Kara Lebold, left, is teaching her mother Korrey Laberoute to drum. The family is hosting an informal song and drum gathering at Ed Macgregor Park on June 21, at 7 p.m. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Kara Lebold, left, is teaching her mother Korrey Laberoute to drum. The family is hosting an informal song and drum gathering at Ed Macgregor Park on June 21, at 7 p.m. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Metis daughters teaching mother to drum, reclaiming their culture in Sooke

In response to the grief of the Kamloops school discovery, the family is digging into culture

Some Sooke residents heard a new sound the other night — and they liked it.

Three Metis locals were drumming in their backyard, inspired to learn new songs to respond to the grief stirred up by discovering 215 unmarked graves at a former residential school in Kamloops.

Korrey Laberoute is Metis but grew up in Alberta, disconnected from her heritage. It wasn’t until Laberoute reconnected with her dad and met his family that she learned she came from a family of residential school survivors.

The news of the Kamloops school has hit close for her because those graves nearly could have been her dad, his sisters, her grandparents. It could have been her.

“I realized the other day, as a survivor of a residential school survivor, I wonder if maybe my dad took off when we were young because he didn’t want what he went through for us,” she said.

“Honestly, I didn’t realize until three days ago how close me and my brother came to maybe being put in that same system.”

When the federal government was paying settlements to residential school survivors, Laberoute received a phone call asking if she’d ever been to one of the schools.

“She’s only 45, and they had to call her and ask her? So that means there are people even younger who went there,” said Laberoute’s daughter, Kara Lebold.

READ MORE: Sooke School District responds to heartbreak of residential schools with learning opportunities

Lebold grew up knowing her Metis identity and finds a lot of pride in it. So it was important for Laberoute to raise kids who knew their identity and found strength in it. “I wanted them to be proud. And it was actually through that that I gained more pride in who I was.”

But it wasn’t until last week that Laberoute started learning to drum. The emotions that surfaced with the news of the unmarked graves were strong when she saw a post inviting people to trill, drum or howl at 7 p.m. on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples’ Day. As soon as she saw the word drum, she felt a pull.

So she asked her daughters, who learned to drum from Aboriginal resource workers in school, to teach her. It’s funny that she, as an elder has to ask her daughters for help, she said.

“It’s like I’m reclaiming a culture that was torn from me. I never got to get into it because of shame, fear, prejudice. And now I feel so free when I drum.”

Their backyard drumming practices raised curiosity from the neighbours and overwhelmingly positive responses.

So much that the mother and daughters are planning a song and drum gathering at Ed Macgregor Park in Sooke at 7 p.m. on June 21. They’re learning two songs and invite anyone to join in with their voices, drums and dancing.

Do you have a story tip? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

IndigenousSookeWest Shore

Just Posted

Saanich Neighbourhood Place is hoping to open the doors to its new centre in July, pending final council approval. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich childcare agency awaits final approval on much-needed new facility

Saanich Neighbourhood Place keen to open new centre this summer, expand options for community

Proposed design for the Topaz Park bike and skate park elements. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria requesting feedback on Topaz Park redesign

Public input now being taken for proposed skate, bike park ideas

Victoria police are searching for high-risk missing woman Chloe Morrison who was last seen in Victoria June 13. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Chloe Morrison, last seen in Victoria

Morrison, 25, was last seen shortly after 2 p.m. June 13

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

A patio built by The Village is shared by three eateries in Estevan. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay eateries sharing communal patio space in Estevan Village

The Village invested $25,000 in streetside patio, hopes to make it permanent

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

Most Read