Then I went to Waba-Nasin at the Harmony Centre and listened to Lee Maracle and John Ralston Saul speak about the experiences and history of First Nations. Sylvie Kindree sang about Pauline Johnson School in Brantford and about identifying as a settler. Then I heard more and more heart-wrenching details revealed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Finally, at a noon-hour concert last summer, while I listened to Sylvie and Mike perform, this idea leapt into my mind and after the concert, I asked Sylvie if she would consider being our guest at an OSSIA concert to honour First Nations. She and Mike both said yes, and it had begun.
I've been going to Drum Circle at M'Wik in January. One of the Elders, Shirley John, has been hoping to find the money for Nokomis/Grandmother Drum. When they found out they would receive the proceeds from our concert, the Drum started to become a real possibility. This is a brilliant idea because the drum represents music, communication, and healing. And it's a gift from our community to theirs.