Bear Fox – Performer
Bear Fox, Mohawk (Wolf Clan)
IN HER OWN WORDS:
Shekon Sewakwekon, (Greetings everyone)
My name is Theresa “Bear” Fox, my Mohawk name is Kenkiohkoktha, and I am of the Wolf Clan. My Mohawk name means I am “at the back of a crowd of people” or I am “the end of a long line of people”. I have five children and I am married to Sky Fox. My oldest is a girl and I have four boys.
I was born into a big family. There are eight boys, six girls and I am the youngest. My Mother and Father were hard-working. They made sure we were always provided for. They always made sure we had a table full of food and clean clothes to wear. We didn’t have a lot of money, but I didn’t feel that we had to go without anything. I always felt like we were rich, because I was so happy and I always felt loved. We always looked out for one another, and at times my sisters were like my Mothers too. I try and raise my children with the same family values. I taught them to take care of each other. I taught them to respect their elders and to take pride in who they are. I encourage them to learn our language and culture so they can teach their young ones someday. My goal is to raise good mothers and fathers. I live in Akwesasne, and I love our community. I especially love how our people care for one another. If someone is going through hard times, the community comes together for a fundraiser and a lot of support. I always try to do my best to help out when I can.
I always loved music, and I realized later that I had a gift for songwriting around the age of 29. When I look back and think about it, I always had this beautiful gift, but I didn’t realize what I had. I remember when I was riding the bus to school I could hear music coming to me. I look around and there was no radio playing. It was a melody coming that only I could hear. So I would hum the melody I was hearing. As I got older, I first began writing songs that were in Mohawk. In 2001 my family had a house fire. After this house fire, my family was going through tough times trying to pay bills and trying to put money aside to build a house. One day, I got the idea that I should try and write songs in English. I can write songs in Mohawk maybe I can write songs in English too. The first song that I wrote in English was, ‘Broken.’ The second song that came to me to write wascalled, ‘Rich Girl.’ So, these are the beginnings of songwriting and singing for me. I began making CDs, and it helps to have them to make ends meet. When I write a song, I run it by my family first. I have five children; I have one girl and four boys. My husband is an Iron Worker. I remember when I sang them ‘Rich Girl’ for the first time—my kids loved it. It made my daughter cry. When my husband heard it, he loved it, too. I remember he had me sit in the car with him. He had me practice the song. Over and over he had me sing the song to him. He wanted me to memorize it without using the paper. I must have sung it about 100 times in a row that night…
I am part of a woman’s singing group called “Kontiwennenhawi” which means “Carriers of the Words”. We get together once a week and we talk, laugh and learn songs. Our duties as a Singing Society are to help out in our community. We are often asked to sing for visitors or for the children in our community. We help out at fundraisers and donate money to people who are in need. We have a community fund account and we raise money by selling our CD’s or by singing outside of our community. Niawen kowa, (Big thanks)
Kenkiohkoktha, Wolf Clan
Theresa “Bear” Fox
For more information about Bear Fox, visit: www.bearfoxmusic.com