Paul grew up in Fort Vermilion, Alberta, a young girl of Metis/Cree ancestry.  As a teen, she discovered the power of combining her voice with a guitar. By fifteen, she was composing her own songs, and at twenty-one, she walked into a studio, paid for an hour session, and walked out with her first demo. 

This began a lifelong friendship with Barry Allen at Homestead Recorders and Cindy Paul's dream of recording her own songs. In 2001, Cindy completed her first full-length album produced by Gord Matthews and Barry Allen at the Homestead studio in Edmonton, Alberta, which featured a track written in 1990 inspired by a Residential School survivor called He Can Fancy Dance. In the spring of 2015, a video of He Can Fancy dance was shared over a million times on social media, propelling The official release of This Northern Girl for international sale. It landed Cindy a nomination at the Native American Music Awards for Best Folk Recording. 

Paul uses her original compositions and voice for many causes that she believes in, such as the Stolen Sisters and Brothers Awareness Walk at Edmonton City Hall.   Her passion has led her to Residential School education and awareness events. 

Cindy's song and video of He Can Fancy Dance is used throughout North America in many Residential School awareness presentations, cultural sensitivity training sessions for various government agencies, community organizations, health care providers, schools, blanket exercises, traditional parenting workshops, and has recently been added as a resource to the Alberta Teachers' Association Professional Learning Pebbles Guide for Indigenous education for staff and students. 

Cindy is an advocate for health & healing through natural therapies, traditional medicines, music, art, and cultural teachings. Cindy is deeply connected to her Indigenous roots, and it shines through in every breath and beat. She truly believes in educating and healing through art and music and her compositions echo the sentiment of never softening your conviction to make others socially comfortable. With her distinct lyrical metaphors of love bitten with honesty, her passion for sharing her northern stories, and her unique neo-folk style sound, Cindy Paul has taken flight into airwaves worldwide.