101 Deweguns... A Living Hearts Legacy

Vision

In the Ojibway language the word ‘Dewegun’ translates to mean ‘living heart’. This strong ‘living heart’ medicine has always played a vital role in the human experience and continues to this day in helping remind us of our amazing ability to foster the energy of love and kindness towards one another… to all our Relations. Its very nature heals and maintains our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual grounding, thus enabling us the ability to enhance our collective natural connection to Mother Earth. We believe the ‘101 Deweguns… A Living Hearts Legacy project will empower our hearts and minds to come together in sharing one another’s natural born gifts. This will provide for a safe, healthy environment in which the ‘inner child’ voice in each of us can emerge, blazing a trail into the future nurturing a path of healthy, continuous reconciliation.

Our Foundation

“And when something stirs in your heart A feeling so strong and intense When something occurs in your heart And there isn't a next sentence”

(From the Gord Downie song ‘Son’)

In regards to the inter-generational negative impacts of Canada’s residential school system, one of Gord Downie’s final outreach gestures before his passing was to issue a challenge to all Canadians to “Do Something” to help make this a better Canada… to create for our children’s children a positive ‘Next Sentence’. On September 30 th, 2022 Canada’s Prime Minister expanded on this commenting that in one way or another we have all been impacted by the fall-out of this problem. We the 101 Deweguns Collective are responding to that challenge in coming together to create one such solution through the arts.

Goal

At first glance this initiative may appear to be limited to the physical making of 101Hand Drums / Deweguns, but the core of its vision rests upon so much more. It reaches out to engage and support the creative talent of 101 artists from across Canada, coast to coast to coast, telling their stories of intergenerational residential school impact through the painted canvas of the Drum. These stories will reach out far and wide to help inspire others along their healing journey.

101 Deweguns Book

The entire 101 Deweguns journey is being documented through
the creation of a book by renowned photographer Mark Zelinski, which will showcase all contributing artists, and honour the legacy of those whose shoulders we stand upon in carrying this vision forward to our future generations.

Home Base

Once complete these 101 Deweguns will find their permanent home at the St. Catharines First Ontario Performing Arts Centre (PAC). It is also at this point where they will begin a physical and virtual tour of the country, sharing the artist’s stories, and singing out with pulsating healing energy helping empower the voice of our collective inner child, thus allowing us all the ability to collectively engage in healthy, open and productive reconciliatory dialogue as a country.

Birthing / Feasting

Once all 101 Deweguns have arrived back to us painted…. they will be Birthed and Feasted in Ceremony all together at once. This will be open to any who wish to be involved, and we anticipate this to occur in late summer of 2023.

Drumming from Coast to Coast

In a collaborative effort between the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre, Kakekalanicks Indigenous Consulting Company, and the 101Deweguns Collective, the idea here is to host a ‘Coast to Coast Drums Across Canada’ with the 101 Deweguns to echo Unity, Peace and Mutual Respect.
We anticipate this event to happen in the early fall of 2023.

Two different ways can be curated and both would host a gathering at each location:

The traditional Indigenous Call and Response:

1) ‘101 Deweguns’ strategically stationed across Canada first would start in the East and in 5 minute increments would pass on to the next Drum. Once the last Drum Honour Song in the West plays, all 101 Deweguns would come together for the final round.

…OR…
2) ‘101 Deweguns’ strategically stationed across Canada and sing one Honour Song together.

Future Possibilities

Upon completion of this ‘Drum Art Initiative’ all generated revenue
will be committed in supporting any / all similarly engaged individuals and organizations.

Upon completion of this ‘Drum Art Initiative’ all generated revenue
will be committed in supporting any / all similarly engaged individuals and organizations.

In loving gratitude,
‘101 Deweguns… A Living Hearts Legacy’ Collective