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Emotional and Symbolic Dance Opens Drum Festival

Craig Huckerby for local2 sault ste. marie
July 1st, 2011 at 4:07pm

The Echos of the World Drum Festival started with an emotional and symbolic dance representing one of the darkest periods in Canada's history and ending with understanding and healing Friday morning.

The 9th annual drum festival which moved to a new venue this year with the Algoma University grounds hosting the two day festival. The event also tied into The Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The group brings together those who lived through the Native Residential Schools . Algoma University was originally built as a residential school where survivor, Jackie Fletcher attended and lived.

Fletcher and Shirley Horn created the special opening ceremony dance, Serpent and Butterfly Dance ; Residential School Then and Now. It showed a large serpent moving around the ground with black skin that it sheds to reveal colour and then joined by butterfly representing the new generation said Fletcher.

"It's very emotional to me, it came out exactly how I wanted" Fletcher said.

The two day festival brings together all nations through music and drums. Throughout the event the beat of one drum or several can be heard while taking in vendors and demonstrations by various groups. On Friday night a sunset drum circle takes place from 10pm to 1am.

The 2nd day starts at 10am with Adam Hayward, Drummer and facilitator followed by a husand and wife duo, by the name Waasayskun.

Peter Miller offers a lesson in drum making at noon Saturday with all sorts of other entertainment all day long on the stage area. The closing ceremonies take place at 9pm Saturday


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