Music camp helps Lummi youth sing their thoughtsBy Kira CoxWhen Jonah Ballew first attended the Music Mentor Academy camp this year as part of summer school, he discovered a new way to deal with his feelings and frustrations about aspects of life on the reservation.
The 12-year-old's first song, "Native Pride," called for the end of drug use on the reservation, with lyrics including "This is my house, you better get out ... why you here anyway, you don't belong here drug man."
And:Ballew was one of about 40 Lummi and Nooksack tribe kids and teens who spent the week between Christmas and New Year's Day at Lummi Youth Academy, a residential support center for tribal students, writing and recording songs about their lives and their tribes.
"Music is such a powerful part of all youth," said Todd Denny, founder and director of the organization. "And within tribes, it's a huge part of their culture. ... It's just bringing a contemporary wrinkle to the traditional ways and traditional culture."
Comment: For more on the subject, see Native Flute Connects Kids to Culture
and Huey Lewis's Drummer Teaches Native Kids
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