Terence Friday cried tears of joy when he saw a photo of his powwow regalia in a Regina pawn shop.
After the beaded items were stolen from the grass dancer’s vehicle two years ago, he put his love of powwow dancing on hold, saying it didn’t feel right to dance without his regalia.
“When I lost it, I just felt like that piece of me was missing for the longest time. I couldn’t enjoy the things, like going to powwow and being able to go out and dance, like the way I used to,” Friday said in an interview with CBC.
The regalia beadwork was designed by his late grandmother, based on flowers from a moss bag she made when Friday was a baby.
A suitcase holding the regalia was stolen from the trunk of his girlfriend’s car when it was parked in downtown Regina in July 2018.
But last Friday afternoon, he was visiting with his auntie — coincidentally, about beadwork — when he received a message on Facebook from Kristina Jankowski at Cash Avenue Pawn in Regina, saying she thought his regalia was at the shop.
“I [hadn’t] given up on it and I didn’t want to lose hope for it that it would show up some day. My prayers were answered when I got that message,” said Friday.
He asked Jankowski to send a photo so he could confirm it was in fact his powwow regalia.
Jankowski said she doesn’t know when the regalia was brought into the store, but when she was about to place it on the shop’s floor she recognized the “beautiful beadwork” from a 2018 CBC story.
She remembers feeling bad for Friday when reading that story. She said the name of the individual who brought the items to the pawn shop can only be released to police, but she’s excited that she could help return it to its rightful owner.
“They wouldn’t have found out if the story wasn’t on the CBC website,” Friday said.
Once he saw the photo, Friday wasted no time. He hopped in his car to pick his items up.
“I was so overjoyed I cried three times on my way back to Regina,” said Friday.
A couple of pieces of the regalia are missing, like cuffs and bells, but the items that are difficult to make were all returned.
Friday says he is especially happy he has his moccasins back in his possession.
“When we pass on, moccasins are the thing that we wear going on to the next life. That’s why they are so important to me,” he said.
While Friday doesn’t want to pass on yet, he knew without the moccasins, he wouldn’t be able to.
“I’m happy. There’s so much value in these.… I’ve probably put it on since I got it back like four or five times, just randomly,” he said with a laugh.