Something old, something new: Pacific students make First Nations paddles, drums

T’Sou-ke First Nation textile artist leads West Shore students in learning about local traditions

T’Sou-ke textile artist Charlene George helps Grade 12 student April Lammiade as she works on a First Nations-style drum during an art class at Pacific secondary school in Colwood.

Blending old with new, students at Pacific secondary school are learning to move forward by looking into the past.

The cohort Grade 12 class at Pacific secondary school is learning traditional First Nations creative techniques as an aspect of their arts education. The students, under the guidance of First Nations experts, are creating paddles and traditional hand drums, while learning about aboriginal cultural and the concept of heritage in general.

“There is a tribal root to every person, regardless of where their ancestry comes from,” said Charlene George, a T’Sou-ke First Nation textile artist who is working with the students. “So somewhere in the world their tribal ancestry is not that different from mine.”

Teacher Sean Cowie said the cultural aspect of the project teaches students how to look beyond their own immediate worlds.

“(There’s) beautiful cultural exchange and understanding, without any fanfare,” Cowie said. “It’s down on the ground reality, we’ve got First Nations communities working pretty seamlessly within the community here.”

Haylea Walker designed her drum using a traditional coastal First Nations image of a wolf, but modified it to reflect the personality of her own dog, which, as it happens, is three-quarters wolf.

The Grade 12 student said she’s finding this component of her course rewarding, as it asks each student to consider her own background and where we all come from.

“It’s just little things that make you think and realize,” Walker said. “A lot of stuff at school doesn’t make you think, because it’s all textbook, answer, textbook, answer.”

Drum making also adds life skills.

“There’s many parts to the discipline of teaching how to make a drum … that teaches them awesome life skills for anything they wish to do in their life,” George said. “So some of the ones who might have had a difficult time with some other areas in their life, are able to be successful here. Success in one part of their life leads to success in many parts of their life.”

The drums are made from elk hide and cedar rims, something old, and synthetic sinews, something new.

“So it’s like doing old and new together, which is what we all are,” George said.

 

kwells@goldstream

gazette.com

 

 

Just Posted

Sooke woman is ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at Thetis Lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Mom who lost son to brain tumour in March joins the 24th annual Brain Tumour Walk

The Brain Tumour Walk takes place at the University of Victoria on Sunday, May 26

Throwback Thursday: Shamrocks revisit the 1950s with new uniforms

Victoria team introduces its new white jersey for the 2019 70th anniversary season

Comic Con announces winning artist in $500 ViGuy competition

Van Isle Comic Con announce judges’ award winner, People’s Choice voting now open

Forbes Group proposes a new medical clinic for Sooke

Four doctors will have space adjacent to a new pharmacy

VIDEO: Journey of SD62 Aboriginal graduates recognized at ceremony

‘Enriching and empowering’ ceremony encourages students to hold onto their identities

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana growing ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Brewpub offers ‘boat valet’ for paddlers during Surfrider celebration tonight

Free ‘Surf Formal’ evening features a local art auction, door prizes, live music

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Building a close-knit community in Sooke

Knit 2 Purl Together a community event

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Most Read