The Drumming Tradition Returns to La Loche, SK

The Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange, in partnership with the Amiskusees Semaganis Worme Family Foundation and the La Loche Friendship Centre, is helping the sound of the drum ring out again in the northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche. In mid-August and in conjunction with the Yanessa Days celebrations, the organization is holding a series of workshops to help rejuvenate the tradition of Indigenous drumming in the area.

“Due to historical reasons, the drumming tradition has been all but silent in parts of the north,” says Leonard Montgrand, executive director of the La Loche Friendship Centre. “This unique partnership aims to bring this First Nations tradition back to our people, especially to benefit our youth.”

Musician and Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange Outreach Coordinator Carol Rose Daniels will be conducting drum-making and song creation workshops in La Loche from August 17 to 25. She is a multi-disciplined Cree/Chipewyan artist who has taught singing, drumming, and drum making for two decades.

“I am honoured at this opportunity,” says Rose Daniels. “When I lived in the Northwest Territories, the drum dance was a regular part of celebrations, especially winter community gatherings. People gathered, brought food for an impromptu potluck, and visited into the night, enjoying drumming, dancing, and singing. It was a family-friendly event and I hope this tradition is resurrected as a way of life for the people of La Loche.”

The drum-making and song creation workshops are taking place from August 17 to 25, encompassing the community’s annual Yanessa Days Festival. Rose Daniels will remain in the community, facilitating song and storytelling workshops at the La Loche Friendship Centre.

This project is part of the Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange’s Artists in Communities program, which is possible thanks to the generous funding of the Saskatchewan Arts Board. The program seeks to bring artists into small and rural communities. This project in particular was helped by funding from the Amiskusees Semaganis Worme Family Foundation. The Saskatchewan Cultural also thanks SaskCultural for their continued funding and support.