by Elizabeth McFarlane
École Braemar’s Professional Development Day was held on Monday, Sept. 23.
This day was about exploring our role as educators in sharing Indigenous culture and
We started our day with Sonja Oliver expressing the
Territorial Land Acknowledgement, followed by the singing of the
Coast Salish Anthem. Henry Schooner (Q’puts) led the song with
It was amazing to sing alongside Henry, Gord Dick (Tchilaqs7tchila), and Sydney Doucet, all Indigenous
cultural workers who were facilitating our drum making workshop.
We learned about the drum as a heartbeat, a way to
connect to Mother Earth, as we used tools to punch tiny holes in our
drums, and weave sinew to tie the hide to its rim.
The heartbeat that connects us to the hide on our drum. As we were making our drums we learned the importance of pouring energy and love into our drum to create its
It felt amazing to be together as a staff, learning and connecting as one big family. We learned how to respect and look after our drum. And about the importance of acknowledging where drum songs and dances came from and who taught
Some songs are a gift and some are not.
We started making connections as to how we could use our
drum in the classroom as a sensory tool to self regulate. Or as a way to build
community by passing the drum around to each student in a circle.
We came up with a plan for our first assembly with our
drums for Orange Shirt Day.
We enjoyed a lunch in the library together with our
guests, and later in the day Lisa Pedersen (Grade 2 Teacher) led a discussion on place based education in our
It was a powerful way to connect to the First Peoples
Principles of Learning and to be reminded that an Indigenous person’s sense of self is not separate from
This was my favourite Pro-D Day of all time.
I will remember to think about the story of the drum I
made and to let my drum speak to me as I continue on my journey of exploring Indigenous
culture and story.
Thank you to Gord, Henry, Sydney, the Indigenous
Educational Resource Team, and Lisa Pedersen for making this day possible.