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Facebook dare turns into rock-folk song about truth and reconciliation
Darrell Paskimin, left, and Darryl Dozlaw, right, practice "It Is Ours" together. (Alexa Lawlor/CTV Saskatoon)
Alexa Lawlor, CTV Saskatoon
Published Friday, December 14, 2018 6:29PM CST
In 2016, Darryl Dozlaw took a Facebook dare to read the Truth and Reconciliation report.
“It hit me really hard because I realized where a lot of my tidy upbringing came from,” Dozlaw said.
As he was reading, he began writing down thoughts and ideas, which turned into a song called “It Is Ours.”
Over time, the song grew into a bigger project, featuring other musicians.
One of the collaborators is Darrell Paskimin, a mentor for the Saskatoon Public Schools Indigenous ensemble. Dozlaw and Paskimin have performed the song together many times, including at the 2017 Literacy for Life conference.
“I thought [this collaboration] was an opportunity to have people start conversations about the relationships between each other, First Nations and non-First Nations people, and also with the land,” Paskimin said.
Dozlaw was able to record “It Is Ours” in November, with a group of nine other musicians – six Indigenous, and three non-Indigenous.
The full version of the song is almost 10 minutes and features a powwow section that is about two minutes long.
The song will also have a video, edited by Jessica Seesequasis, a student at the Recording Arts Institute of Saskatoon. When she began working on the project, she said she didn’t know what the song was about, and she hadn’t heard the full song until the filming was done.
“I went inside the control room and I heard the whole piece put together, and I was just filled with emotion,” she said.
Dozlaw said he wants to get the song, and his story, to other Canadians who are trying to work out what their role is in reconciliation.
“I think this song presents opportunity for an ongoing dialogue about the need for reconciliation in Canada, and the challenge that is presented to all of us to embrace the truth for what it is,” the songwriter said.
Dozlaw said he hopes the song will be available for download and streaming in 2019, with all of the proceeds going towards the Saskatoon Public Schools Indigenous ensemble.