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Indigenous Programming

The Hornby Festival does all its Indigenous programming under the cultural direction of a Coast Salish Indigenous Elder. We are so grateful for the ongoing support, guidance, cultural education and care put into this programming by Coast Salish, Pentlatch Knowledge Keeper and member of the K’ómoks Nation, Elder Barb Whyte (Billy). Any profits made through our indigenous programming goes into the Elder Barb Fund for future cultural activities for education for change.


This year, we are excited to present Hwiemtun as our 2024 Hornby Festival Indigenous artist. Hwiemtun is from the unceded traditional territory of the Quw’utsun’ people on Vancouver Island.  Born and raised in Khowutzun (the “Warm Land”) by a Coast Salish mother, Hwiemtun received many teachings of his Coast Salish culture. Through spending many years with elders of his territory, Hwiemtun learned the cultural and spiritual traditions of his ancestors.  


During the last 30 years, Hwiemtun has journeyed around the world to explore and share ways of being with elders and healers of many Indigenous tribes. Hwiemtun’s connection to the spirit world, passion for story-telling, and love of sharing diverse traditions of indigenous knowledge has made it possible for him to bridge many worlds. Through sharing the gifts of oral history, music and ceremony, Hwiemtun has become an intercultural teacher and guide, nurturing transformation among many.  


Hwiemtun believes that we are all related in one way or another and this helps in achieving knowledge once we learn this clearly. Hwiemtun conducts presentations, workshops and ceremonies on a regular basis to promote understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing.

Festival Opening

Thursday, August 1 | 7:00 - 8:00 PM 

Elder Barb Whyte (Billy) at Rosemuir Farm


All are welcome to join us for the launch of the 2024 Hornby Festival at the stunning Rosemuir Farm. The Festival opens on Thursday, August 1 at 7:30 pm (doors at 7 pm) on the Mainstage with the traditional Pentlatch Welcome Ceremony given by Elder Barb Whyte (Billy), Pentlatch knowledge keeper and member of the K’ómoks Nation.


Elder Barb will be joined in the Welcome by Cory Cliff (We Wai Kum Nation) and his son Jake Sharkey (Klahoose Nation) who will add drumming to the traditional ceremony. Ticket holders are invited to stay for the evening performance of Vox Rea. If you have come down for the opening ceremony and choose to stay on, tickets will be available for purchase at the farm.)


Check out the vending table at Rosemuir Farm where Covee traditional plant medicines will be sold by Vanessa Starkey, Cory Cliff, and Jake Starkey on Thursday, August 1 and Friday, August 2 as part of our Indigenous connections building.

Photo by Don Peterson

Photo by Don Peterson

Traditional Foods and Plant Medicine Workshop

Friday, August 2 | 3:00 - 4:00 PM 

Elder Barb Whyte (Billy) at the Community Hall


$30 | Registration is limited

This workshop is a continuation of traditional food and plant medicine workshops given in the past. Time with Elder Barb will be engaging for new and returning learners.

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Traditional Indigenous Medicine Salve Making Workshop

Friday, August 2 | 4:00 - 5:00 PM 

Elder Barb Whyte (Billy) at the Community Hall


$35 | Registration is limited

Learn about the Indigenous traditional art of salve making with Vanessa Sharkey of the We Wai Kum Nation. Vanessa will guide you though the making of Devil’s Club salve, which has many uses including wound healing. You will go home with your own jar of medicine. Vanessa has a beautiful product line of plant medicines called CorVee. These will be for sale at the Rosemuir Farm on the nights on Thursday and Friday, August 1 & 2.

Photo by Don Peterson

Changing Oceans 

Saturday, August 3 | 10:00 - 11:00 AM

Elder Barb Whyte (Billy) at the Community Hall

$30 | Registration is limited

Pentlatch knowledge keeper, Elder Barb Whyte (Billy) is the daughter of a fisherwoman who fished off the shores of Hornby Island. Elder Barb has grown up learning about the ocean and watching it change. An expert in traditional plant medicine, Elder Barb shares her in-depth knowledge of our changing ocean in this newly prepared presentation.  Come join in!

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Drum-making Workshop

Monday, August 5 | 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Hwiemtun at New Horizons


$250 (includes precious materials) | Registration is limited - 30 participants maximum

You will go home with your beautiful drum. Participants will take home the 14-inch deer hide drum they made.


Master drum maker Hwiemtun has been making drums for the public for the past two decades, sharing the traditional teachings of the drum and songs. Each tribe has their own teachings with the drum and the responsibility to the songs. Hwiemtun will share what he knows and has been taught by many elders. The drums and type of hide have their own voice once you gift life to it, and the drum you create will be your gift to share. Hwiemtun’s late cousin was the master drum maker from whom he learned many teachings, and Hwiemtun looks forward to sharing these beautiful gifts with those who come to learn. Huychq’a siem Seeyeya.


Second drum-making workshop

Tuesday, August 6 | 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

(Registration for this workshop will open only when the Aug. 5 workshop is full.)

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Sound Bath Journey and Healing Session

Monday, August 5 | 3:00 - 5:00 PM

Hwiemtun at the Community Hall


$65 | Registration is limited - 30 participants maximum


Hwiemtun and Lekha (Métis) provide a space of sound that one can journey through a variety of frequencies. These workshop leaders will use drums, flutes, crystal bowls, Tibetan bowls, gongs, rattles, chimes, a didgeridoo, and other instruments to provide a beautiful space where participants can do their own spirit journey and cell memory recall. The overall experience is so fulfilling for the mind, body and spirit. Bring a comfy blanket, pillow and water bottle.


Solfeggio Frequencies:


DO – 396 Hz – transforms grief into joy and guilt into forgiveness

RE – 417 Hz – clears negativity and removes subconscious blockages

MI – 528 Hz – stimulates love, restores equilibrium, repairs DNA

FA – 639 Hz – strengthens relationships, family, and community unity

SOL – 741 Hz – physically cleanses the body from all types of toxins

LA – 852 Hz – awakens intuition and helps you return to spiritual balance

TE – 963 Hz – “frequency of the Gods” creates room for oneness with the spiritual world


Second Sound Bath Healing Session

Tuesday, August 6 | 3:00 - 5:00 PM

(Registration for this workshop will open only when the Aug. 5 workshop is full.)

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