Kara Lebold, left, is teaching her mother Korrey Laberoute to drum. The family is hosting an informal song and drum gathering at Ed Macgregor Park on June 21, at 7 p.m. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Kara Lebold, left, is teaching her mother Korrey Laberoute to drum. The family is hosting an informal song and drum gathering at Ed Macgregor Park on June 21, at 7 p.m. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Metis daughters teaching mother to drum, reclaiming their culture in Sooke

In response to the grief of the Kamloops school discovery, the family is digging into culture

Some Sooke residents heard a new sound the other night — and they liked it.

Three Metis locals were drumming in their backyard, inspired to learn new songs to respond to the grief stirred up by discovering 215 unmarked graves at a former residential school in Kamloops.

Korrey Laberoute is Metis but grew up in Alberta, disconnected from her heritage. It wasn’t until Laberoute reconnected with her dad and met his family that she learned she came from a family of residential school survivors.

The news of the Kamloops school has hit close for her because those graves nearly could have been her dad, his sisters, her grandparents. It could have been her.

“I realized the other day, as a survivor of a residential school survivor, I wonder if maybe my dad took off when we were young because he didn’t want what he went through for us,” she said.

“Honestly, I didn’t realize until three days ago how close me and my brother came to maybe being put in that same system.”

When the federal government was paying settlements to residential school survivors, Laberoute received a phone call asking if she’d ever been to one of the schools.

“She’s only 45, and they had to call her and ask her? So that means there are people even younger who went there,” said Laberoute’s daughter, Kara Lebold.

READ MORE: Sooke School District responds to heartbreak of residential schools with learning opportunities

Lebold grew up knowing her Metis identity and finds a lot of pride in it. So it was important for Laberoute to raise kids who knew their identity and found strength in it. “I wanted them to be proud. And it was actually through that that I gained more pride in who I was.”

But it wasn’t until last week that Laberoute started learning to drum. The emotions that surfaced with the news of the unmarked graves were strong when she saw a post inviting people to trill, drum or howl at 7 p.m. on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples’ Day. As soon as she saw the word drum, she felt a pull.

So she asked her daughters, who learned to drum from Aboriginal resource workers in school, to teach her. It’s funny that she, as an elder has to ask her daughters for help, she said.

“It’s like I’m reclaiming a culture that was torn from me. I never got to get into it because of shame, fear, prejudice. And now I feel so free when I drum.”

Their backyard drumming practices raised curiosity from the neighbours and overwhelmingly positive responses.

So much that the mother and daughters are planning a song and drum gathering at Ed Macgregor Park in Sooke at 7 p.m. on June 21. They’re learning two songs and invite anyone to join in with their voices, drums and dancing.

Do you have a story tip? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

IndigenousSookeWest Shore

Just Posted

HMCS Corner Brook returned to Victoria’s waters for the first time since 2015 on June 10. (Courtesy of the Royal Canadian Navy)
WATCH: Navy surveillance submarine returning to Victoria waters

HMCS Corner Brook one of first submarines to receive new communications systems

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes following provincial reopening announcement

Recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

A new multi-family residential project at the corner of Hillside Avenue and Cook Street will feature nine below market-priced units aimed at middle-income, first-time homebuyers, through a partnership between BC Housing and the developer. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Middle-income first time homebuyers gain access to nine homes in Victoria

BC Housing partners with development community to create affordable purchases

Suspect found with tools, copper piping in Oak Bay commercial block

Police briefs include missing dinghy, speed stop turned impaired, wallet swiped from unlocked car

(Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 exposure closes Oak Bay pub, restaurant

Penny Farthing, Vis-a-Vis expected to reopen Wednesday after deep clean

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Most Read