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

SD61 to install new water fountains over lead concerns

They’re installing 350 new water fountains in local schools due to concerns over elevated levels of lead in the water system

West Shore firefighters band together to support men’s health

More than $8,200 raised for Movember campaign

Holiday gift wrapping tips and tricks

Streamline your process to avoid the hassle

Omnibus zoning bylaw sent for revisions to prevent blanket upzoning in downtown Victoria

More than 10 downtown properties identified by Downtown Residents Association

UPDATE: Four vehicle crash on Sooke Road snarls traffic in Colwood

Sooke Road reopens to traffic in both direction

VIDEO: That’s a wrap: Be a Santa to a Senior packages ready to go out

Program hands out more than 600 gifts to Greater Victoria seniors

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

Shelbourne Community Kitchen vies for $20,000 prize

Epicure Foundation, based in North Saanich, will give five groups $20,000 each

Woman in Nanaimo accidentally hands over diamond ring with spare change

Incident happened Wednesday at about 7 p.m. at parking lot near Nanaimo’s boardwalk

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Optimistic Victoria whale watching company invests in new vessel

Banner 2017 tourist season helps Prince of Whales decide to boost service

Victoria cycling advocate makes pitch lor lower speeds on local roads

Group points to evidence suggesting 30 km/h speed limit would save money, lives

Most Read