For Doreen Austin, it’s all about drumming
From the sound, the beat and the history, it has become a big part of her life.
“The drumming hits my heart,” Austin says.
Since last year, Austin has been a part of the De Doh Na Drumming Group in Fort St. James.
“It’s been busy all summer so far,” Austin said. “We’ve been touring Prince George, Fort St. James and even McLeod Lake,” Austin said.
“I love drumming and singing. It relaxes me. I love it.”
But this wasn’t always the case for Austin.
“It was difficult to get into this at first,” Austin said. “The drumming hits my heart.”
Austin grew up in Tachie. She grew up with 7 brothers and six sisters.
And as a mother of six, Austin has experienced much loss in her life.
“I have lost many close to me,” Austin said.
“Someone once told me that I lost my spirit. I couldn’t sit through his drumming. He told me that I need to get my spirit back. I held on to my chair as I listened to him sing and drum. As he turned to me I got this warm feeling and I didn’t leave. I just listened.”
From then on, Austin was hooked
“I did it. I stayed. Your spirit has come back to you this man said”
Austin can’t imagine living anywhere else other than Fort St. James. Other than attending Lejac Residential School in British Columbia, Fort St. James has always been home for Austin.
“It’s beautiful here. The air is so fresh” Austin said. “And I have lots of family here.”
Austin loves doing beadwork. She worked for the Band office in Tachie for 7 years, has driven a school bus, has worked as an assistant teacher, and has also headed the breakfast and lunch program at Eugene Joseph School in Tachie.
“But Fort St. James will always be home for me,” Austin said.
And as for drumming, Austin is so excited
“Being part of the drumming group is what I love. This is what hits my heart. I love it.”