- Holly Buffalo Rodrique has a big dream.
- She aspires to heal those who have completed housing school.
She wishes for the younger generation to inherit and preserve the culture. She wants healing to occur everywhere: Timins, homeless people, and drug users.
Buffalo Rodrique, 55, was born and raised in Southpaw Cupin as an Ojibwe. She is frequently seen at various community events as a traditional dancer, drummer, singer, and New Moon Singers.
“It’s a beautiful, beautiful culture that’s alive and well.” “Everything has a spiritual meaning, significance, and connection,” she says. Buffalo Rodrique, a Matachewan indigenous person, grew up in a close family that lived away from the land. Her childhood with her three siblings and parents was “great and wonderful,” she says.
She grew up hearing Ojibwe but never learning it. Her father was a hunter who caught beavers, rabbits, and occasionally foxes, and Buffalo Rodrique recalls watching her mother prepare wild meat.
She had no idea about the Friendship Center or that she was a member of a First Nations band when she was younger. Also, until the age of 15 or 16, I had no idea if I was an indigenous person or what the term “indigenous people” meant.
She was discovering her identity at the time, and she began to notice that other people like her came from the beach to attend high school.
Buffalo Rodrique began using traditional methods when she met his partner George Rose more than a decade ago. However, it took her about 1 month to learn the sounds and connect with them when she first started playing drums. She explains that the drum symbolizes the mother’s heartbeat and is the first sound heard in the womb.
“It was a very pure experience for me,” she says, “and I was still able to connect with the Creator and Mother Earth.” And I’m seeing things with fresh eyes now. Everything is alive, which reawakens your spirit. And it’s as if lightning struck you. “
Buffalo Rodrique is proud to represent her work in culture and the community.
Before the pandemic, she went to a detour gold mine on June 21st every year to celebrate National Indigenous Day with other drummers and dancers. In August, she helped build the Peace Pole in Schumacher’s new park.