In a first for Nova Scotia’s public schools, all elementary school children are learning the Mi’kmaq Honour Song.
In celebration of this milestone, a Drum Day performance took place at the Truro Elementary School today, Oct. 17.
“This initiative is just one of the many ways that we are recognizing the importance of treaty education,” said Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Karen Casey. “It is exciting and moving to watch elementary school students performing the Mi’kmaq Honour Song.”
Traditional hand drums are being made available to all public elementary school music rooms. This is a joint initiative involving the department’s Mi’kmaq Services and Education Innovation, Programs and Services, working together with the Millbrook Cultural Centre and the Membertou Heritage Park.
“When we were first approached about making 150 hand drums for the music programs in elementary schools, my first thought was this is a great way to get all children involved in our culture,” said Heather Stevens, of the Millbrook Cultural and Heritage Centre. “It was a proud moment for our team when it was time to get these beautiful hand drums to the children.”
The province’s music teachers have received professional development on the use, care and significance of the drum to the Mi’kmaq Nation. Teachers have also had the opportunity to participate in several ceremonies relating to the drums.
Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, participated in a workshop to build his own traditional hand drum and also attended the performance.
Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for Education commits to include the language, history, and culture of Acadians, African Nova Scotians, Gaels and Mi’kmaq, including Treaty Education, in the grades primary to 12 curriculum.