2022 Celebration of Nations

Drums Across Canada 2022

By August 11, 2022September 8th, 2022No Comments
Sunday 11 sept 3:30EDT


Returning to Celebration of Nations this year, Drums Across Canada is a live and virtual broadcast event that will unite drum circles from eight different performing arts venues paired with Indigenous drumming groups across the country in traditional call and response to foster healing, send love and drum for the children’s spirits who never made it home, for our ancestors, our matriarchs, MMIWG2S, the next generation, for healing, and for wisdom. The message will echo unity, peace, respect and friendship in order to forge a new paradigm shift needed to create transformative and sustainable change for the next 7 Generations.

The call and response starts in Niagara and the drum travels back and forth across Canada. The Call and Response will culminate with a sharing of a song by all communities. The program closes after each drum circle shares some reflections on being part of Drums Across Canada.

Created by Michele-Elise Burnett, Artistic Director of Celebration of Nations.

Join us live in Partridge Hall or online across Canada and the world.

Retournant à Célébration des Nations cette année, Drums Across Canada / ‘Tambours à Travers le Canada’ est un événement en direct et virtuel qui réunira des lieux des arts différents avec des groupes de tambours autochtones à travers le pays, dans un appel et une réponse traditionnels. L’intention d’appel est pour favoriser la guérison, envoyer de l’amour aux esprits des enfants qui ne sont jamais retournés chez nous, pour nos ancêtres, nos matriarches, des FFADA, la prochaine génération, et pour la sagesse. Le message fera écho à l’unité, à la paix, au respect et à l’amitié afin de forger un nouveau changement de paradigme nécessaire pour créer un changement transformateur et durable pour les 7 prochaines générations.

L’appel et la réponse commencent à Niagara et voyagent d’un bout à l’autre du Canada, et culminent avec le partage d’une chanson par toutes les communautés. Le programme se termine après que chaque cercle de tambours a partagé quelques réflexions sur sa participation à Drums Across Canada / ‘Tambours à Travers Canada’.

Créé par Michele-Elise Burnett, directrice artistique de Célébration des Nations. Rejoignez-nous en direct à Partridge Hall ou en ligne à travers le Canada et le monde.

Drums Across Canada schedule – Sun 11 Sept 2022 at 3:30 PM EDT

Call from Ontario by Strong Water Singers and Warrior Womyn of Positive Drum

Response and Call from Manitoba by Buffalo Gals

Response and Call from Yukon Territory by Dakhká Khwáan Dancers

Response and Call from Northwest Territories by Yellowknives Dene First Nation Drummers

Response and Call from Quebec by Kontiwennenhawi (The Akwesasne Women Singers)

Response and Call from Prince Edward Island by Lennox Island First Nation

Response and Call from New Brunswick by Pokəholakənəl Witsehkehsolticik (Sisters of the Drum)

Response and Call from Nova Scotia by Sipu Singers and All Nations Drum

Response from Ontario by Warrior Womyn of Positive Drum and Strong Water Singers

Final group song by all

Reflections from each location and closing remarks



Venue Partner: Imperial Theatre, Saint John NB 


Drum Group: Pokəholakənəl Witsehkehsolticik – Sisters of the Drum

NATION / TERRITORY: Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet)


LANGUAGES: Wolastoqey (Maliseet)

“For the longest time I wanted to join a women’s hand drum group but there were none in the fredericton area…so after alot of thinking and talking to others I came up with the idea to start a group – to see if others were looking to learn songs and drumming.” Krista Paul and the eight ladies that joined her really didn’t know what to expect. They didn’t have any teachers, they were just a bunch of women with the same interest in teaching and learning from each other. They began to meet every Tuesday and since then, it has never stopped. They now created two groups: one that is dedicated to performing and another one that is open to all that are interested. Both groups bring many beautiful women together sharing laughs, stories, tears, and songs. The “performing group” is made up of 9 ladies that have committed their hearts and voices to share the beautiful songs on their people [Kelsey Nash-Solomon, Aaron Hatty, Cole Hatty, Jessica Paul, Emily Paul, Jenny Perley-Martin, Rosanne Clark, Nisha Nicholas and Krista Paul]. Since they started, they have appeared in the 2017 May/June Canadian Geographic, sang at the 2017 state of the province address, take back the night march, sisters in spirit march, sing at schools, graduations and they will be singing at upcoming canada 150 events in the province. Krista Paul is proud of what her drumming group accomplished in the last year: “These ladies mean alot to me and the drumming heals my soul i am so thankful everyday for the journey we are all on together… We have truly become Pokuhulakon Witsehkehsu: Sisters of the drum!”


Pokəholakənəl Witsehkehsolticik – Sisters of the Drum



Venue Partner: King’s Theatre, Annapolis Royal NS


Drum Group: Sipu Singers with All Nations Drum

Sipu Singers is led by shalan joudry and Rose Meuse, from the L’sitkuk (Bear River) Mi’kmaw First Nation. 

Rose Meuse

shalan joudry

All Nations Drum is a women’s big drum group based in Halifax. The group includes grandmothers, mothers, expectant mothers, foster mothers, and future mothers; there are teenage girls and community Elders as full time members. The drummers come from many nations across Turtle Island and bring together their different traditions, culture, and songs.  This diversity gives the group a distinct sound.  They sing at community events, schools, and gatherings of all kinds, and have a particular interest in encouraging young children to participate in their events. All Nations Drum Group is led by Dorene Bernard, who will be joined by Bry Bernard, Kimm Kent, Margie Knickle, Florence Blackett, and Marlene Companion.

All Nations Drum



Venue Partner: FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines ON


Drum Groups: Strong Water Singers with Warrior Womyn of Positive Drum

The Strong Water Singers are a collective of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women from across the Niagara region. Created in 2015 and housed at the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre, this community-based initiative uses drumming and singing as a means of achieving wellness, strength and unity. 

Strong Water Singers
Photo by Julie Jocsak/Torstar

A collaborative group of Warrior Womyn from different Nations, paths and ages. We were brought together by the Positive Voice program and passion for singing.

Strong Water Singers welcome our sisters from London, Ontario to join us at the FirstOntario PAC with the kind support of Libro Credit Union.


Warrior Womyn of Positive Drum



Venue Partner: Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse YT


Location Partner: Carcross Learning Centre, Carcross YT


Drum Group: Dakhká Khwáan Dancers

A National Award-winning Inland Tlingit dance group based in Whitehorse, Yukon.



Venue Partner: Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, Yellowknife NT


Drum Group: Yellowknives Dene First Nation Drummers

The Yellowknives Dene First Nation Drummers are from the communities of Ndilo and Dettah, and include all ages.



Venue Partner: West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg MB


Location Partner: Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Winnipeg MB


Drum Group: Buffalo Gals

Buffalo Gals Drum Group has been gathering for 19 years and is governed by a Grandmothers Council. Drum circle provides opportunities to learn how to use traditional Indigenous style hand drumming and ceremonies as a way to connect and express our spirituality, heal our spirit and reclaim our voice and culture.

Buffalo Gals


Venue Partner: Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown PE


Drum Group: Lennox Island First Nation



Venue Partner: Place des Arts, Montréal QC


Drum Group: Kontiwennenhawi (The Akwesasne Women Singers) – Theresa Bear Fox, Elizabeth Nanticoke, Tekonwakwenni Nanticoke, Iawentas Nanticoke

The Akwesasne Women singers were formed in 1999 by four inspired and inspiring women: Bear Fox, Katsitsionni Fox, Elizabeth Nanitcoke and Iawentas Nanticoke.  The women were driven by the need to protect and preserve the Kanienkeha (Mohawk Language), traditional Kanienkeha:ka (Mohawk People) customs and stories, as well as the oral traditions that are passed down from grandmother to grand-daughter.  It was founded on the principle that songs are the easiest way to pass on the language and culture to future generations.  Blessed with beautiful singing voices, the women put their talents and their messages together to form a singing group that would write and perform traditional Kanienkeha:ka songs. Since their inception, the Akwesasne Women Singers have brought their beautiful and powerful music to the community of Ahkwesasne. Members of the group are in various stages of their lives – grandmothers, mothers, aunts, daughters, sisters and cousins.  They are teachers, environmental researchers, social workers and students. They take time out of their personal and professional lives to assist their community whenever possible. The women also volunteer for fundraising activities and provide assistance to individual community members when asked.  Aside from singing Haudenosaunee social songs, some members of Kontiwennenhawi are song writers, though they work with Elders and fluent speakers from Akwesasne to ensure the correct usage and spelling of words.  These songs contain their own messages that they believe are important for the Mohawk people to know and remember. Their songs honor our Elders, Kanienkehaka teachers, Mother Earth, Grandmother Moon, and Grandfather Thunder.  Kontiwennenhawi is committed to continuing the traditions of our ancestors and preserving our language and culture through their beautiful songs and inspiring efforts.

Kontiwennenhawi (The Akwesasne Women Singers)

This project has been made possible by the Government of Canada.
Ce projet a ete rendu possible grace an gouvernement du Canada.