The Drum is the universal musical instrument and the center of tribal people's lives. Joining the beats of their hearts with the rhythm of the Earth, the beat of the Drum calls them together to be of one voice, one heart. In this place of communion with the essential self, with clan, and with the circle of life, they find the wisdom and guidance to walk their lives with honor and purpose. These teachings of the Drum are the foundation of the Teaching Drum School.
Tamarack Song founded the Teaching Drum Outdoor School in 1987, inspired by the directive he received on his Vision Quest to bring the time-honored ways of living in balance to this time of profound imbalance. The school began as a summer operation, offering classes in edible and medicinal plants and weeklong wilderness canoe trips, along with birch bark canoe building and Native-style running.
In 1989 the Teaching Drum incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit school, acquired an 80 acre wilderness parcel on an undeveloped lake for its outdoor classroom, and began operating year-round. New offerings included an annual primitive skills rendezvous called the Old Way Gathering, hide tanning and shelter building courses, and wilderness retreats.
By 1999, the primitive camp known as Nishnajida (Ojibwe for Camp Where the Old Way Returns) was well-established on the lakeshore preserve, which made it possible to begin the long-awaited year-long wilderness immersion program.
In 2007, a month-long sister program began at a new preserve called Mashkodens (Ojibwe for Little Prairie). That same year, we launched Snow Wolf Publishing and focused on developing the Children's Culture at Nadmadewening.