A drum discovered by Barb Higgins in Arizona sat idle for the last 11 years waiting to find a home. It now has one with the Wayfinders Wellness Society.

The drum came up for auction and Higgins could hear people around here talking about the profit it would bring. For her, it also seemed almost alive and she didn't want to see it bought for sheer profit.

She bought it and kept it in her home in Arizona until deciding to bring it north.

"I brought it here and It's been sitting in my home. I didn't understand in my head what I was doing with it, but in my heart, I felt like I was doing something that was supposed to be done that would just become obvious at some point."

When she met Paul Wagman and became familiar with the work of Wayfinders, it all became clear.

A stirring drum transfer ceremony was held on Aug. 22 at Wayfinder's ranch house that was led by Clarence Wolf Leg, Sr. (Red Crane) with many Indigenous drummers present who shared their songs.

The ceremony provided her assurance that she made the right choice. It also gave her comfort in knowing what she had been feeling wasn't unusual.

"For them, that made complete sense, and so I thought that it was quite extraordinary to be sitting in this ceremony and hear them say that and acknowledge that, because in my head I didn't always understand what this was all about, but something in my heart told me at some point this drum would land in the place it was supposed to be."

Later in the evening, the drummers performed on the drum.

"It was the first time I've ever heard that drum really being played, and it was extraordinarily powerful."

Higgins believes in the important role Wayfinders plays in helping those suffering from the ill effects of trauma, and is interested in helping provide that support.

She is a counsellor and public speaker on trauma, transition, and wellness and a former CTV Calgary news anchor.

"I think it's really great what they're doing here and giving support to people who aren't necessarily being supported in other places. Healing from trauma does happen with someone else who sits with you. Trauma happens because people feel overwhelmed, because they feel helpless, and because they feel alone. Wayfinders is countering all three of those."

wagman wolf legClarence Wolf Leg lead the transfer ceremony and passed along extensive knowledge on the importance of the drum. 

Wolf Leg is an elder, spiritual advisory, and residential school survivor who last year received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Mount Royal University.

"This is your drum, and now you have to find a song," Wolf Leg told those in attendance. "These guys honoured you with their song, so now you have to find one of your own." 

For many North American Indigenous people, the drum represents the heartbeat of Mother Earth and the first sound heard. It plays an important role in many ceremonies, celebrations, and for healing.

Traditional Indigenous healing methods are among the many ways Wayfinders helps those suffering from trauma.

drum transfer ceremony