Explanation may help others understand

Taseko Mines has asked that during the upcoming New Prosperity hearings that First Nations be somewhat tempered in their drumming.


The word is out that the CEO of Taseko Mines has asked that during the upcoming New Prosperity hearings that First Nations be somewhat tempered in their drumming.

One problem that I note with spontaneous drumming is that there is no explanation regarding the purpose of the drumming, at the recent New Prosperity presentation, without warning or prior explanation, and unexpectedly and again without warning outside the door of the Gibraltar Room. The drumming very loudly interrupted the presentation. We are told that this drumming is part of First Nations spiritual heritage. This is fair and quite understandable. As with all groups there are differing ways to request that a guiding spirit be present with such a presentation.

Most non-natives are in the dark, however, and do not understand what exactly the drummers are drumming about, or exactly why. If drumming is a spiritual prayer, understandable to First Nations culture, First Nations, prior to such drumming need to have a person share an explanation and enlighten those in attendance exactly the purpose of the drumming.

As a comparison, at any public function should an individual stand up and make a loud boisterous religious preaching scene, spiritual or otherwise, that individual would very likely be ejected from the proceedings. How does unexpected drumming differ?

It seems to me that it be only fair to all who attend public functions where First Nations may be inclined to drum, including the upcoming New Prosperity hearings, that prior to the start of the drumming that someone from the First Nations explain the purpose of the drumming, prior to drumming, so that all in attendance can better understand the spiritual significance of their drumming, and that the drumming prayer not be so long that it overtly stifles or interferes with normal and acceptable democratic proceedings.

In this predominantly Christian world, most people would understand, and if not bow their heads, at least would sit quietly and respectively during the process of a drumming prayer. It behooves the First Nations to make it clear by spoken word prior to spontaneous drumming what exactly they are praying or drumming about, or for.


Doug Wilson

Williams Lake

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