The Context for The Cultural Wheel

Before 800 BC, in the pre-rational/tribal age, there was rooted within each tribe a deep cultural identity and wisdom. Despite this wisdom, each tribe remained disconnected and often became very harsh enemies. Throughout the age of philosophy, world religion and rational thought, tribalism became greater and wider, but sadly, this disconnect remained.

Today we are part of a new era… an era that seeks to embrace the wisdom of the tribal age; their stories, their dance and their connection with the earth.  However, this era brings with it new hope, as many cultures/religions are seeking ways to appreciate and respect diversity.

The question is, how do we continue on this path of nurturing and honoring our own culture yet still remain connected as a diverse community of cultures?  We start by looking at what we have in common.

The Cultural Wheel is a symbol, a tool – a commonality among all cultures.   Every culture has stories and songs (Folklore).  Every culture has community expression in dance, or collective prayer, ritual, worship (Community).  Every culture has a constructive aspect in building, painting, carving, making food, costumes, instrument making and playing etc. (Constructivism).  Every culture has gatherings but to determine whether the gathering is a true celebration or not, depends on whether the other three quadrants are engaged. (Celebration).

09 The Transformation


Students will hear a traditional Native American story as well as  some classic Folksongs in either English or French and be expected to join in on the choruses.


Students will be divided into smaller workshop sessions where a folk dance will be taught and featured in the final   presentation.  Dances will be taught from 3 traditions: European, Canadian and Metis.

CONSTRUCTIVISM (kinesthetic)

Students will be given a demonstration of musical instruments from three traditions:

1. European Hurdy Gurdy

2. Canadian Fiddle Style

3. Metis Fiddle Style


The final presentation includes workshops where students are featured demonstrating their folkdances, and focuses on the history of celebration in different times around the world.

Teachers will be supplied with a Q and A review for ongoing discussion after the show.