Since opening in 2012, the Membertou Heritage Park has been offering a variety of evening workshops to the community, including language lessons and beadwork. Starting tomorrow (May 29th, 2013) and running through the summer, Wednesday nights will be devoted to Mi'kmaw music for youth.
It's an initiative that I'm excited to be a part of. As an ethnographer who spent nine years researching Mi'kmaw music, I was always searching for ways that I could give back to the communities I worked with. I did my best to return recordings I made to the communities for their own use, I responded to information requests, and became involved in community-led projects. Now, in partnership with Jeff Ward and the Membertou Heritage Park, I'll have an opportunity to share what I've learned about Mi'kmaw music with youth in that community.
I think this pairing will be a great combination. Jeff is a traditional singer who can share songs, their stories, and protocols associated with them. I'm an academic and classically trained singer who can share recordings, histories of songs, and general information on vocal techniques and health for young voices. Jeff is a drummer (both hand drum and big drum), and I have been learning to play Native American flute. We both are looking forward to learning from each other and together we hope to inspire youth to become engaged in traditional and contemporary Mi'kmaw music.
So, please spread the word and join us on Wednesday nights at 6pm at the Membertou Heritage Park.