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Circle of inclusion

Drumming circle an Aboriginal Peoples Week highlight

Campus and Community

By Mandy Cook

A rhythmic beat and united voices resounded through the University Centre recently, the music echoing in the hallways and attracting passersby.

The Aboriginal Resource Office hosts open drumming circles every Friday at lunchtime throughout the fall and winter semesters.

But this particular event was all the more significant, as it took place as part of Aboriginal Peoples Week: Building Reconciliation activities from March 20-24.

The photo essay below shows just some of the scenes from the circle, courtesy of Gazette photographer, Chris Hammond.

1/ They come together

Drummers create a circle of inclusion at the University Centre on the St. John's campus on March 24, the last day of Aboriginal Peoples Week: Building Reconciliation.

Photo: Chris Hammond

2/ Feel the beat

From left, Sheila Freake, Aboriginal Resource Office co-ordinator, and Rebecca Sharr, St. John's Native Centre and weekly drumming facilitator at Memorial, chant and drum in time with the group.

Photo: Chris Hammond

3/ Smudging

Student Jordan Collier participates in a smudging ceremony that also took place during the drumming circle. Smudging is the ceremonial enactment of both letting go of the negativity we sometimes carry, as well as the revitalization of our cognizance around the values and strengths that we want to move forward with.

Photo: Chris Hammond

4/ Everyone welcome

In January, a group of Aboriginal students participated in a First Nations drum-making workshop. Through the careful instruction and teachings of Jenelle Duval, they soaked and stretched the moose hide, sanded the dried hide, made drum sticks and held a ceremony to awaken the drum, which are available for use by anyone who would like to participate in the drum circles.

Photo: Chris Hammond

5/ Sing along

A helpful guide for following along with the words and the beat of the Mi'kmaq songs.

Photo: Chris Hammond

6/ Next generation

This young drummer played along with the grownups.

Photo: Chris Hammond

7/ Chanting in time

Together, participants created a meaningful experience to close out Aboriginal Peoples Week: Building Reconciliation.

Photo: Chris Hammond

During Aboriginal Peoples Week, Chief Misel Joe visited and provided the drum group with a name: Mawitajik, meaning “they come together.”


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