by Terriea Harris, BWSS Aboriginal Women’s Outreach Counsellor
Drum is a voice, a prayer to Spirit, is the voice of the Earth coming through to speak of its heart. Drumming connects us to our Creator, connecting our heart to the heartbeat of the Earth. It is a way to connect one’s spirit with the Great Spirit.
“The spirits are with me and I feel even stronger when I drum and sing.”
For years, our teachings by elder woman were passed down from one generation to the next orally or by using one’s voice, which has maintained the importance of our identity. Drumming played a vital role in passing on these teaching and traditions to new generations as it accompanied to those oral histories and stories.
“Everything about the drum and sound of the drums is a great medicine as we all unite.”
Aboriginal Women had voices and were revered in many traditional communities. With the Colonization, women would lose everything from the traditional way of life, their status in their communities, their children to residential schools, their cultural teachings to the Church and their voice to the patriarchal system. The oppression of colonization on Aboriginal Women aimed to silence them with its practices and acts. They taught men to dominate women or to use force if necessary, then their teachings was put into policy with the enactment of the Indian Act whereby Aboriginal Women could lose their status -and what little rights they had- if they married a non-native man.
Drumming has always played a significant role in our history. Some traditional teachings share that men only drum and women will surround the circle in order to balance the female and male energy. Traditionally, women would sing and doing so, was considered a great honour by the men. Today, we, Aboriginal Women create women only drum spaces because of the power of drumming for healing from the effects of Colonization and the impact of trauma. We know that trauma can be very disconnecting and as we journey on our healing process, reconnecting to spirit, self, our culture and our voice is an important part of that process.
“Drumming teaches that wellness can be found in many ways. Healing through songs is so powerful.”
At BWSS Aboriginal Women’s Program, every Thursday we are coming together with our sisters at Wildflower Women of Turtle Island Drum Group to support women in their healing process. As we recognize the drum as the strong bond with the Great Spirit, we organized our first drum Making Workshop to create our personal drum to enhance this spiritual connection with the heartbeat of Mother Earth and so taking back our power.
“Music in all forms is soothing to the soul. Being part of a group in this process is very significant in my healing process”
“I have been a part of the drum group at BWSS. I hope it stays as our youth. Love the experience every week! Powerful!”
Keep posted for our upcoming drum making workshop and join us in our Wildflower Women of Turtle Island Drum Group!
The quotes are by women who have participated Wildflower Women of Turtle Island Drum Group and Drum Making Workshops.