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Drumming and singing contributes to the well-being of the Annishinaabe Peoples : a literature review Aphrodite-Lee Marsden, Davita 2010-01-31

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A Literature ReviewDavita Aphrodite-Lee MarsdenA GRADUATING PROJECT SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF EDUCATION.. INTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESEducational Leadership and Administration Ts'kel Program v  -Approved by:Supervisor: Michelle StackSecond Reader: Jo-ann ArchibaldDate ApprovedTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ALitLer auR vwuwTable of ContentsHow Do Drumming and Singing Contribute to the Well-Being of the Annishinaabe Peoples?....................3Objectives...........................................................................................................................................................3Introduction....................................................................................................................................................... 4Rationale for Picking this Topic.......................................................................................................................5Section Fire Eagle:Geographical Context of My Nation............................................................................................................... 6The History of the Native Drum .....................................................................................................................8The Effects of Colonization on Native Expression...................................................................................... 12Section :The Origin of Songs........................................................................................................................................16Song Types...................................................................................................................................................... 21The Power of Song..........................................................................................................................................24Vibration and Sound.......................................................................................................................................26Healing.............................................................................................................................................................28Spirit.................................................................................................................................................................34Creation Story and Sound (Soul and Light)............................................................................................. 34Section Thunderbird:Linked to Education and Identity................................................................................................................. 36Conclusion........................................................................................................................................................41Bibliography.................................................................................................................................................... 442Drumming and Singing Contributes to the Well-Being of the Annishinaabe Peoples: A Literature ReviewObjectivesThe objective o f this Literature Review is to gain a deeper understanding o f Native drumming, singing and songs. The Native group being reviewed will be the Annishinaabe peoples, also known as the Ojibway. The topics o f interest are history o f the drum, origins o f song, song types, the power o f song, vibration and sound, healing, and connection to Spirit and education. These topics relate to the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual lives o f individuals, families and communities. The three sections are: Fire Eagle, Golden Eagle, and Thunderbird. They are a metaphorical representation of the continuous cycle o f challenges, change and transformation that can be found in Native Education. The process o f singing and drumming Native songs illustrates how sound is incorporated as a cultural form of healing for Native peoples. Some songs and singing are a form of prayer, transmitting through people and connecting to the Creator and all o f creation. This Literature Review was conducted from February 2009-May 2009. The date range o f the material begins with 1910 and ends at 2004.The Literature being reviewed includes: four books, two articles, and four videos.The four books are: 1) Chippewa Music I, by Densmore, Francis published in 1910, 2) Chippewa Music II, by Densmore, Francis published in 1913, 3) History of the Ojibway People by Warren, W., W. in 1984. 4) Drumming at the Edge o f Magic: A Journey into the Spirit o f Percussion by Hart, Mickey 1990.3The two articles are: 1) “The Way o f the Drum: When Earth Becomes Heart” by Antone, Grafton & Turchetti, L. P., published in 2002, and 2) “Utilizing the Arts for Healing from a Native American Perspective: Implications for Creative Arts Therapies”, Dunfrene, Phoebe, published in 1991.The four videos are: 1) Beat o f the Drum: Music at the Heartbeat o f First, produced and directed by Richard Hersley in 1997,2) Drum Lake Archaeology, produced and directed by Prince o f Wales Northern Heritage Center (n.d.), 3) Pow Wow Trail: Episode 1, The Drum, by Arbor Records Ltd and I.C.E. Productions Ltd in 2004, and 4) Healing o f Nations, written and directed by Peter von Puttkamer in 1994.IntroductionMy Indian/First Nations/Native name is Waashegaminaboonikwe which means Clear Water Woman. This name was given to me by my mother and my auntie. My other Indian names are Migizi Shkiingzhigoon (Eagle Eyes) from my Grandfather and Tatonka Winukcha (Buffalo Spirit Woman) from my Sioux Elder. I am Annishanabekwe or an Ojibway Woman and I am Heron and Deer clan. My relations and Band is Mississauga o f Scugog Island First Nations in Ontario which is the home o f my traditional ancestors. The first thing we (‘we’ meaning inclusiveness of Native protocol) do when introducing ourselves includes: We state our names, who gave us this honour, our Elders, our band, our clan and our traditional territories. It is our protocol and we do this out o f respect for ourselves, our families, our ancestors, our community and Mother Earth. “[Indian] knowledge is said to be personal, oral, experiential, [w]holistic and conveyed in narrative or metaphorical language” (Castellano, 2000, p. 25) and mode of transmission has been passed down from generation to generation through our families and communities.Rationale for picking this topicI grew up in a European home and when I was around the age o f eight, I begged my parents to play the drum. Owing to the noise o f drums, my parents said I was to play the accordion as their cultural background was German-Austrian. I felt disappointed but wanted to learn about music. My natural connection to the drum had to wait. I loved learning and hearing the possibilities of sound that turned into music. Although it was the accordion which felt foreign to me, I fell in love with the sound and the vibration it gave off. As I grew older, I began to become bored of this instrument and eventually, I stopped practicing and dropped the accordion.In my twenties, I watched a documentary on Beethoven with my little sister in her apartment in Montreal, QC. While watching and listening to Beethoven’s music in this documentary, I looked outside and saw the trees and heard them blowing in the wind. I noticed the colours on the leaves and how the colours varied from leaf to leaf. They moved in and out o f various degrees o f colour and sound. It felt and sounded peaceful. The wind did not disturb the tree; the sound o f the leaves was in harmony with the wind, the leaves, the colours, and the weather—  everything was in its place, creating sound that was absolutely perfect. To me, I understood at this moment that Beethoven had captured nature, sound, harmony and colour, all inseparable from the whole and he created some o f the world’s most beautiful music. My body, senses, spirit, my whole being memorized this experience. My heart and mind were still and I felt completely alive in other aspects o f my being that I hadn’t noticed before. My body was touched and moved with a light feeling or vibration. My being became the sound and, as the sound changed and the colours shifted, it brought out different feelings, memories and emotions. It produced a sense o f calm,love, connectedness, wholeness, emptiness and peace. I understood at this moment my relationship to my Creator, and that music could heal and connect everything inside and outside of my being. It was a ‘complete’ experience and nothing was left aside. Almost thirty years later, coming full circle, I was allowed to begin playing my Native drum— and my heart opened.Section Fire Eagle:Geographical Context of My NationThe Ojibway “(also Ojibwa or Ojibwe, pronounced Ojib’way), Chippewa (also Chippeway) or Annishinaabe (also Annishinabe), is the largest Native group found in Canada and the third- largest group in the United States of America. The Ojibway were formerly located mainly around Sault Ste. Marie, at the outlet of Lake Superior and the French referred to them as Saulteurs. The Ojibway who subsequently moved to the prairie provinces o f Canada have retained the name Saulteaux. The Ojibway who were originally located along the Mississagi River, made their way to southern Ontario are known as the Mississaugas”(http ://en. ibway, 2009).The meaning o f the word “Ojibway has been a subject o f much discussion as the derivation of the word from a root meaning ‘to pucker’ is established, but the connection of the idea is a matter of dispute. One suggestion is “Possibly the form of moccasin” (Densmore, 1913, p. 5). There are a few more translations for the Ojibway word ‘ Annishnaabeg’ such as: ‘First or Original Peoples’. Another possible definition refers to ‘the good humans’ or ‘good people’, that are on the right road/path given to them by the ‘Gitchi-Manitou’ (Annishinaabe term for Great Spirit or Creator).The Ojibway peoples include the Algonquin, Nipissing, Oji-Cree, Odawa and the Potawatomis. The Ojibway people number over “56,440 in the U.S., living in an area stretching across the north from Michigan to Montana. Another 77,940 of main-line Ojibway, 76,760 Saulteaux and 8,770 Mississaugas, in 125 bands, live in Canada, stretching from western Quebec to eastern British Columbia" (, 2009).The Ojibway are scattered over a considerable area, from the Province o f Quebec on the East, to a small settlement in British Columbia on the Western side of Canada. The Ojibway are also along the Red River o f the North in Manitoba and southwards down through the States of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan” (Hoffman, 2005, p. 1). The Ojibway are a primarily ‘woodland’ person, which means they originally lived in the areas where trees are abundant. My personal background following my biological mother’s side is Ojibway (Annishanabekwe). My personal geographical context centres on the area o f Scugog Island First Nation and Rama First Nation north of Toronto in Ontario.Fig. 1: Ojibway Migis Shells (Photograph by D. Marsden, Nov. 11, 2009)The Ojibway people are known for the sacred Migis shells from the Ojibway creation story (seen in Figure 1, they are also known as cowery shells), wild rice, birch back canoes, maple sugar, and copper. The Ojibway are also known in history for their knowledge and technology of fire arms during the war o f 1745 which helped to defeat and push out the Dakota Sioux Nation. The7«■ ■Ojibway Nation was the “first to set the agenda for signing more detailed treaties with Canada's leaders before many settlers were allowed too far west (, 2009). The Ojibway lived in Wigwams and tepee and made birch bark canoes which the French fur traders adopted. The spiritual belief system of the Ojibway peoples is Midewiwin which is a very well-respected society and is the keeper of detailed, complex birch bark scrolls. The Ojibway people are known for their sacred birch bark scrolls (‘wiigwaasabakoon’ in Ojibway) and when used distinctively for Midewiwin ceremonial use, these scrolls are called ‘mide- wiigwaas’.These are sacred scrolls with written hieroglyphics that contain traditional Annishinaabe beliefs and practices such as: events of history, family lineage, songs, stories, maps, legends, teachings, geometry and mathematics.The History of the Native DrumFig. 2: Chief or Pow Wow and Water drum (Hoffman, W. J., 2005, pg. 42).In the video Pow Wow Trail (2000), “Benton-Benai says the first drum is the grandfather Drum. It is the drum of drums, it is the water drum seen in Figure 2”. In the video, Pow Wow Trail (2000) Benton-Benai says the first large or big drum is a vision that an Omaamikwe (An8Annishinaabe woman) has and it is a chief drum or pow wow drum —  Benton-Benai shows a version of the first large drum, the vision of Omaamikwe.There are five versions in the literature that was reviewed, o f ‘how the drum came into existence’. The literature being reviewed is in no particular order. The first version is found in the video, Pow Wow Trail (2000) a story told by Benton-Benai, a Mide leader and his version goes as follows:The circumstances o f the Annishinaabe and Dakota at the time was war with the soldiers, it was 1860-68. The Indian people were attacked all were killed. There was one woman who was able to hide. We know of her as Omaamikwe. When the Indian people were killed, the spirit spoke to her and she had a chance to flee. She went to the water and was told how to survive using a reed she laid in the water for 4 days and the spirit spoke to her again. She was to come out o f the water and go to the top o f a hill the spirit told her. My daughters do not be afraid; the soldiers are unable to see you. Go towards the soldiers and she walked among them. There was a table with food and then she had something to eat. The spirit instructed her to walk for quite a while. She walked and near evening she rested. The spirit woke her at dawn and she placed food on the earth and tobacco. The spirit received her offering and said that she needs to remember what was to come in to her for four days. She waited and saw something coming towards her from the sky, it almost touched the earth. It was a drum —  a beautiful, immaculate drum. The spirit instructed her on the orientation of songs and everything was given to her. She was told to remember everything, songs, implements and how to make the drum. The people must do everything instructed by the spirit for the drum and to understand what is needed for the people. The men are ones who make the drum and the women organize and support by standing behind the drum.In the book Chippewa II, a different version o f the story is found. The difference is that the Manido (spirit) told her that “the women could sing with the drum, but that only the men could dance around it; Manido also told her that when the first drum was finished he would come down to it and that two men must be offered to him in return for the gift o f the drum. The woman told the men how to make the drum. When it was finished and the singers had learned the songs they all gathered around it. The instant that the drummers struck the drum for the first time, the9Manido (spirit) appeared again and the two men who had made the drum fell dead beside it” (1913, p.144).Here too is a similar version except the woman is Sioux and her name is Tailfeather. The Great Spirit says the solution to stop the killing during the war is to build a drum. While making the Ojibway drum,Mickey Hart retells the story how the Ojibwa drum came into existence in the 1870’s. Mickey Hart, a contemporary drummer from the band called ‘Greatful Dead’ talks about his conversations with Tom Vennum, Jr. (A leading historian, anthropologist of the Ojibwa peoples. Also the author of ‘The Ojibwa Dance Drum: its history and Construction). Hart retells the story of Tailfeather:“A vision had come to a “Sioux woman named Tailfeather Woman at a moment of profound grief and terror. White soldiers had just massacred her village, killing her four sons and almost killing her. She had managed to escape by hiding in a lake. For four days Tailfeather Woman hid under the lilypads. While she was hiding, the Great Spirit came to her and told her what to do. On the fourth day she emerged from the lake and walked to her village to see who had survived the attack. When the survivors had gathered around her, she told them that the Great Spirit had commanded them to build a drum. Saying that it is the only way you are going to stop the soldiers from killing your people. (Tom Vennum cited by Hart, 1990, p. 241).The discrepancies between the two accounts include that Chippewa II  says only the men could dance around the drum and that the two men who created it dropped dead, while Pow Wow Trail (2000) notes the ‘Big Drum Society’ was created after constructing the first drum. The most significant difference, however, is that Chippewa II  notes that women “could sing with the drum” where Pow Wow Trail (2000) has women standing outside the circle. Neither works address the influence of Patriarchal lineage and Matriarchal lineage tribes and the effects of Native women during the 1800s. All rights were striped from the Native peoples, ceremonies, rights, land, drumming, hunting, even drumming was banned. Native women had even less rights. When the Europeans came, they brought with them their own laws and ways concerning women. The belief system of the Native women, spiritual connections to the drum, songs and the natural laws was severed and discounted. Discrimination, rights, position and Native women’s10natural place in society was oppressed by the imposed European viewpoint and law. These changes in Native women’s historical roles constitute the discrepancies between texts. It is not certain the protocol around women and drumming. Therefore, Native women are creating strong drum groups around traditional songs, singing and drumming. The strength o f the Native people is first found in the strength o f its women and through the heart beat o f the drum.The second version is found in Pow Wow Trail (2000). One o f the legends says that a young man hunted and he shot this buck. Then while skinning it, he heard the noise o f “hostile Indians.” He threw the hide when men were looking for him. When he threw the hide, it spun in the air and it fell on a tree stump. He ran and hid. The men took the meat but the hide dried in the sun on a stump. When the man came out o f hiding, he found the hide and struck it. It was the original sound of thunder. The power of (wakina) power o f thunder joins to become the power o f the drum and you make peace with the thunder.The third version is the story o f Johnny Smith in Pow Wow Trail (2000). The solider boys (Chunukama) wanted to fight with the Ojibway (ojibikwum). The Ojibway won the fight and took the Chunkama’s drum as a trophy. It was a bass drum from their marching band —  the solider boys left the drum behind after the Chippewa chased them away and they called it a trophy drum and they put feet on it to honour the drum. This is the story told on Red Lake Reservation.The fourth version in Pow Wow Trail 120001 was told by an Elder, Dora Morsay. There is no story said by Dora, she only states that Indian people have always had drums and the drums were given to the people from angels or spirits. Dora doesn’t evaluate further on her explanation.11The fifth version in the Pow Wow Trail (2000) explains that the Elders at the Powwow or Watchitoo gathering say that the drum has been there since the beginning o f time. In my experience, many o f the Elders say that we have always had the drum since Time Immemorial. I find it strange to think that the Native drum had only come during the war in the 1800s. This assumption is similar to the racism in a Hollywood version o f a movie where the minorities are marginalized and portrayed as not intelligent enough create a drum. Maybe the large drum was created at that time. It would also mean that Native peoples only sang their songs. They never used a drum while singing until the 1800’s. Therefore, the songs would have been sung with a different instrument. The history o f the drum would be an interesting research project.Due to the effects of colonization, the “exact details of the origin of the ceremonial Dance Drum will probably never be known, as the story is shrouded in legend and has been embroidered over the years through oral tradition. Even the earliest published accounts are conflicting and have led to scholarly debate” (Vennum, 1982, pg 45).The Effects of Colonization on Native ExpressionMany Native people had their voice taken away during colonization. Due to “laws prohibiting the practice o f traditional Native religion and medicine in the USA until the passage o f the 1979 Freedom of Religion Act, many Native Americans have difficulty obtaining access to traditional healers” (Dunfrene, 1991, pg. 122). Many children and parents didn’t have a say while being forced off their lands and into residential schools. Many children were stolen from their families and were not allowed or unable to speak about what had happened to them. Many o f the families had no say when the children and family members were stolen. These displaced Native people are slowly finding their way back to their origins and homes. The word ‘home’ in this context12means that some of the children are returning to their birth families and beginning to renew their culture and heritage. The voices o f the people are slowly opening up.One way voices are being heard and healed is through drumming and singing. Renae Morriseau in the video Beat o f  the Drum (1997) says that the “collection o f voices give strength (healing) to Native people. It’s about learning personal identity for the native people in a non-native world. The consciousness can be raised through expression o f who you are in the music.” This is a form of healing and strength, to bring back the voice o f the Native people. In the Healing o f  Nations video 1994, the belief is that when the consciousness is low, a person is less aware o f their surroundings. The difficulties of life are too much andpeople are in pain, they are dying and they think this is just how it is. The pollution o f the minds needs to be cleaned. The importance o f ceremonies is to have a vision and to have a vision to follow, we need to help each other with the personal vision.. ..keeping harmony.. .understanding the prayers and the higher powers are helping you and the spirit is to understand yourself. (Puttkamer, 1994)Antone, G. & Turchetti, L. P. (2002), says: “Native people who lost the most were the ones who attended residential schools and/or were removed from their home reserves by the Children’s Aid Society and subsequently adopted out to non-Native families. Many o f these people lost their families, language and culture, and so their traditions were lost to them” (p.52). This created confusion in the Native people. By using our voice, singing our songs to clear away the confusion of colonization, Native people purify themselves through the use o f the pipe, sweat lodge and the Sundance which are spiritual things. Here we are drumming, singing our songs, we use our own voices, and we use our own minds and the oppression of the past lifts. In ceremony,we let go of absolutely everything from this world, there is nothing to hold on to and we are no longer confused. To fill the void and aloneness you need a relationship with the Creator.In Antone’s quote, she seems to blame Native people for the impact o f colonization and the introduction of alcoholism and its effects as she states:One o f the greatest mistakes Native people made was to drink alcohol; whether it was beer, wine, or whisky, it all did the same thing. Liquor got the Native people (Indians) drunk, and that was the beginning o f their degradation.. .Soon they lost their jobs, their dignity, and, most of all, their sense of identity. People gave “Indians” a bad name, putting them down with all kinds o f negative and dirty names. Shamed and destroyed, the Native people struggled on. (Antone, G. & Turchetti, L. P., 2002, p. 52)This statement does not explain the introduction and affects of residential school, stolen children and the results of all forms of oppression and colonization leading to the introduction of alcohol.Fig. 3: The Ojibway Boy D  Drum  phod-d Meds nGiiUTd-L IGT-deGNLP OdNGU-rR JdEC 10, 2009).14In Pow Wow Trail (2000), it states that:Culture was lost and in the history by law the drum was not allowed to be played, the voices o f the people were not allowed to be heard.. .the voice o f the people must be heard and the drum carries the voice o f the people in a universal sense around the world.(Figure 3).Not only do Native peoples need to be heard but we also need to hear the voices o f our Elders who are knowledge keepers, historians and who give guidance. In the Drum Lake video, Paul Write thinks about the past as he hears:Voices o f the elders, who would sit and tell us about the past. That way we knew what the future held in advance. As we traveled the land we would look around and see how good our lives were. This work can be best done by telling stories. If  we tell stories they get the practical experience to truly understand life and sharing this experience will produce respect and co operation. This way nothing can be lost from the history o f the past. They learn to help each other. (Drum Lake, n.d.)Our Elders are our origins o f knowledge, everything that was known before and our children are our continuum o f this knowledge. It is innate, and in the blood and cells of every Native. Much o f this knowledge is in our songs that reach as far back to the beginning o f time.15Section :The Origin of SongsThis particular song is found in Hoffman’s book entitled: The Mide’ wiwin Grand Medicine Society of the Ojibway. It was first published in 1891. It is a song of initiation into the Mide.In the literature (Figure 4), the modes of transmission or acquiring a song is through our ancestors, dreaming, trance states, fast states, from one person to another, mnemonics and symbolism. In the 1800’s, Densmore said that some Chippewa music could be purchased but he doesn’t say the types o f songs that could be purchased.16Great-Great-Grandmother’s BlessingI dreamed my great-great-grandmother came and sang a song to me. I had never met her before. She encouraged me to sing along so I sat up in my bed and hummed her song. It was about three or four in the morning. I quickly went to write it down in a way I would understand the intonation and spelling. I translated the meaning o f the song by how it felt. The song gave me a connection to my great-great-grandmother. I was asked to ‘birth the song’ or to sing the song in public. I did and honoured my great-great-grandmother. This is my personal experience.Our grandmothers and grandfathers send our songs through our dreams. Our connection to our ancestors is extremely strong and vital. They guide us; give us instructions, directions and warnings. Antone, G. & Turchetti, L. P. called dreaming “picture-words. She saw the myths—the truth-telling o f many ancestors and other, and saw ways o f thinking in patterns and families. She learned that the people overcome their differences by “dreaming together” (2002, p. 56). In the Beat o f  the Drum the “song keeper was a 4-year-old Jerry. They wondered how he sang a song that came from his grandmother. He’s getting help from the spirits. Jerry’s ancestors are passing the song to him” (Hersley & Morrieseau, 1997). This statement shows how intimately connected we are to our ancestors and it shows another mode of transmission of songs. Dreaming is one way the Native people connect to and communicate with the ancestors. Here in dream time, the dreams finds a way to fill the gaps between the past, present and future. According to the Indigenous people in this video, this is how the songs come down through the ancestors.Through the literature examined in my project, many o f the Native peoples received songsthrough dreaming. The Chippewa songs are “very old and are found on several reservations;others are said to be the more recent compositions o f certain men and women who compose them17‘during a dream’ or ‘upon awaking from a dream” (Densmore, 1910, p. 1). The songs in some groups are not composed in the usual sense o f the term but are said to have “come to the mind of the Indian when he was in a dream. We cannot fully understand this dream or trance o f the Indian — we can only accept his statement that, by isolation and fasting, he was able to induce a certain condition in which he “saw a vision” and “composed a song.” In the belief o f the Indian fasting is a condition essential to certain classes o f musical composition. (Densmore, 1913, p.37). Both Chippewa I  and Chippewa II  state that songs come though dream time and are sometimes induced by attaining altered states. The dream songs were undoubtedly composed under abnormal conditions, but no drum was used in their composition and Densmore’s study concerns only the manner o f their rendition. In this connection it is interesting to note that, according to Densmore, the rhythm “of the adult heart, beating 60-80 and acting normally, is a triple rhythm” (Densmore, 1913, p. 10).Chippewa songs are not “petrified specimens; they are alive with the warm red blood o f human nature. Music is one o f the greatest pleasures o f the Chippewa. If an Indian visits another reservation, one of the first questions asked on his return is: What new songs did you learn?” (Densmore, 1910, p. 1). The protocol for Native songs is to mention the location from whence the song came from, if  the song was from the Cree, it was stated before the song was sung. The history o f the “Chippewa songs is well known to the singers, and is further preserved by the Indian custom of prefacing a song with a brief speech concerning it. On formal occasions the Chippewa singer says:My friends, I will now sing you the song o f  ,” Describing the subject o f the song. Atthe close of the song he says: “My friends, I have sung the song o f  ,” repeating the18title o f the song. In this way the facts concerning the song become strongly associated with the melody in the minds o f the people (Densmore, 1910, p. 2).In the Chippewa, the protocol is that it is not permissible for one man to sing a song belonging to another unless he has purchased the right to sing it. The songs owned by individuals are those connected with the use o f medicine, and when a man buys a song he receives some of the medicine for use. (Densmore, 1910, p. 26). I think this comment is very important, that with the transference o f a song, its medicinal properties in its words, its power and music come with it. These songs must be handled with care and respect. The Native people who practice this receives the knowledge and benefit o f the song. In the video Beat o f  the Drum, the songs were passed from one person to another. He “passed his songs to Chuck Nelson. That’s how he acquired a song. To be a warrior these days is a hard thing to do because we are in the new and modem world but we want to keep our old world” (Hersley & Morrieseau, 1997).We the Native people will keep our traditions and our old world by keeping our songs and rites.19SACWttt B!«CH BARri RECORDSFig. 5: Sacred Birch Bark Records (Hoffman, W., J., 2005, pg. 139).This is a pictograph or visual record in Figure 5, o f Chippewa music that contains rites which are ancient and sacred hieroglyphics. For the Chippewa, it is a mnemonic interpretation o f cultural expression, common language, a record o f their history and songs. Some o f the birch bark scrolls also contains pictographic images o f astronomy, rituals, maps, and family lineage. Many of the sacred scrolls were hidden away in caves. In the words o f these songs, the “ancient teachings and beliefs o f the Chippewa are preserved. There are an estimated several hundred Chippewa songs. Ceremony, initiation, medicine or dancing songs called ni’miwug in Ojibway. The songs are recorded in mnemonics on strips of birch bark. This serves as a reminder of the essential idea of the song and is different in its nature from our system of printing. The Indian picture preserves20the idea o f the song, while our printed page preserves the words which are supposed to express the idea but which often express it very imperfectly” (Densmore, 1910, p. 15).Dunfrene (1991, p.123) writes a similar statement about visual records: “ The symbols here too are passed through traditional Native healers or shamans that draw upon a vast body of symbolism passed down through the centuries. These images are stored in the memories of traditional healers and passed from stored memories o f the traditional healers and passed from generation to generation. Here, myths, prayers, songs, chants, sand paintings, music, etc., are used to return the patient symbolically to the source o f tribal energy” It is said that the ancient rock paintings even had records o f visitors from other countries and even other planets outside our star systems. The paintings were recorded dreams o f ancient people, prophets and healers. Antone, G. & Turchetti, L. P., “had a ‘new way o f seeing’ and because Western educators were raised under the influence o f written traditions, it is often hard for them to think in mythical ways, in the way o f dreaming or ‘picture words” (2002, p. 56).Song TypesMuch o f Native life and experience is expressed through music. Native peoples sing about their experiences, which are often connected and often related to a spirit; therefore, everything has a voice, a sound, a vibration.Densmore states in Chippewa II, a Native man “sang a song which he heard the trees singing, he repeated the song which the crow sang and he sang the songs of the thunderbird, the deer, the buffalo and also songs about water spirits, war, medicine, and even maple sugar”(1913, p. 37). In21Beat o f  the Drum. Hersley & Renae Morriseau (1997) agrees with Chippewa II  and Chippewa I, Densmore (1913). They state that: “songs are to be sung while you paddle your canoe, in the morning, deaths, pole raising, putting the spirit back into the salmon—there are songs foreverything Chuck Sam through his songs and carvings connects himself to his past, to hisancestry, to his native heritage. Chuck’s journey to his own traditional heritage was not an easy one. When his house burned down, he decided to go back to his heritage —  to who he is —  and to learn about his own culture. He received his first drum and he began playing, then everything began to fall into place in his life after that. It led to carving” (Beat o f  the Drum . 1997).In Chippewa II, Densmore (1913) has a detailed listing of songs and types:1. Mide songs—general motive o f songs: The securing of a definite result through supernatural power, the person affected being usually someone other than the singer (p. 51).2. Dream songs— General motive o f songs: The securing o f supernatural aid in personal undertakings (p. 52).3. War songs— General character of songs: (1) Dream songs o f individual warriors; (2) Songs concerning war medicines; (3) Songs incidental to a war expedition; (4) Songs concerning success on the warpath (p. 53).4. Love songs— General character o f songs: The expression of disappointment, loneliness, and sadness (p. 53).Love songs usually are played by the flute.. .’’Love songs o f the Chippewa are plaintive in character, usually expressing sadness and disappointment. Only onelove song expresses a promise and one a request, six concerning the departure o f a lover, and five concern loss and longing. Two express jealousy and offense, two express fickleness and two related to an attempt to drown disappointment in drink” (Densmore, 1913, p. 42).5. Moccasin game songs (Makizin’ata’ diwin’ na’gumowi nun)— Elements in moccasin game: Controlled excitement, desire for success and gain, pleasure, and confidence in supernatural aid (p. 54).6. Woman’s dance songs (ikwe’ nimiwin’ na’gumoni’ nun)— Elements in the dance: Pleasure and securing the gifts offered with the invitation to dance (p. 55).7. Begging dance songs (bagosan’ninge’nimiwin nun)—Elements in the dance: Pleasure and acquirement (p. 56).8. Pipe dance song— Elements in the dance: Ludicrous pantomime and contortion (p. 56).9. Songs connected with gifts— Comprising songs which are sung when a gift of considerable value is given or received at a social dance (p. 57).10. Songs for the entertainment o f children: Comprising songs o f mimic warfare and of warfare between animals—two songs intended only for amusement, and one lullaby (p. 57).In addition “to songs connected with dreams and with triumphs gained by supernatural aid, there are love songs, and songs o f physical activity (as the social dances) and of home life like the23songs for the entertainment o f children. Almost without exception the love songs are songs of disappointment and longing. There are a few love charms songs included among those o f the Mide” (Densmore, 1913, p. 16). The Chippewa believe when you sing a love song that the power of the song brings well-being to the self or the partner.The Power of SongAll nations gathered in front o f the Carnegie library this year (2009) in Vancouver Canada, to march for our 500 missing Native women that we lost over the last 30 years. The people gathered, marched, drummed and sang the women’s warrior song for hours. As women created a huge circle and people drummed on the outside o f the circle, our female Elders preformed a sacred ceremony in its center. This ceremony was so strong it pushed out all heaviness and negativity from my being and connected me to an opening in my spirit that went up through the sky as far as the eye could see. The power o f our ceremonies and the gathering o f peoples while singing and drumming heal. It brings a sense o f well-being to all people involved in sacred ceremonies. All things connected at this space and place creating healthy interconnections between each other and pathways o f transformation for our lost women in the next world and in this world. Many eagles came at that time while the people cheered their soaring wings because the eagles had shown us the ceremony and our fallen women warriors had been blessed that day.Steve Keeshick says that, “in the lodge sacred connection to the spirit world heal the soul. The spirits calls out to find the needs o f the people. Then the water drum summons the spirits, spirits o f medicine and spirits that heal the soul. The drum cuts at the heartstrings o f the Indian soul. There is an instant knowledge to any Indian who has heard the beat o f the drum. There is an instant connection to its power” (Pow Wow Trail, 2000).Drums were highly honored and treated “like people for the Ojibway. They had names and special clothes and were ritually fed. When tobacco is donated at a ceremony and the pipe tender receives some of it, the greater share goes to the Drum” (Hart, 1990, p. 233).In the DVD Beat o f  the Drum, “all colours at one point were tribal people. The four races were tribal people and they all had their own songs. All I wanted to do was carry my songs forward” (Hersley & Morrieseau, 1997). Songs can be handed down and sung for centuries, this is a very great honour for many Native people. The power and memory o f the song lives through singing.When there is a feast held in the lodge, a “man is designated as an appointed leader o f this feast, and when it is time for the guests to depart he leads in the singing o f two songs, shaking his rattle as he sings. Anyone who knows these songs may join the leader in singing them” (Densmore, 1910, p. 33). When the community sings together it creates a powerful connection between each person. It strengthens the human bond and promotes caring.The Elders say “that a person begins to sing from the mouth. As years go by, the songs begin to move deeper in the being o f the singer and he or she learns to sing from the throat. At this point the singer begins to touch the power and essence of the song. As more years go by, the singer begins to sing from the heart. Here, the singer finds the light, the flame within the heart, which is the source o f purification o f the song. As more years pass the singer travels even deeper into the spiritual reality o f being and begins to sing from the center. At this point, the singer becomes connected to creation through the center o f their being. When they sing the songs they connect with the ancestors receiving strength, are purified as they pass through the heart, receive the power o f the throat and the intonation o f the voice and fly from their mouth to descend upon the community as a blessing” (Brown, 2004, p. 7). I have witnessed our Native men drum and sing25for days at our sacred ceremonies and at our community Pow wows. Our men have pushed forward their songs for the people and by the end of our ceremonies; the energy is vibrating so high that peoples’ lives can change through the power o f their songs. It is not only the words o f the songs or the power o f the drum but how the drummer, witnesses, dancers and people have connected to its sound and music. People are mesmerized by the completeness o f the experience and drawn to the spirit o f the drum. The vibration o f song has reached the spirits o f the people and the transformation o f life begins.Vibration and SoundIn an overview o f traditional Native and Midewiwin (which is an Ojibway spiritual practice) spiritual drumming and song, through literature review and participatory observation there is an “umbilical cord o f spirituality”. Drumming and song is foundational to the Native way o f ‘wholistic being’ and is connected to the teachings and being o f Mother Earth. Native peoples see Mother Earth as a living being that sustains all life forces. Without the incorporation o f this epistemology and ontology the Native people are fragmented. The Elders say that the vibration o f sound travels through the Earth. For example the Elders say the songs, prayer and prophesies o f the Hopi are similar to that o f the Monks o f Tibet. The vibration o f sound from the drum, songs, prayer and prophesies over time has made its way through to the other side o f the world and back again.There are many drums in the Native culture traditional hand drum, the pow-wow (sometimes called the chief drum), the peace (sometimes called the warrior drum), the juggler drum (medicine drum) and the water drum (specific to the Midewiwin ceremonies). Depending on the hide and how it is made, each drum would have a different sound and vibration. The pitch wouldbe deepest in the hide of the buffalo, next would be moose, cow, elk, and then deer. Deer hides have one o f the highest and lightest pitches when being drummed.Playing the drum is an interesting process, “the kids play louder and louder. It lasted about an hour. These things have life cycles—they begin, build in intensity, maintain, and then dissipate and dissolve. (Hart, 1990, p. 238 ). The vibration o f sound in the drum beat resonates in the body and opens up the heart. Some of these hearts have been closed and emotional blockages have resulted from the effects o f colonization. Gerald Viznor writes, “there is a ‘spoken feeling’ o f the songs found in the Anishinabe woodland people” (1965, p. 138). The beat o f the sacred drum changes the emotional state through the ‘spoken feeling’ o f an individual in such a way that by singing we begin to be heard and by being heard we are validating our presence as human beings and that we are worthy o f being human with a clear strong voice. Sound and singing can therefore be thought by the Native people as a form of healing. It’s time to hear the thunder of the drums to allow healing o f the people.Marie Battiste and James Henderson (2000) write that Aboriginal peoples have experienced a “colonization of our creation, our ecologies, our minds and our spirits” (p.l 1). Our Elders remind us that the beat o f the drum is the ‘the beat o f our hearts’ and our beings resonate with this sound, with colour, and the vibration opens us and heals us, it lifts our spirits, our feeling.The ni’miwug (dancing songs) are always “sung vibrato, with the wavering o f voice which would be produced by the motion of the body in dancing. This wavering o f the voice is inseparably connected with the song. In some Chippewa songs, there is a tendency toward27uncertainty o f intonation. The melodic material is extremely limited and this wavering o f the voice may seem to add to the effectiveness o f the song. In summarizing the preceding information, we find the songs o f the Chippewa to be essentially a musical expression, the form of the words being subordinate to the form of the melody” (Densmore, 1910, p. 19). Musical expression is medicine. The words o f the “Elders remind us that each word is spoken in an exercise o f power and a use o f medicine. Therefore, with our words we can create good medicine. With our words we design our path o f life, with the etching o f power that lies within the wisdom of the word. Singing is the concentration and magnification o f this power. Fortunate is the man or woman who can raise their hand to the mountain and sing with all their being as an expression of joy” (Brown, 2004, p. 6). The vibration o f sound in singing is power and good medicine.HealingThe Mide is central to Native music and the Ojibway (Grand Medicine Society), which is the native religion o f the Ojibway. It “teaches that long life is coincident with goodness, and that evil inevitably reacts on the offender. Its chief aim is to secure health and long life to its adherents, and music forms an essential part o f every means used to that end” (Densmore, 1910, p. 13).28Fig. 6: Fram ew ork of lodge used in Chippewa Midewewin ceremony a t H enry Benner's, Nett Lake. (Photo from Minnesota Historical Society, Nov. 10, 2009).This photo in Fig. 6 is the framework of a lodge is used M idewiwin ceremony, a gathering place o fthe Ojibway. W hen the Native people gather and play the drum together it creates a sense o fharmony. In Pow Wow Trail (2000), Dakota, Sioux and Annishinaabe had a lot o f fights, the useof the drum signalled unity and peace amongst the people. Antone wanted to get deeper into theculture, and so began to attend Iroquois social drum singing practices. He began to promotehealing after learning about the negative impact that residential schools and the Church had onNative people. Antone found “healing in our language. Healing is found in our stories. Healing isfound in listening to our Elders. Healing is found in education. Healing is found in our traditional29ceremonies. Healing is found through the drumming, singing and dancing. Healing is found in the traditional foods o f our Nations. Healing is our emotional, our mental, our physical and our spiritual aspects— all these bring me back to you” (Antone, G. & Turchetti, L. P. 2002, p.53).Antone says: “The songs began a new healing for those o f us who were learning the depth and strength o f the social dances and discovering their power to lift up the spirits o f the people who listened to the music and danced at the social gatherings. Her group began to sing at various events in Toronto, and the people seemed to have so much fun because o f the prayers and the spiritual impact the songs were having on them” ( Antone, G. & Turchetti, L. P. 2002, p. 54).In Figure 6, the Ojibway gather in the Mide lodge and songs that are sung are seen as prayers. These songs are used as a way to bring in the Manitou (Spirit) to aid in the process o f healing.Many “Mide songs mention sickness, but always with an affirmation that it will be cured by supernatural means” (Densmore, 1913, p. 17). As well as the Mide, “Trance, dance, painted drums and shields were central to early shamanism, as they are to the continuing practice of this art today. For the shaman, the cosmos is personalized. Rocks, plants, trees, bodies o f water, two and four-legged creatures, are all animate. The world o f the human being and the world o f nature and spirit are essentially reflections o f each other in the shaman’s view of the cosmos. This special and sacred awareness o f the universe is codified in song and chant, poetry and tale, carving and painting” (Dunffene, 1991, p. 123). Dunfrene explains the mystical side of Shamanism where as Hart writes about Shamanism who is demonstrating a sick person. When the “Shaman shouted for the sick person’s body to arise healed, the body really did rise, and so did the kids in the audience, who all jumped to their feet, their mouths wide open” (Hart, 1990, p. 246,).30In the video Pow Wow Trail (2000), “we hear thunder it is clear and we are not acting well— the prayer must be sung in order to heal our self. We sing a prayer song and a healing song.. .the thunder o f the drum comes from the thunder o f the universe, a spiritual message, understanding and healing. The thunder can be heard after 500 years in the drum -the drum exists for 500 years it exists the same way. ”It is a “profound struggle to bring back the culture, the old ways” (Puttkamer, 1994). “The consciousness of peoples in Canada I think is the most important instrument in healing the Earth” (Hersley & Morrieseau, 1997). In Healing o f  Nations they teach the “sacred hoop is not broken, the people have just been pulled away from it .. .the weapons have been taken from the warriors, the spirits broke because they had no weapons to hunt.. .without our culture we are dead, without ties to the holy Earth mother we are dead. That is why the young people have nothing to connect to” (Puttkamer, 1994). This disconnection o f Native culture causes “suicide, drinking and drugs. Some o f the youth want to be dead. We want to reawaken the echoes of chiefs so we can heal the nations... .to carry on our great culture and our great ways o f life. Many great truths we just have remnants o f and the new generation doesn’t know what is real and they need the experience so they know what is real -  what we read in books is not real. In spiritual gathering and songs and drumming ceremonies the sacred knowledge is being utilized— it is our responsibility to use it.. .the people are coming to the native way and they are reconnecting because the bowl o f information is being pieced back together...’’(Puttkamer, 1994).Native societies in which “shamans or holy people share the power o f their visions include the Iroquois Society o f the Mystic Animals, the Midewin o f the Ojibwa and the numerous societies o f the Pueblos and Navajos. All o f these societies incorporate some aspects o f the arts into their31healing and religious ceremonies. In traditional life where religion, medicine and art are intertwined in a unity o f purpose, the central principles in healing are: return to the origins; confrontation and manipulation o f evil; death and rebirth; and restoration o f the universe” (Dunfrene, 1991, p. 123).These songs are so “beautiful that there is only one object—that the person shall fall unconscious, showing that he is “entirely controlled by the medicine.” When it is desired that a person be energized to some great undertaking the rhythm is irregular but so fascinating in its irregularity that it holds the attention. This is what is always sought—to control over the person” (Densmore, 1910, p. 19). The person is moved and controlled by the spirit through singing and prayer. The songs o f the Chippewa are so important that the Chippewa “sing almost continuously for several hours at a time, each song being repeated an indefinite number o f times. Here the songs are “usually accompanied by the drum .. .and the songs connected with the use o f medicine producing a benefit and healing to the singers and listeners” (Densmore, 1913, p. 15). In a spiritual belief system, the reiteration o f a phase, song, prayer brings the intention o f the song to connect with the soul. Hence the common phrase “as above, so below” or “from the inner to the outer and the outer to the inner”.32Fig. 7: Chippewa Medicine M an Singer w ith Ceremonial T urtle Clan D rum  (Photo from Minnesota Historical Society, Nov. 10, 2009).Investigation of the source and the use o f Chippewa songs lead to the conclusion that most of them are linked, either directly or indirectly, with the inspiration and reliance on supernatural help. The Chippewa Medicine Man seen in Figure 7 uses the drum and song to connect to powerful healing forces. This idea rarely assumes the form of direct address, though one song contains the words ‘be kindly, my Manido,’ and in some of the Chippewa songs a manido (spirit) animal or bird is represented as speaking— ‘I am a spirit able to become visible, I am a male beaver: and ‘I am about to a light that you may see me” (Densmore, 1913, p. 15). This connection to ‘spirit’ is very important; it can teach us everything we need to understand about the forces of nature and the universe.33Spirit Creation Story and Sound (Soul and Light)“How did the Universe begin and how did our Mother Earth come into being, Nokomis (Grandfather)?” Nokomis answered, “Grandson, first there was a void in the Universe. There was nothing to fill this emptiness.. .but a sound. This sound was like that o f a She-she-gwun’ (shaker)” (Benton-Banai, 1988, p. 15). The void that is found sometimes in a human being caused by loss, grief, illness abuse or even addiction can be filled by the power o f song, which can be love and connection and therefore healing on many levels. Song can be connection to one’s cultural heritage, to land, to people, to prayer, to creation and to the Creator. Every song holds many notes and these notes resonate with the human body. Every song holds notes that resonate with the human body. The way o f the heart in Pow Wow Trail (2000) is the Midewiwin and the dewegun is the drum and the heart. The religion central to that, Midewiwin, is from the heart beat—Midegun the heartbeat or center from the heart o f the creator. We pound the drum to keep the heartbeat—the rhythm of creation is the drum amongst the people. The magic or spirit is the connection to the drum”. Hart says: “Voice of the drum is a spirit thing, which is why the Ojibwa go to elaborate lengths to infuse their drum with the proper voice. There is a spiritual way, which has nothing to do with technique. It is simply to tune oneself to the music” (Hart, 1990, p. 236). In Pow Wow Trail (2000), the people believe in the connection to the spiritual and connect through the heart, the beat o f the drum. Why do people “cling to the past physical, spirit, mental? They need to cling to something real even though this world is not a real world—the duality o f physical and spiritual associated to that is the songs as thanksgiving to spirit and life and connection it is the heartbeat o f creation is the heartbeat in the individual.”The video, Beat o f  the drum says that the Medicine Wheel points to where the spirits enters our world, “original birthplace o f which they all cam e... in unison—all directions north for movement, east and yellow for technology, black for persecution, red and west for vision” (Hersley & Morrieseau, 1997).Each color found in our Medicine Wheel serves a specific purpose, we use colors in our ceremonies, we use color in our prayers ties, and we use color when we are creative. Colors are doorways through the various worlds. The colors aid us when we sing. Each color vibrates at a different level. Each level o f vibration holds a musical note and a musical note corresponds to different parts o f the human body and causes either a physical, emotional, spiritual or mind reaction. There is a correlation between color and musical notes. Each color holds different meanings like in the Medicine wheel; color has importance in Ojibway singing and drumming.As the “four colors converge, the four brothers unite and a new color is formed, a blue green hue, representing the spirit o f Mother Earth. The songs merge and a new melody is formed. A new form that will point the way to a new direction, to a new future...’’(Hersley & Morrieseau, 1997).I have met medicine people along my journey that also encompass the use o f color, while singing and drumming to heal. The color concept o f the medicine wheel has four colors; nature shows us more colors for example, the colors o f a rainbow, or the colors o f a sunset. When I was about the age o f nine, I said to my mom, ‘did you know that the colors in this world are different from the colors in the next world and when we sing, the colors can change?’ There was a spiritual understanding of color and music at a young age. According to Puttkamer, ’’spirituality is going back in history and getting in touch with the songs, culture, language and ceremonies”35(1994). In the Native context, it's impossible to separate music from healing as healing comes from spiritual union and music is intrinsically bound to that.Section Thunderbird:Linked to Education and IdentityAccording to Antone (p. 2), the elders tell us that, to be fully developed, one must maintain balance in all four o f the areas o f the Medicine Wheel. By passing through different stages of life, he realized that something crucial was missing in her life. The main issue that Antone’s article raises is realizing that the formal Euro-Western education journey caused a form of suppression “emphasizing physical and intellectual development’ whereas the Aboriginal model or Medicine Wheel consisted of four parts: emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual. What was missing was the cultural link o f her Native language which she felt would produce a balance in her life. There is a deep “way of life’ couched in the native language; by writing down and translating it Antone began to understand the ‘deep mystery that dwells within the language” (Antone, G. & Turchetti, L. P., 2002, p. 50). The Native language is in the Native songs and music is one way to learn the language and the culture. Ojibway drumming and singing is also a way for Native people who have not been raised in their own culture or on reserve to understand the intimate connection to drumming and song. The songs themselves contain everything a student needs to learn. It will give the student a sense of pride, inclusiveness and identity to sing the native culture that feels most natural to them. Drumming and singing is emotional, mental and the spiritual connection to the medicine wheel. I was extremely excited to learn my first Native song. I sang it over and over again until my tongue decolonized and the words began to flow. My Elders laughed with me as I tried topronounce the Ojibway words to the song ‘Manitou Makwa’ (Spirit Bear). It took time, patience36and eventually the content o f the words o f the song touched my inner and I became alive with Manitou Makwa and my eyes filled with tears and joy! It took me so long to come home, so long to feel connected, so long to take back my voice and my Native spirit...Music can help us balance. Hart writes: “listen to yourselves, you’re making music with an ‘Ojibway’ drum!... I wanted to give them something larger, the spiritual side of drumming” (Hart, 1990, p. 236).The physical act of singing and drumming is also in creating a dram. The students made their own drum and were “celebrating themselves. They knew that they had created something that was alive, that had a force of its own, out of nothing but their shared energy” (Hart, 1990, p. 238). The shared energy and personal relationships with traditional Native teachers and Elders where knowledge is passed to the next generation and relationships are made through the creation of a drum.In the video Healing o f  Nations, “our grandparents didn’t go to school but they taught me everything ... we need to teach each other these things.. .putting sacred knowledge to work together” (Puttkamer, 1994). The healing struggle to “keep the First Nations students in school.. . .incorporate the culture.. .the curriculum texts books can be changed to native.. . .not going to be intellectual but now wholistic with ceremony.. .first time in the Vancouver school board that we are allowed to be Aboriginal people-if we just let the youth do ceremonies they instantly know.. .’’(Puttkamer, 1994). I never grew up with my biological family but the innate Native understanding I have is deep, it comes from spiritual place at a cellular level. I can feel it in my blood. Our Native ceremonies have given our people a chance to reconnect to the culture.I have a natural curiosity, love and understanding o f nature, the rocks, the plants, the animals, humans, ancestors and interconnections between these life forces. We are the ‘tree o f life’ which37connects us to the whole and these interactions and spiritual relations are the most important part o f life and growth in all the worlds.We are “relearning our past and I have learned so much about my ancestors” {Drum Lake, n.d.). Also in the Drum Lake, (n.d.) video, reconnection to the Native culture gives the people a sense o f place and identity. Cultural education strengthens an individual to know where one has come from and to know one still belongs. These bridges o f acceptance place roots in our natural understanding o f our land, the life forces, ancestors, and our families.In a recent analysis o f current curriculum research, Dr. Lee Brown states that from a Native wholistic worldview, a balanced education would incorporate mental, physical, emotional and spiritual education (Brown, 2004). If  we apply Dr. Brown’s findings to public education, a preliminary assessment would suggest an education system devoid o f Native spiritual teachings. These Spiritual teachings are contained in Native drumming and song and necessary for the public education system. In traditional education, we are taught to sing to the fish so that they come to swim in our rivers, they hear us, they come and they bless our families with food. In turn, we take care o f the water, the land and the air for these forces sustains all life. When we sing for a child who has found her way home, we sing to reconnect to each other so that we rejoice in becoming whole and we have waited a long time to come home. We sing to lift our spirits when life has been hard and to thank the Creator for keeping our secrets alive as we pass them to our children through drumming and song. No stronger is an education than the connection between each other as knowledge is passed from Elder to child and child to Elder.We gain speed in our recovery from legacy o f residential school, stolen land, stolen children and fallen warriors who fought for our freedom and peace. We sing to honour our mothers and fatherseven generations ago o f ancestors who still whisper in our ears, our songs, their love and our connection. We are open channels o f hope and a gentle future, so we can continue to carry our drums and we sing our knowledge on our way home.The Midewiwin drumming and song are still widely embraced and sung as forms o f healing and many songs are socially used. The social songs are songs that are sung in public. When Native songs are used, the vibration o f the song resonates within the singer and/or drummer and offers Native students a connection to the culture. The context o f the song connects the singer specifically to the culture, land and people from whence this song came from. If the song is Ojibway, then the content exclusively is Ojibway rich in ‘spoken feeling’ o f the land, and its people. This is especially important to the Native students who still lack roots in their own culture. This reconnection to culture for many Native people is extremely important for their personal development. The lack o f roots gives the Native student the sense that something is missing in their being. This reconnection to culture through singing and drumming diminishes the disconnection to culture seven generations down the ancestral line, which is an extremely important method of healing our Native people. “For Ojibwe People, making a decision with an eye on seven generations ahead means more than just making a long-term decision. It means taking into consideration the lives o f seven generations o f children. According to Ojibwe tradition, thinking seven generations ahead means that your decisions are not selfish and rash. It means that your decisions take into consideration the circle o f life. Although it is not always possible to plan so far in advance, it’s important to hold seven generations as an ideal” (7 Generations, 2008). One o f the keys to Native success in education is to break this continuous fragmented spirit due to colonization o f our Native people and stop it from spiralling further down our generations. We stop this by developing curriculum that includes traditional values,song, teachings, ceremonies and arts, weaving them back into the education system, in order to allow the evolution of a healthy wholistic education system.It is said that the “ancient rock writing was the scribbling o f the little people, or the writing of visitors from other countries— even from other planets— and that the drawings were recorded dreams o f ancient healers-in-training. Ancient healers used drumming and song to heal. Antone had a ’new way o f seeing’ and because Western educators were raised under the influence of written traditions, it is often hard for them to think in mythical ways like dreaming or ’picture words” (Antone, G. & Turchetti, L. P., 2002, p. 56).Perfect images limit our potential for creative seeing, and so wherever poems, sculptures, songs, paintings, dances, or stories are “told, the ‘speaker’ cannot separate ‘words’ from the Aboriginality of spirit that touches and moves the ‘listener’ from the heart. Because o f this, myths and poetry created with the ancient words serve as an interdisciplinary, intercultural way of teaching, and so the spoken and ‘written’ depend on each other. This is evident in the central role o f the creative arts in Native education”( Antone, G. & Turchetti, L. P., 2002, p. 57).In Shared Learnings (1998), BC’s Aboriginal Education Initiative^ has many ideas on Native education. For example they have a ‘Drum Making’ video for grades 7-10 (p. 188). More and more public and private education is embracing the Native culture. I worked at Whytecliffe independent school in Burnaby BC and hired as an Aboriginal Teacher-Coordinator. I had the honour of connecting and bridging with our Aboriginal community. Many people recommended Elders and educators to teach, engage and pass down traditional Native education to our students. Our Elders and educators were invited in from all directions o f BC’s lower mainland. We had Elders participating with our students in the making o f drums and singing. We began “a drummaking activity that took students through the entire process from curing the bison skin, to stretching and making a drum, to performing a song using the drum” (Cassidy & Marsden, 2009, p. 6). For all o f them, it was the first time making a drum. Our youth shone and prospered after learning about their personal heritage and culture. Many o f them fell in love with their own culture. Their Aboriginal identity flourished, some o f their grades began to go up, their attendance increased and their self-confidence grew while experiencing traditional education. Many o f them made it a point to attend school on the days that we had something ‘Native’ going on. I hope to see the school systems continue to increase the use o f traditional educators and our Elders.ConclusionThe main hope for the Native people is to continue the journey o f identity and reignite thecultural self-direction and knowledge of identity to heal the scars left behind from colonizationthrough a spiritual awakening. A path o f “lightening” the soul sorrows o f the past through songand drumming, through culture and compassion, through stories, gifts, receiving and ceremony isneeded. We must aim to light the fire again in the heart to bum away the impurities o f the pastand the legacy o f trauma, to support, love and lift each other out o f despair, alcoholism, drugs,abuse and survival. This becomes possible when we create a sound spiritual base that turns theMedicine Wheel into a life o f balance, to heal the soul from fragmentation. More research isneeded to understand how the body reacts to sound, and spiritual connection. It has deepened myknowledge and understanding o f how our Native songs can connect one to culture, community,healing and self. I have found very little literature on Native sound, vibration, healing, drummingSuand song. Some of the articles advance the idea o f healing through continuing to practice Native culture such as; Antone, G. & Turchetti, L. P. (2002) “The Way of the Drum: When Earth Becomes Heart” and Pow Wow Trail: Episode 1, The Drum (2004). The theme of healing through drumming and singing as part o f ceremony to reconnect to the ‘Mother’ or the drum is a constant suggestion in all the literature reviewed for my project.Traditional Native spiritual practices are still relevant to contemporary Native culture.Traditional training is used to strengthen the qualities o f Indigenous people, and is evident in Native society. This society is known as a centre and a vehicle which transmits spiritual and cultural beliefs o f the Native people to all nations. It promotes healing through culture, drumming and song. It also preserves the cultural integrity o f the people and their individual healing life journeys. In the Midewiwin, one o f the main threads is to continue passing on Ojibway traditional drumming and its traditional songs. I am personally interested in the social songs that are drummed from the Mide because o f my own Ojibway heritage. I was honoured to learn songs from my own Ojibway heritage during this literature review. It took me almost 40 years to learn one song.The Native peoples have preserved the traditions and continue training in and maintaining culture. The people have preserved ceremonies as a way o f addressing the conflicts and continuous challenges that Native people face. The ceremonies used drumming and singing to preserve the culture, heal, and support the people, through natural and organic processes. Always included are the use o f songs, stories, teachings and drumming. Our Native practices are based upon a self-discipline, experiential learning and reflexive practice. It is proven in the sample of42literature reviewed for this project that the connection between sound, vibration, Spirit, drumming and singing is indeed healing our people.BibliographyAntone, G. & Turchetti, L. P. (2002). The Way of the Drum: When Earth Becomes Heart. Proceedings o f the Annual Conference on Stabilizing Indigenous Languages. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.Ball, J. &. Pence, A. R. (2006). Transforming Knowledge through Trust and Respect. In Supporting Indigenous Children's Development: Community-University Partnerships (pp. 79-93). Vancouver, Canada: UBC Press.Benton-Banai, E. (1988). The Mishomish Book: The Voice of the Ojibway. Hayward, Wisconsin. USA: Indian Country Communications Inc.Brown, L. (2004). Chapter & Epilogue: a final reflection on the practical application of a holistic theory of cultural pedagogy: seven circles of transformation toward a path of learning. In Making the Classroom a Healthy Place (pp. 185-241). Vancouver, BC: UBC.Cassidy, W. & Marsden, D. (2009). Aboriginal Ways of Being: Educational Leaders, Students and Traditional Aboriginal Knowledge. Values and Ethics in Educational Administration, 7(3) 1-8.Castellano, M. (2000). Updating Aborignal traditions of knowledge. Indigenous knowledges in global contexts: Multiple readings o f our world, George Sefa, (Ed.). 21-36. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.Center, P. o. (Director), (n.d.). Drum Lake Archaeology [Film],Densmore, F. (1910). Chippewa Music (Vol. Bulletin 45). (B. o. Ethnology, Ed.) Washington: Washington Government Printing Office.Densmore, F. (1913). Chippewa Music II (Vol. Bulletin 53). (B. o. Ethnology, Ed.) Washington: Office, Washington Government Printing.Dunfrene, P. (1991). Utilizing the Arts for Healing from a Native American Perspective: Implications for Creative Art Therapies. The Canadian Journal o f Native Studies, 10, 122-131.Hart, M. (1990). Drumming at the edge of Magic: A Journey into the Spirit of Percussion . New York: Harper Collins Publishers.Minnesota Historical Society (Nov. 10,2009) Photographs from Minnesota Historical Society, permission# 77383., R. H. (Producer), & Hersley, R. (Director). (1997). Beat o f the Drum: Music at the heartbeat o f First Nations [ Film].Hoffman, W. J. (2005). The Midewiwin or Grand Medicine Society. Washington: Government Printing Office.44Horan, P. (2009, May). Retrieved from Ecosystem Scholars Support Services:, A. R. (Director). (2004). Pow Wow Trail: Episode 1, The Drum [Film].Marsden, D. (2005). Indigenous Wholistic Theory for Health: Enhancing Traditional Based Indigenous health Services in Vancouver. (Doctoral Dissertation,University of British Columbia, 2001). Vancouver, BC.George Amiotte, P. v. (Producer), & Puttkamer, P. (Director). (1994). Healing o f Nations [Film].Shared-Leamings. (1998). Shared Learnings: Integrating BC Aboriginal Content K-10. Victoria BC: Ministry of Education.Smith, L. (1999). Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London: Zed Books Ltd.Thunderbird, S. (2009, Feburary 7). Retrieved from Teachings of the Drum:, T. J. (1982). The Ojibwa Dance Drum: Its History and Construction. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.Vizenor, G. (1965). Anishinabe Nagamon: Songs o f the People. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Nodin Press; Bolger Publications.Warren, W. W. (1984). History o f the Ojibway People. Minnesota, USA: Minnesota Historical Society, Borealis Books.Wikipedia. (2009, Feburary 8). Retrieved from The Free Encyclopedia: http//


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