StettlerLocal.com July 2, 2021 @ 11:00AM
Local resident, Felicity Bauman, organized a Drum Circle on Canada Day at West Stettler Park to help bring awareness and healing after the discovery of hundreds of children’s graves at residential schools in Canada.
Felicity Bauman said she found herself crying while trying to push through her day at work upon hearing the news of more children’s bodies being discovered at residential school sites. Bauman, who is of Indigenous-descent, organized the Drum Circle at West Stettler Park on Canada Day in the hopes that the event would bring together both Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents. She hopes it is something that becomes a yearly thing.
“I hope this is something that helps people.” - Felicity Bauman
Bauman said she received an outpouring of support through social media and people have been approaching her asking what they can do to help.
*Bauman spoke about the Cowessess First Nations Chief, Cadmus Delorme, who spoke about the discovery of bodies at the residential school near his community in Saskatchewan. She conveyed his message that the important thing now is that all communities come together. He noted that although the people who created the rules and the residential schools are gone, it’s important we don’t blame but instead, work together so everyone can heal.
“If you let the drum work on you, you might find it will take you to a place. You might cry, you might be angry and really I think the drum wants you to be there.” - Bob Richardson, Drum Circle leader at United Church and Drum Circle participant
Several people brought drums, and a few extras were provided for those wishing to join the circle. When the steady beating of the drums started, around forty adults and children had come to witness and participate in the positive intention of the event. Many wore orange shirts to show unity and support with the Indigenous community.
Henry Johnson, long-time Stettler resident, and Indigenous Hawaiian spoke at the end of the drumming. Johnson talked about how it’s important that we understand the Indigenous problem isn’t just a Canadian problem and that it’s important for everyone to try to come together, regardless of the past.
Carson Ellis, Reporter
Correction July 2, 2021 @ 11:50AM
*Correction made to clarify that Bauman was speaking about what Cadmus Delorme said. Chief Delorme was not present at the event.