Reclaiming Culture is a look into Culture nights with Michelle Robinson. What is shared over a meal? More than food, teachings are passed along through generations. Gathering to celebrate identity inspires drum making, and new songs are sung. Songs were lost as a direct result of intentional oppression [eg. residential school]. When Klahoose writes new songs to Welcome people to their lands, we are witnessing a profound moment of living culture, of cutting edge language work and a powerful pivot point in history. We also hear the voice of Jessie Louie, Drew Blaney drumming and song workshop, Cortes Museum and Archives work recording school children learning a new public song. Hands up to Jessie Louie, Michelle Robinson, CIMAS’s Brittany Baxter and Drew Blaney.
Reclaiming Culture, Culture Nights
“We want it back. We know what’s been taken away from us by the government, the church, through residential schools and all those things. You know, you keep hearing that we want that, we want our culture, Lets do it. Everybody was on board and we’ve had a great turn-out, knowing that people wanted it. … AT the beginning everyone was unsure, how are we going to do this song? It was kind of neat just to walk through the fears of everybody and they just sat there and all of a sudden they were part of it. You see it growing and waken it up in them, as I like to say.” - Michelle Robinson, Social Development Manager and councillor, Klahoose Nation.
Note on the songs used in this story: Drew Blaney shares a social song, [a song meant to be shared with larger public] Listen to the Cheechlem Chi-Chia canoe family singing their old “Tla’amin Love Song” https://youtu.be/ZBEwwatf_h4 To hear welcome song, canoe songs, prayer songs referred to in this story, attend an event where they are shared!
Thank you to interviewer Ashley Zarbatany. Hear more of Ashley’s work at https://archive.org/details/Ashleyondecolonization
The past 5 years have been focused on fundraising and project management, youth programming.
With Deep Roots and Island Waves, I have thoroughly enjoyed the collaborative process, and am excited to have facilitated new and ancient talent, skills, specialists and voices to our community. The opportunity to also write and produce in this series is an honour.