Princeton American Indian Group Builds Ceremonial Drum

On August 15th, 35 American Indian students and parents from Princeton and Milaca met at the Milaca ALC to build a community drum.  The group was under the direction of drum maker Wayne Manthey and elders Jerry Morgan (Leech Lake), Mike Fairbanks (White Earth), and Becky Howard (Red Lake).  Students learned the history, traditions, and responsibilities of making and building a community drum.  

Manthey directed the students as they cut, stretched and laced a buffalo hide on a birchwood frame, while Morgan taught students the basics of drumming and singing. The drum will be a focal point at future American Indian Education Student and Parent Advisory Committee meetings.

Culturally, the drum beat represents the heart beat of our Community, the Universe, and Mother Earth.  In many ways it represents the inner connectedness of all life and the elements that bind us within the circle of life. As our students and parents become a drum group we hope to be a part of school and community events to share American Indian culture and build our community.

This event was facilitated by Gary Loch, Cultural Liaison for Princeton and Milaca schools, and head of the American Indian Education Student and Parent Advisory Committee.


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