Nokomis: Grandmother Drum for M’Wikwedong
After hearing the stories brought to light by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and attending Wasa-Nabin at the Harmony Centre last year, I felt it was a good time for our community choir, OSSIA, to acknowledge and honour First Nations people through song and drum, in a concert in Owen Sound. The proceeds from the concert will go to build a Grandmother Drum for the M’Wikwedong Native Cultural Centre.
Within many First Nations, the drum represents the heartbeat of the people and mother earth. It provides a place to for people to come together in community, to sing, to share the teachings, and to pass them on to each generation. Mishomis/Grandfather Drum, and Nokomis/Grandmother Drum, bring balance and oneness to men, women and families on the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual levels.
The idea to build this new drum came from the heart of elder, Shirley John, who is a source of wisdom for the community. The community will come together in a community social, to build the drum.
Drum circles, led by Mara Bouman and Tanya Coulter, are held every Wednesday at 4:00 at M’Wikwedong, and are open to the whole community. Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples are welcome. All ages participate in drum circle, from babies to grandmothers. Eight year old Lindsay told me that the drum is calming and it relaxes her. In a drum circle I attended, an eight year old boy drummed steadily with exceptional control and focus, while a tiny baby slept blissfully as her mother and grandmother drummed.
OSSIA’s concert, called Earth Tones, will be held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Saturday April 16th, 7:30 pm, and Sunday April 17th, at 3 pm. Admission will be by donation.
For more information about OSSIA, and the programs offered by M’Wikwedong, the websites are: www.ossiachoir.com andwww.mwikwedong.com/