4-year-old Minneapolis boy shares his Native American culture through song, dance

November is Native American Heritage Month and Minnesota is home to 11 tribal nations.

A 4-year-old Minneapolis boy is proud to share his indigenous culture. Opie Day-Bedeau, or “Baby Opie” as he’s known on Instagram, has more than 65,000 followers. Not only are his videos adorable, but they also teach the lessons of his ancestors.

On his dad’s side, Day-Bedeau is part of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Nation, a tribe that is from Northern Minnesota. On his mom’s side, he’s Peepeekisis Cree Nation, a tribe indigenous to southern Canada.

Day-Bedeau’s parents have passed along the teachings of their cultures and through song and dance, he’s keeping those traditions alive. His Father, Opie Day-Bedeau Sr. is the lead singer of a well known Native American band, the Midnight Express Singers. He passed his love of song and dance onto his son.

“He came out dancing and singing,” Desirae Desnomie, Baby Opie’s mom said. As soon as he could walk and stand, he was holding a drum. Singing and dancing Pow Wow and Round Dance styles came just after that.

“He’s always had the heart beat of our people close to him,” Day-Bedeau Sr. said. Baby Opie competes in Pow Wows and Round Dances all over the country.

“A lot people really don’t understand who we are or that we’re still here,” Desnomie said. Her husband’s tribe is indigenous to Minnesota and yet, she said so many people are unaware of their culture.

“Even the words Minnesota, where these words come from, they’re indigenous words but we’ve just, for lack of better term, just butchered how the language is spoken,” she said.

Which is why this month, Native American Heritage Month is important to their family.

“It is extremely important,” Desnomie said, “The history of our indigenous people have been through so much and for us to reclaim our culture, our songs, our language, all of our teachings is super important.”

“This is a way of life for us. It’s not just something we do during the month of November. This is the way we live,” Day-Bedeau Sr. added, “I would like people to know that as a people we are still here.”