101 Deweguns:A Living Hearts Legacy is a collaborative response to Gord’s challenge for us all to “Do Something.” This multi-year all inclusive project calls on people from all walks of life to become involved in the creation of a ‘next sentence’; one which empowers our collective inner child to feel safe through healthy expressive engagement in the arts. Seeded by a Niagara-based collective from the Indigenous community, alongside allies who are looking to create a meaningful and continuous journey of Reconciliation, the project is presented in partnership with the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and Kakekalanicks Indigenous Arts Consultancy.
101 Deweguns was conceived by Niagara-based Indigenous community members Jackie Labonte and Oliver Nobosin as an opportunity to build a deeper cultural understanding and thoughtful Reconciliation.The project’s name comes from the Ojibway word ‘dewegun,’ which translates to mean ‘living heart’.
“We extend an invitation out to all people from all walks of life, from coast-to-coast across this great land, to come together in unity with hands and voices to help give life to this healing medicine canvas, as we all become integral parts in paying this legacy forward,” says Jackie and Oliver.
101 drum frames have been prepared for a series of free workshops about to begin, with finished drums then painted, all stretching over the next two years, culminating with a cross-country drumming circle and public exhibitions of the completed drums’ journey.
Everyone is invited to visit a Virtual Journal at the 101 Deweguns website which will be set up to document the entire journey of the project, providing a means for people to share their voices with one another and for future generations.
“It is our sincere wish for this ‘next sentence’ to become an empowering tool through creative expression, illuminating the future for the next 7 generations,” says Jackie and Oliver.
In appreciation of, and in dedicated support for the ongoing charitable work being carried out by the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF), all fundraising generated by the project will be directed to DWF. The project has a fundraising goal of over $200,000.
The 101 Deweguns Collective is a committed group of individuals and organizations who have come together to bring the vision of this project to life. The Collective includes Jackie Labonte, Oliver Nobosin, Christopher McLeod, Carrissa Gracey, Ashlyn Baskin, Erin Gracey, Kirk Fielding, along with Michele-Elise Burnett (Kakekalanicks Indigenous Arts Consultancy), Gina Wilson-Mcintee (Gina Wilson-Mcintee Designs) and Annie Wilson & Sara Palmieri (FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre).