Post written by DAREarts Program Coordinator, Lisa Norton, using notes provided by DAREarts Lead Teacher & Director of Urban Programs, Geneviève Anthony.
Bravery is not something that we are all born with. To be brave comes from within, and to work past one’s fears and exercise control over oneself is a skill that takes tremendous work to build. Day Three of DAREarts Vancouver was a testament to finding bravery, fostering self-empowerment, and building friendship amongst the students.
Day Three focused on aboriginal teachings, where the children delved into discussions about the Medicine Wheel, leadership, inner strength, discipline, and the ability to take care of oneself. Elder Mary Jane showcased her Medicine Bag to the group, teaching the children about aboriginal traditions and providing a great activity for the students to help them better understand aboriginal heritage and culture.
|A rendition of the traditional Medicine Wheel.
Source: National Museum of the American Indian
Artist-as-teacher Bob Baker presented a drumming and chanting session to the children, guiding the students through a hefty dose of history, language, and song. His joyous and easy-going approach supported the comfortable atmosphere that was crucial to the students’ success as they grapple with the fact that they are still strangers to each other. Through continued fostering of this atmosphere, the children were better able to open up to each other and sow the seeds of friendship amongst the group, often through laughter and the realization that despite the personal challenges each child faces in their lives, they are not alone.
DAREarts lead teacher Geneviève Anthony brought the children back to the Medicine Wheel to reinforce that each person needs to find their own inner warrior to overcome hardship and move forward.
Despite their exhaustion from such an active and intense day, the students are looking forward to their next session with strength, determination, and leadership that can only come from within.