Drum Making and Awakening: 2017

This workshop is part of the summer celebration series: Healing Earth


Sat, July 22, 10 am – 5 pm: Drum Making | Drum Pulling | Stick Making

Sat, July 29, 10 am – 4 pm: Drum Awakening | Potluck Lunch | Drum Circle

Register here for the drum workshops.

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 5.50.28 PMFor millennia, in this land and others, the drum was known to be a means of healing.  The heartbeat of the drum is the heartbeat of our Mother Earth.  When we drum, we reconnect to that sacred space, offer meditations and prayers for healing.  We honour our ancestors, the land, air, water, and all living things.

drums-294x300This workshop is offered to all who wish to reconnect to that sacred heart beat and participate in bringing the drum back into our collective consciousness, which ultimately means bringing more healing into the world.  Participants are encouraged to attend the drum awakening and community circle the following weekend. However,  you may elect to attend only the drum-making sessions or attend the community drumming circle with a drum you already have.

As a result of the inter-generational impacts of colonization, the drum was lost in many communities.  Included in the fee is a sum which will be used to provide a drum to someone who does not have the resources to make a drum of their own. Come make a drum and make a difference.

Session 1: Drum Making | Drum Pulling | Stick Making – Saturday, July 22 (10 am – 5 pm)

Participants will be guided by drum maker Paul Carl to create a traditional Anishinaabe (First or original peoples) hand-drum with deer skin hides and red cedar frames. Teachings will be offered on the traditions of the drum, and in the ways we care for and carry the drum. For Anishnaabe, the process of drum making is a ceremony, and no alcohol or drugs are consumed for four days prior to this ceremony. We encourage you to refrain from the use of alcohol and drugs for four days leading up to this workshop. We will also be smudging throughout the day.

For those participants who arrive the night before (Friday, July 21), Paul will lead a sunrise ceremony on the morning of Saturday, July 22.

Please bring a cloth to wrap and carry your drum with you when you leave, and then arrive for the drum awakening ceremony on July 29.

Session 2:  Drum Awakening | Community Potluck Lunch and Drum Circle – Saturday, July 29 (10 am to 4 pm)

10:00 Awakening & giveaway for new drums; 1:00 Potluck lunch (all welcome); 2:00 Community Circle (all welcome)

drum makingNew drums will be awakened at a ceremony performed by Julie Vachon using prayers, songs, a drum circle, potluck feast, and a traditional give-away for the new drummers.  The give-away should be something small and meaningful to the drummer that he or she is willing to part with, that drummers already own or have made. Those awakening their drums should also bring a small stone, no bigger than a half a dime, again with meaning, as well as a small amount of tobacco. After the potluck,  all hand-drums and drummers from other circles are welcome to join us in ceremony and celebration.


About the Workshop Leaders

Paul Carl Pazindan animitagozi ombaashi noodin ‘Obiziindan animitagozi noodin’ is Bear Clan of Algonquin, Oneida and European ancestry and is acknowledged by elders as a traditional man in his community. He is currently working at the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program at Queen’s University.

Paul has been involved for many years with the Aboriginal community in Kingston. Paul has sat on Board of Directors for the Katarokwi Native Friendship Centre, Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres. He has been invited to represent his community on various committees and events. These include Kingston’s 2015 Pan am Torch Relay, 2010 Olympic Torch Run, and in 2010, was invited to be a selection committee member of the James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing Awards. He currently is a member of the City of Kingston’s Heritage Kingston Committee.

In June 2011, under the guidance of his elders and community members, he successfully had June designated as Aboriginal Month within the City of Kingston. This included him gifting the Mayor, on behalf of the community, a talking stick, that has since been used by city staff and committees during meetings with Aboriginal community and visiting Aboriginal guests to the City of Kingston. Along with other men in his community, Paul feels there is need to promote awareness and pride in the city regarding the Aboriginal community and its long and sometime forgotten history in the area. This includes smudging of City Council, National Aboriginal Day celebrations, pow wow’s and other traditional ceremonies.


Julie Vachon is a woman of mixed ancestry who has been on a healing journey since 1995. With the help of wonderful elders and many ceremonies Julie has been able to overcome many challenges. The drum called to her and helped her find her voice, grow spiritually, and connect with her ancestry. She has developed a deep connection with Spirit and follows that guidance. Julie has become intuitive and compassionate to the needs of others. She is passionate about working with women, leading circles, workshops, and ceremonies. Julie receives ongoing teachings and traditional knowledge from Indigenous elders. She is also learning plant medicine from various herbalists. Julie has been teaching at Wintergreen since 2014.


Saturday, July 22: Drum Making for Adults – $295 + HST – Includes all materials, facilities, snacks, and lunch for July 22, as well as the drum awakening ceremony on Saturday, July 29

Saturday, July 29: Drum Awakening | Community Potluck Lunch and Drum Circle — Potluck lunch — no charge

Participants who would like to stay overnight at Wintergreen pay an additional fee for accommodations, beginning at $85 + HST. Accommodations range from shared rooms to cabins and private rooms. Dinners and breakfasts are included in the accommodation rates for rooms and cabins.

Read details about our facilities, and register for  the workshop(s) and accommodation using the link below.

Register here for the drum workshops.