David Meuse is a leading Mi’Kmaq drummer
by Ann MacNiven
A Mi’Kmaq drum group is part ceremony, part belief system, part spiritual release, and both energizing and exhaustingly demanding. It is also a deeply moving experience for the performer and the listener. Audience members listen transfixed as the unison of the drumming accompanies the precision of the voices. Then, all at once one voice rises above all, that of David Meuse, 34, who is originally from Indian Brook Mi’Kmaq Community, Nova Scotia, and is now living on Prince Edward Island.
During the Red Clay Trail, Charlottetown Pow Wow, in August 2012, David won the solo hand drum competition. In 2011, and again 2012, groups in which David sang and drummed were nominated for Best Drum Group at the Aboriginal Music Awards.
David performs alone or with the other members of Moose Crossing (Tee Cloud, Jay Joseph, Charlie Levi, Kyle McDonald, Julian Wells, Eric Caplin, and Cyril Julian). The eight members of this group are from 7 Mi’Kmaq communities in Nova Scotia.
David says, “Taking the time and pride to do it makes worth all of the years dedication. I become part of the connection with the symbolizing circle, making us all equal, as in the 4 directions of races of people. Men women and children all sit in the Creators ways of harmony.”
When asked about his place and role in the drum group David added, “Development happens in a set way to permit opportunities, and also allows hard work to come into play at the right moment. Our hard work is shown through heart and respect. This gives a great impression to the people who attend the Pow Wows of the Red Clay Trail starting in Scotchford in June and continuing in August with celebrations in Lennox Island, Charlottetown and Panmure Island each year. The spectacle of participating in annual events gives valuable experience. When we come together to celebrate we are all impacted by the Creator’s plan and the gift of togetherness.”
Focus, according to David, is the key to success. As a performer (singer, drummer, dancer, actor), director, DJ, student and volunteer, he has chosen a career path to accommodate his need to succeed. After dedication 20 years of his life to becoming more accomplished in his traditions and artistic works, he is currently studying at Holland College in the tourism and management stream. Here David is acquiring tools in building a professional outlook on tourism growth in his home community of Indian Brook Mi’Kmaq First Nation Community.
“This summer during my internship, as I represented Tourism PEI, the experience gave me a great awakening in creating a plan to build our community as a tourist destination. I would like to thank Tourism PEI, Holland College and Indian Brook.”