An emphatic, harmonious ceremonial drum concert was on display Friday afternoon at the Campbell River Art Gallery.
The Ripple Rock Culture Group, led by School District 72 cultural mentor Will Henderson, serenaded the audience with traditional drum playing, before an intimate crowd of around 25 around the “Nothing we do is worth getting hurt for” exhibit from artist Eleanor King.
“As a child growing up, I was ashamed you could say for being First Nations,” Henderson told the packed crowd of onlookers during a pause in songs. “For these kids to do what they do here today, it’s amazing. I hold my hands up for each and every single one of these kids. It really is amazing. They’re not ashamed of who they are and I hold my hands for each and every single one of these kids here.”
Henderson expressed just how proud he was of the students from Ripple Rock Elementary.
“One of my own is in this group. He’s in grade one, one of the youngest ones here,” said Henderson. “For them to do what they did today, I can’t say enough about them. They’re proud of who they are and they mean the world. I couldn’t be more proud.”
Throughout the half hour performance, the children performed a trio of songs, based on the themes of gratitude and welcoming. Some songs were composed by local Indigenous leader Shawn Decaire.
Jenelle Pasiechnik, Curator of Contemporary Art for the Art Gallery, said that the idea for the performance began last June, when the group performed during the Indigenous Peoples’ Day ceremony.
“This is a special group,” said Pasiechnik. “It gathers kids from across the school. As they make their way through school, they’ll continue to gain this knowledge and have an incredibly special time.”
For more on the Eleanor King exhibit, visit