The Language of Dreams: A story of reconnecting with my heritage and learning about the traditional Ojibwe flute


Shelby Thrower

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The Language of Dreams examines Indigenous music in Canada, with a particular focus on the Bibigwan. This research project asks how we can decolonize music education and how the effects of colonization have affected music. To answer these questions, I used a literature review and lived experiences. Through the writings and teachings of Indigenous researchers and articles by ethnomusicologists, it is clear that musical institutions need to be decolonized and Indigenized. Not only will Indigenizing colonial music institutions aid in decolonizing Canadian culture, but also help with students' mental health and overall well-being. This study discovered that Westernized music conservatories and post-secondary programs are often tied to mental health issues and performance anxiety. The findings of this study imply that adding Indigenous teaching pedagogies, such as land-based pedagogies, could bring Indigenous students closer to their culture and create a more accessible learning environment, which causes less harm to its students.