Published on November 25, 2013 by Amy
Born in 1973 in Chicago, Wayne Silas, Jr. is from the Grignon family of the Menominee and the Silas family of the Oneida. He belongs to the Bear Clan. Raised in “Chicagoland”, Wayne has been singing and dancing in the Pow-Wow circle since he was a young child. His earliest experiences of singing and dancing occurred while living amongst the Native American community of Chicago at the A.I.C. (American Indian Center of Chicago).
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Wayne’s father first taught him all about singing and showed him the rules, regulations, respect and etiquette that go along with that responsibility. His first singing experiences were with a local drum group known as Chi-Town Boys. He learned the basic ways of the drum from his father and other singers notably Carlos Peynetsa (Zuni), George Garvin (Meskwaki/Ho-Chunk), Ben Bearskin, Sr. and Ben Bearskin, Jr. (both of the Winnebago/Dakota Sioux), Herman Logan (Winnebago), and Myron Pyawasit (Menominee/Potowatomi). These lessons, teachings and “ways” have brought him tremendous life, strength, beauty, and respect for his Native American culture through song and dance! While studying at the Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, Wayne co-founded a successful drum group known as Tha Tribe and went on to become their head singer. Since January of 1997, Tha Tribe has been singing together and continues to do so to this day. Wayne earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Teacher Education at Haskell.
Wayne is a Fancy Feather War Dancer, and has been blessed with many awards and achievements on the competitive Pow-Wow circuit. As a Fancy Dancer he has won five Title Championship from the Gathering of Nations, and the 2009 World Class Title from the United Tribes Technical College Pow-Wow in Bismarck, North Dakota. In addition, he has been blessed with many singing titles while singing with various drum groups including eight Title Championships from the Schemitzun World Championship Festival and the 2004 World Class Title Championship from Gathering of Nations.
Wayne currently resides in Oneida, Wisconsin with his wife Rose and their family. He has four children: Floyd III, Micayla, Kitahna, and Jaxten. He also has two dogs, Ladybug and Wookie McChewster. He continues to be a life-long die-hard Chicago Cub’s fan and will be forever.
Wayne sums up his singing and dancing philosophy simply stating: “I love to sing and dance and I don’t know what my life would be like without it!”