Private Class: Drum-making with Carman McKay


Join Carman Mckay, Matsqui and Musqueam drum maker and teacher, as he walks learners through an experiential workshop on drum making.

Drumming and singing are two ancient arts that go hand-in-hand.  They are deeply tied to community and to creating intergenerational place-based connection and life skills, worldwide.  The impacts of colonialism have disrupted many drum making traditions, and with them the life wisdom contained within.  Rekindling the songs and drum beats also rekindles community and the life skills needed for decolonization.




During this all-day event, you will:

  • Learn about the Medicine Wheel and the role it plays in community life
  • Explore the impact that drumming has on Indigenous cultures and traditions
  • Join in and experience a variety of songs
  • Create your own beautiful drum

In this personal online setting, Carman will share certain Medicine Wheel teachings and Indigenous traditions of drumming.  All knowledge and teachings shared in this workshop are those that are available and appropriate for public settings, taught with protocol.

Anyone of any identity is welcome to this workshop.  You may explore your own ancestry’s drum making traditions prior to arriving at this online class, to come even more equipped with a sense of reverence for the teachings of the drum.  Carman will offer protocols for sharing any of the knowledge gained within this workshop.

Registration: click on the link to registration and payment

Date and time: Date is booked upon registration.  Class runs from 10:00am until 2:00-4:00pm; two-day option is available.

Event ends when your drum is finished.

Tuition: $200 per person

Price includes:

  • Prepared deer hide
  • Douglas fir frame
  • Artificial sinew
  • Mail delivery of these supplies

Supplies will be mailed to the address you state in your registration.

Students, please provide:

  • Medium- to large-sized sewing needle: tapestry or glover needle
  • Small pointed exacto-blade or pocket knife
  • Scissors
  • Notebook and pen

About Carman:

Life Skills Facilitator – Drum Maker – Artist

Carman is a self-determined artist, educator, and cultural resource for a variety of communities throughout Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, belonging to the Musqueam and Matsqui First Nations.

Originally from Vancouver and raised in Cultus Lake, Carman has lived in many other communities across North America as he embarked on his healing journey. It was through this process that Carman started to walk down a path of self-discovery as he sat down, took time, and learned from Elders of a particular region which deepened an intimate connection with the Earth, his mother. As a result, Carman has spent years of time focused on the interconnection of life in the physical and spiritual worlds.

Carman is deeply passionate about sharing Indigenous life skills, understandings, and perspectives to the abundance of learners who have arrived in Coast Salish Territory.  As a teacher, Carman honours the responsibility in sharing both traditional and contemporary cultural practices, and bringing these together for cross-cultural understanding, dialogue, and decolonization.


Mara Cur from Crowsnest Wildcraft will be present in this workshop to welcome and host Carman, as well as to provide tech support.  Any questions about this workshop can be directed to