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Artists and Speakers: Team


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Rory has been a trapper for over 40 years. His grandmother started him into trapping muskrats at a young age. She was a great inspiration with a great deal of knowledge. Now Rory has a bigger trapline and traps beaver, muskrats, mink, otter, fisher and the occasional coyote. The last few years he has started sewing with the fur he has caught. He sews mitts, hats, ear muffs, pillow and blankets. This year he got his trappers instructor’s license and plans to bring trapping back to our reserves. 


Rick Hill is currently the Indigenous Innovations Specialist at Mohawk College, developing strategies for sustainable agriculture for the future in light of climate change.  He is also an advisor with First Nations Technical Institute on issues of Indigenous sustainability.   Rick has worked (often alongside Alan Corbiere) for many years to recover history and meaning of treaties and wampum belts, in particular the Dish With One Spoon between the Haudenosaunee and the Anishinaabe.



Sarah Lewis is an Anishnaabe Kwe (Ojibwe/Cree) spoken word artist, activist, and mother from Curve Lake First Nation, Ontario. She was Peterborough’s first Poet Laureate. She was also a national semi-finalist at the 2019 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and a finalist at Toronto’s International Festival of Authors Slam Poetry Coalkan. 


She has been featured on Global News, CBC radio, CBC Arts’ ongoing video series: Poetic License and more recently published in the poetry anthology: The Condor and the Eagle Meet. 


Her poetry uncovers the ongoing effects of colonization but more importantly, how Indigenous communities are reclaiming their identities, culture, strength and sovereignty. She also explores love, women empowerment, friendship and her connection to Mother Earth.



Chandra F. Maracle is mother of four daughters and founder of Kakhwa’on:we/Real People Eat Real Food, exploring links between people, food, mothering, art, language, technology and land. She is co-Founder of Skaronhyase’ko:wa /the Everlasting Tree School and creator of the school’s Tyonnhehkwen Onkwaya’takenha:tshera Nutrition Program. Chandra was meal planner, food educator and developer of the Haudenosaunee Food Guide for the Six Nations Healthy Roots community food challenge. She is a graduate of the Onkwawen:na Kentyohkwa adult Mohawk language immersion program, and is currently a PhD student at York University in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change.  She is a collaborator on The Earth to Tables Legacies Project, a group of intergenerational and intercultural folks transforming the food system.



Dr. Fred Metallic is a Listuguj (Qc.) resident and a lifetime citizen of Gespe’gewa’gi, Mi’gma’gi. Fred currently works for the Listuguj Mi'gmaq Government as the Director of Natural Resources and lead fisheries negotiator. Fred completed his Ph.D. Environmental studies program at York University (in Toronto). To fulfill the requirements for his Ph.D. Fred had to write a dissertation. The dissertation written in Mi’gmaw and defended in Listuguj was a landmark achievement. This was the first time a dissertation was written solely without translation in an indigenous language.  He has written and presented numerously to Mi’gmaq and non-Mi’gmaq communities, on topics related to Mi’gmaq history, Mi’gmaq political philosophy, culture, spirituality, and governance. Fred also sits on the Mi'gmaq Grand Council as a Ge’ptin and works closely with the leadership to advance our rights and responsibilities as a nation.


Elizabeth (Liz) Osawamick is an Anishinaabe Midewiwin-kwe community leader, Water Walker/activist, jingle dress dancer, devoted parent and professional teacher. She is President of Anishnaabemowin Teg, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, teaching and developing Anishnaabe language and cultural pride. A leader of the Kawartha area Water Walks under the guidance of Elders Dr Shirley I Williams and the late Nookomis Josephine Mandamin, Liz has dedicated her life to her people, her language, the lands, and the waters.

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Miigwaans Osawamick-Sagassige is an Anishnaabe-Nini, currently living in Hastings with family in both Wikwemikong and Curve Lake. Miigwaans graduated from Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf in June 2021. He is honoured to be a sacred fire keeper at the 4th annual Mnoominkewin Gathering. Miigwaans is dedicated to the healing of our communities. Kindness and dreaming are at the heart of all his community contributions. 


Bob Rae is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in New York. He served as Premier of Ontario from 1990-1995, interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada from 2011-2013 and was appointed as Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar (2017) and Canada’s Special Envoy on Humanitarian and Refugee Issues (2020). Mr. Rae taught law and public policy at the University of Toronto and was a partner and senior counsel to the law firm OKT LLP, specializing in indigenous law and constitutional issues. Bob Rae is a Privy Councillor, a Companion of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario.

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Aanii Kina Wii yaa,

Respect Hope n Generosity was a traditional balance of nutrition medicine. Wild Rice was a bundle blanket substance which  historically was a Anishnabek natural dietary style.


It is a similar echo honor to be a part of such a beautiful spirit  education circle for all guests and Knowledge Keeper's at this year's 2023 wild rice gathering. 

On the road we braid.



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Jonathan Taylor is an Anishnaabe man from the Curve Lake First Nation in Ontario, Canada. He writes poetry, is an Anishnaabemowin language consultant, and teaches Anishnaabemowin to children and adults in his community.  Jonathan’s writing has appeared in Red Ink Magazine, The Yellow Medicine Review, Quills Canadian Poetry Journal, and the Muckleshoot Review. He belongs to the Turtle clan. 

At present, Wes provides cultural healing services for Indigenous men incarcerated in the federal institution of Beaver Creek in Ontario. Wes also provides cultural based Healing services for a number of First Nation communities and urban Indigenous organizations. Wes is dedicated to and continues to work for the embetterment of First Nations people.

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Wes Whetung was born and raised in the Anishinabe Mississauga community of Curve Lake Ontario. His name is Nowakwegeesis and he is of the Moose clan family. He is a father to 3, Grandfather to 9, and Great grandfather to 3 with a 4th on the way. Wes is currently lives in his Wife's community of Mississauga # 8 First Nation, near Blind River, ON.


Wes has pursued a career in social work, providing support services to Indigenous peoples. Although his professional training is extensive he openly acknowledges that his most effective skills are derived from the sacred teachings, ceremonies, and Healing practices of the Three Fires Midewin Society. Wes has actively participated and supported the Midewin Society for the past 40+ years. He is a well respected Ceremony maker, knowledge keeper, and teacher.


Professor Emeritus, Elder, Activist, Nishnaabemowin Language Teacher. Shirley is a member of the Bird Clan of the Ojibway and Odawa First Nations of Canada. Her Anishinaabe name is Migizi ow Kwe meaning Eagle Woman. She was born and raised at Wikwemikong, Manitoulin Island and attended St. Joseph’s Residential School in Spanish, Ontario. After completing her NS diploma, she received her BA in Native Studies at Trent University and her Native Language Instructors Program diploma from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. Shirley received her Master’s Degree from York University in Environmental Studies. In June of 2004, Shirley retired from the Indigenous Studies Department and now holds the title, Professor Emeritus.

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Alice Olsen Williams is renowned for her unique quilted textile works that blend expressions of Anishinaabe  beliefs and ideology with reflections on contemporary social issues. Her distinctive style is grounded in the traditional skills of beadwork and sewing of the Anishinaabe people, and the unique symbols and themes of her culture. Alice's creative vision in quilt design focuses on the central placement of animals and birds, which figure prominently in the lives of the Anishinaabeg.  She also uses the beautiful floral motifs that Anishinaabe-Kwewag continue to use in their beadwork, quillwork, embroidery and other creative media.   Surrounding her central designs are the conventional North American quilting blocks which were introduced by the first European Settlers, and continue to be developed by contemporary quilt artisans. Alice combines the knowledge and appreciation of both her Norwegian and Anishinaabe

ancestry with new materials, to syncretize wonderful expressions in cultural meaning, the healing arts and indigenous activism. 


Alice was born in Trout Lake, 150 miles north of Kenora Ontario, Canada, in the traditional Anishinaabe territory of her mother's people for millennia, long before Euro-colonization.  Even as a child Alice had a delight for fabrics, creating small sewing projects that would later become her passion.  She received her teaching certificate from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and taught there and at Pic Mobert First Nation before moving to Curve Lake First Nation. Alice completed her B.A. at Trent University in Peterborough, and with her discovery of the quilting process in 1980, went on to formulate the concepts which would be the basis for her distinctive style, and to master the beadwork and sewing techniques which allow her to create her meticulous hand-quilted designs. She also keeps extremely busy with her beautiful family of four children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandson!

Artists and Speakers: Team
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