A Minnesota seventh-grader got a close-up view of the 87th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
The Bemidji Pioneer reported that Selena Jourdain, a 12-year-old Red Lake girl, was aboard the Oneida Indian Nation's "True Spirit of Thanksgiving" float as it rolled through the closed Manhattan streets. The float, which honors American Indian nations, represents the Oneida Nation's creation story with characters, symbols and performers. The Oneida Dispatch said that the float is meant as a reminder of the 1794 treaty between the Oneidas and the United States government that “established a firm and permanent friendship.”
The Red Lake Middle School student began dancing not long after she began walking. Her dancing skills led her to be selected to be part of the group showcased in the parade. The girl is a member of the Native Pride Dancers, a Minneapolis-based troupe that aims to share the "spirit and beauty of Indigenous peoples" through dance, music and storytelling.
The parade typically attracts more than 50 million television viewers and 3 million spectators along the parade route.
Last month, Jourdain's performance at We Day in St. Paul was covered by the Red Lake Nation News. She joined national acts including the Jonas Brothers, Carly Rae Jepsen and Dessa in the daylong event attended by 18,000 youth volunteers.
The girl also represents Bemidji State University as its powwow princess. She told the newspaper that she is particularly strong as a fancy shawl and jingle dress dancer.