Awakening of the Drum Ceremony

Dec. 19, 2016

Grade 3/4 students at Piitoayis Family School took part in an Awakening of the Drum Ceremony when Anishinaabe Elder Doreen Roy came to visit Friday, November 4th. Elder Doreen shared the story of the first drum, telling students that "the drum is the heart beat of our people and we need to show respect for the drum.”

She explained to the students, "the drum is alive and that we must care for it as we would our grandmother."

Elder Doreen’s teachings will help students to remember the importance of the drum and the importance of respecting the drum.

The drums, placed out on a buffalo robe, were awoken one by one. Students had the opportunity to hold a drum as Elder Doreen performed the ceremony. Tobacco was placed on the center of each drum, then Elder Doreen sang the Anishinaabe Strong Women’s Warrior song. The students were in awe of Elder Doreen’s singing and drumming and enjoyed watching the tobacco dance on the drum as it awoke. Students at Piitoayis Family School will use the drums to learn a variety of traditional songs.

We are grateful for the Awoo Taan Healing Lodge for arranging the Awakening of the Drum Ceremony.