A drum making workshop at Gladstone Secondary has given First Nations students at the school a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the instrument.
Led by elder Bruce Robinson, students learned the fundamentals of making a drum while also exploring its cultural and spiritual importance.
"It creates understanding that it doesn't matter where anyone comes from, it's up to all of us to make a difference and care for Mother Earth," said Robinson. "While making the drum they learn about the trees that wood comes from and the animals that gave the sinew, so they learn how to honour what they have."
The all day workshop resulted in students leaving with a completed drum, which they were encouraged to give away to a loved one - a cultural practice that teaches the importance of not holding on to material things.
"Anything that brings connection to that identity piece is really important," said Aboriginal enhancement teacher Sohan Dulai. "When they have an awareness and a strong sense of identity they can go anywhere in the world."
The drum making workshop is just one way Gladstone is connecting students with First Nations culture. On June 1, the school will host Connections - We Are One, an event featuring a drum song, traditional dances and a talk by VSB Knowledge Keeper Shane Pointe about the cultural importance of connections to First Nations people.
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