First Nations drumming organizers were brought together on Sept. 11 to receive praise and thank you for assistance in an across-Canada drumming event which started in Prince Rupert and has spread internationally.
The thank you dinner, which was delayed due to the global pandemic, was hosted by Richard Wong who was raised in the city. He said in 2016 he was elected by the Chinese Canadian community in Vancouver to be the chair of the event organizing committee commemorating Canada’s 150 anniversary in 2017.
“We organized simultaneous drumming where we drummed together at the same time across Canada at 11 a.m. Prince Rupert time for six minutes,” Wong said adding he couldn’t have done it without the assistance of Prince Rupert drummers.
The first year saw eight communities participate and in the six years since has grown to include more than 174 cities, with 148 across the nation and 26 cities in 12 different countries.
“The Canada Day drumming is a community event to unite people across Canada, hopefully, the world as well to promote diversity, inclusion, peace and love for a better world. That is simple.” Wong said.
“We are Canadian. We love this country we are proud of,” he told The Northern View. “We want to unite the people of Canada.”
Wong believes the drumming demonstrates that people across the nation are willing to come together and “are proud to develop this country that is so wonderful.” Drumming is a feature in so many different cultures, he said.
Events like the drumming show new immigrants the loyalty Canadians feel.
“With the support of the Indigenous community in Prince Rupert and Vancouver, the first year was very successful. Because of that the rest of the country joined in.”
“Year by year we are getting better. Last year my dream was accomplished and it became international,” he said.
“I have been a Canadian for more than half a century … As a humble Canadian, I am very proud of the multiculturalism,” he said.
K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
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