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Applied Music program showcases Indigenous culture through new initiative

Mohawk College students have the opportunity to become more involved in Indigenous culture through a new Music program project named the Cultural Sharing: Indigenous Artists & Mohawk College student cultural engagement project.

Bob Shields came up with the idea. Shields teaches at Mohawk College and is part-time coordinator for the college’s Applied Music program.

“I came upon this idea when researching unconditioned creative spaces for cultural engagement and exchange and their broader application,” he said. “I believed this would be an effective space for letting the intrinsic social capacity of music and creativity be elevated, free of conditions, where we could simply let music do the talking.”

The project is focused on cultural engagement and exchange between Indigenous artists and 
Mohawk College students. The project is geared towards a meaningful act of reconciliation based on directives guided and authored by the Indigenous community.

Music students involved in the initiative will participate in artist-led mentorships by Indigenous mentors. Students taking part in the initiative say they have high hopes that they can use this project as a gateway into learning and becoming more respectful of Indigenous culture.

Calvin Mulder with his guitar
Calvin Mulder was chosen to be the lead guitarist in the ensemble.

“I definitely think it’s going to raise awareness,” Calvin Mulder, lead guitarist of the initiative, said. “If everything goes well this year then they’re going to try to expand it and bring in more programs, which is something I think is really cool and will help bring more awareness to the acts of reconciliation.”

The Journalism, Broadcasting and Graphic Design programs are also taking part in the project.

The team behind the initiative say they are looking forward to performing this act of reconciliation and hope more Mohawk College students will want to be involved in initiatives like this one in the future.

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