Tim Masso of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, left, and other carvers present a drum that was carved from tree to finished product during Gathering Our Voices in the Alberni Valley last week. The drum was presented to Port Alberni Friendship Center. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Indigenous youth create monument to language, culture at Alberni event

Culture, language go hand in hand with Gathering Our Voices drum project

Participants from Gathering Our Voices have left a lasting impression on the Alberni Valley. More than 900 youth between the ages of 14–22 years and accompanying adults spent four days connecting with their culture through various workshops and cultural events.

One of those events has left a legacy: a handcarved drum.

The drum project brought together youth from GOV who worked on the carving from a log to a finished product in just two days.

“It was anyone who wanted to carve,” said Tim Masso, a language student from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation on Vancouver Island’s west coast.

Hjalmer Wenstob, a contemporary Nuu-chah-nulth artist and Masso’s brother, put on the carving event, right from choosing the log to providing carving tools and overseeing the participants.

Wenstob, from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, is taking a Masters of Visual Art at the University of Victoria with a focus on sculpture and installation. He also teaches sculpture. For two days outside the doors at the Alberni Athletic Hall, he guided people through carving and painting the drum.

The drum features two salmon, a male and a female; the female has 17 eggs in her belly, representing the 17 GOV conferences that have taken place.

“It’s really significant to the fact that all these youth are coming together and we’re carving this drum that brings together people in the future as well,” Masso explained.

“Our culture and language go hand in hand; you can’t have one without the other. This drum does really go well with my talk about language,” he said. Masso is in his second year of the Language Proficiency Program at the University of Victoria.

A linguist since he was 15, Masso is passionate about teaching Nuu-chah-nulth language to others. One day, he said at the GOV closing, he would like to see Nuu-chah-nulth language spoken in every home.

The drum was presented to the Port Alberni Friendship Centre and will be stored there for any nations to use. There are people from seven or eight First Nations that use the friendship centre, including Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations, whose territories are around Port Alberni and the Alberni Valley.

Many of those people come to the friendship centre to practice singing and dancing, and will be able to use the drum, he said.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Tim Masso of Tla-q-qui-aht First Nation on the west coast of Vancouver Island introduces a drum project that was completed during Gathering Our Voices in the Alberni Valley last week. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Tim Masso of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation places handmade drumsticks atop a drum that was created at Gathering Our Voices 2019 in Port Alberni in March. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Some of the Gathering Our Voices participants who helped carve the drum pose for a photo before the drum was donated to the Port Alberni Friendship Centre for safekeeping, then blessed. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Just Posted

Former teacher returns to Port Alberni to lead Alzheimer’s Walk

Jory Mitchell celebrates his journey with late wife and her Alzheimer’s diagnosis

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve issues cougar warning at Kennedy Lake

Cougar encounter reported between Tofino and Ucluelet.

Deadline looming for North Island College scholarship applications

Students have until April 24 to apply for a record number of… Continue reading

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Hupacasath First Nation re-elects entire council for new term

Steven Tatoosh takes helm for fifth term as chief, talks economic prosperity for future

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

B.C. senior sentenced for sexually abusing special-needs granddaughter

73-year-old Cortes Island man will go to jail for three years

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Most Read