Beatrice Twance-Hynes is a Thunder Bay Ontario based Ojibwe singer-songwriter from Biigtigong First Nation (formerly Pic River).
She wrote “Indian Chief’s Daughter” in 1971 when she was 15 in Grade 10, a time when she had thought her people had lost most of their culture due to the coming of the white people and the song she wrote expressed her sadness and grief. Although she saw hunting, fishing and trapping, and women making crafts, she never saw any drums, ceremony or powwows while growing up. It wasn’t until she was 17 that she first heard the beat of the grandfather drum and saw the Richard Lyons Dance Troup in their regalia. Her spirit was so happy and forever touched!
Bea got her first hand-drum which she named “Spirit” in 1999 and was drawn to learn the Bear Song, later to find out she is Bear Clan.
With money she received from a Bingo Hall Jackpot in 2017, she decided to use the winnings to make a dream come true to record her own cd, in honour of her dad, called - Indian Chief’s Daughter (White Horse Spirit Woman), which was launched in May 2018.
Bea wrote 3 of the 13 songs in her cd – (1) Indian Chief’s Daughter (she wondered whether she should change Indian to Indigenous, but decided not to as that is part of her history, our history as Indigenous people); (2) Ziigwanens (Little Spring) written in 2005 for her daughter April, which came to her during her third fast; and (3) Medicine Wheel Journey, a song she prayed for during her first fast in 2002. She offered tobacco in prayer for guidance and direction to come up with melodies for – (4) The Light of God, a prayer found on a plaque on one of the Apollo missions, Bea in song changed the word God to Yaaway, Great Spirit, Creator and Gi-chi Manitou which are other words for God; (5) In Flander’s Fields, a poem written by Lt. Col. John McCrae in 1915, Bea in 2011 wanted to share this poem in song and added a chant to honour our Indigenous men and women warriors who went to fight in the wars, those that lost their lives, those that returned wounded spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally; and the (6) Native Grieving Prayer, a prayer she found so beautiful, that she wanted to share it in song for those grieving the loss of loved ones to remind them that they are still with us when we think of and are reminded of them; as a youth, Bea remembers the elders singing songs in church while her dad, Charles played the organ and she wanted to honour them by recording a couple hymns – (7) Noosinaan Giizhigong – Our Father and (8) Kii Kitchi-zaagii’in – I Have Great Love For You; and to record some of the songs she has learned along the drumming trail – (9) Creation Song, (10) Nibiwaaboo-Water Song, (11) Owe Giidaakiimnaan – This is Our Land (a song she learned from her Aunt Myra), (12) Ancestor’s Song, and (13) O Canada (our version of O Canada, translated by her mentor, Freda McDonald, who went back to the spirit world in January 2018.
Bea has sung to open meetings and conferences, at ceremonies, at drum-circles and drum-making events, at church, at funerals, at weddings, at schools; at long-term care homes; and uses her drum when she shares teachings; and graduations (she sang at her husband’s grad in 2014), and at her grandchild’s baptism and spirit name giving ceremony; and most recently (Nov. 4, 2018) while proudly wearing her white traditional regalia, sang her rendition of “In Flander’s Fields” at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium for the 100th Year Anniversary Commemoration of the end of WW1 and Thunder Bay as the City of the Poppy.
- 2019 Best Hand Drum Album for Indian Chief's Daughter
Indian Chief's Daughter
"Creation Song" from Indian Chief's Daughter
"Ziigwanens - Little Spring (April's Song)" from Indian Chief's Daughter