Beyond the classroom:Lakeland sisters create music inspired by culture< More Stories
As a spiritual leader and elder in their community, Linda titled the CD Nehtakotan which represents the middle of life and earth, and the solidarity between women, sisters and daughters.
“Our music is another way for us to bond, which is now second nature for us. We love doing what we do and sharing our gift. My mother would say it's a lot about empowering women because through our own experiences, we look to each other for help and guidance,” Peechow says.
Each song represents an experience they’ve encountered in their lives from a love for a child to the respect for passed loved ones.
“These songs are a gift to us. We don't own them. Just like our talents, our creator gives us these songs to share as messages to people,” says LaBrea.
In the first album, these messages are played in the form of round dance and healing songs, the majority of which are written by LaBrea and Linda. The lyrics were accompanied by instruments used in their culture including drums, animal noises, flutes and rattles. The entire process took about a year to complete.
Since then, they’ve performed at cultural round dances and events, the Indigenous Economic Partnership Summit, the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Walk at Lakeland’s Lloydminster campus, and more.
“A lot of prayer goes into what we do, and we don't do it for money or recognition, we do it because it's something that keeps us together, and we do it to heal the stigma and share our stories with everyone,” says LaBrea.
Now comfortable with the process, the women are excited to start planning their second album. It’ll have more variety, and feature musicians and singers from their community.
Nehtakotan is available for purchase at the Lloydminster and Vermilion campus bookstores.
Photo: From Thunderchild First Nation, Lakeland College students and sisters LaBrea Harris and Louisa Peechow are part of an intergenerational music group Dowkesiko 3 Generations. The duo is joined by LaBrea’s daughter and mother, Emery John and Linda Harris.