Tla’amin Nation has been hosting Culture Nights for quite a while. During these events cultural activities such as singing, drumming, and dancing take place. The drumming is done by the folks who bring a drum, while many youth participate in the dancing along with older generations.
During 2020, COVID-19 restrictions forced the cancellation of these gatherings. However, that did not stop the community from practicing their culture, which continued on, via Zoom.
With restrictions lifted, and gatherings starting to come back, Tla’amin has been able to have in-person Culture Nights again. The best part? Invites are open to everyone in the public, welcoming the whole region of qathet to join in on the fun every Wednesday at 5 pm on Tla’amin Nation’s waterfront.
At the August 18 culture night, about 10 different songs were played, each with a unique beat, sound, and dance. The singing is done by almost everyone.
This culture night had a special humpback whale appearance, so the first dance done was the ‘Whale Song’, near the end a humpback in the distance was seen breaching, creating a wonderful experience.
The night carried on with the ‘Raven Song’, ‘Fly Eagle Fly’, the special ‘Sasquatch Song’, and many others, ending with the ‘Healing Song’ Tla’amin culture coordinator Drew Blaney had written himself near the beginning of COVID, for those dealing with loss and health struggles.
Towards the end the night, a competition was held, between the men and the women. This competition is a Tla’amin tradition, Where the two would compete to see who has the loudest sound in a final song. No winner was declared that night.
Will you come and join the fun?
Abby Francis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, qathet Living