OUTREACH PROJECT: GRATITUDE
Original Song by Anishinaabe Traditional Drummer & Singer Cory Campbell
Commissioned by the U of M Concert Choir, Dr. Catherine Robbins, Director
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Gratitude is a song dedicated to reconciliation and healing.
The song was made possible by a University of Manitoba Creative Works Grant. It is gifted here to all choral singers in Manitoba through MCA's website by Anishinaabe Traditional Drummer and Singer Cory Campbell and the University of Manitoba Concert Choir. Gratitude expresses a spirit of gratitude, or profound thanks, in the languages of the Traditional Peoples of Manitoba: Anishininiwak, Dakota, Dene, Ininiwak, Anishinaabeg, and the Métis Nation.
Many teachings are gifted to singers and conductors through this publication. Cory relates his own understandings as well as teachings that have come to him in conversation with Language Keepers as he composed the song. Some of these teachings are provided by those who gifted their knowledge to the project. Tobacco was offered to Cory and to all of the Language Keepers who shared their time and knowledge.
The initial process of U of M Concert Choir learning the song from Cory occurred over many weeks. Through this experience, choristers were introduced to meaningful Indigenous ways of knowing and being. The videos and audio recordings of the teachings, as well as the performance of the song, are an invitation to all Manitobans to learn about the intention behind the project and to connect with each other, song-maker to singer, human to human.
Premiere of Gratitude, November 2019
by the U of M Concert Choir featuring Cory Campbell
The project leaders encourage choirs across the province to learn, share, and perform the song in rehearsals, concerts, classes, and out on the land in gratitude of the traditional peoples of Manitoba who have taken care of this land for so many generations.
TEACHINGS, SONG CONTEXT, BACKGROUND & MEANING
Please take time to listen to Cory speak about what the song means to him and how it came to him. He shares teachings of what it is to feel gratitude and to give thanks. Cory’s understandings are based on the teachings that have been given to him, all of which were given orally. How the teachings resonate with his spirit is how they are, in turn, presented. He strives to do his best in presenting an accurate account of these teachings.