OCDSB Indigenous Speakers Series

The OCDSB Indigenous Speaker Series is a series of insightful talks featuring Indigenous leaders, authors, creators, innovators, and storytellers. These events provide an opportunity to learn about the culture, perspectives, and experiences of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit community members.

All OCDSB staff and students are invited to join us for these free virtual talks. Links to the livestreams will be posted on the OCDSB Student Portal and Staff Portal. If you have any questions, please contact the Indigenous Education Team.

Upcoming Speakers

Past Speakers

Jennifer DavidJennifer David

Date: Tuesday,  June 8th, 2021

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The OCDSB Indigenous Speaker Series proudly presents a virtual talk with Jennifer David for OCDSB staff and students in grades 7-12.

Jennifer David has worked in the field of Indigenous communications and consulting for 25 years. Prior to consulting, Jennifer was the Director of Communications for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. She started her own communications consulting company as a youth entrepreneur. A member of Chapleau Cree First Nation, Jennifer was born and raised in Omushkego/Treaty 9 territory (Northeastern Ontario). She is currently a Senior Consultant with NVision Insight Group, a majority Indigenous-owned consulting company. She sits on several Boards that support the Indigenous community, writes freelance articles on Indigenous art for the National Gallery of Canada magazine, and hosts a podcast on Indigenous literature called Storykeepers.

Jaime MorseJaime Morse

Date: Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The OCDSB Indigenous Speaker Series proudly presents “Mending the Net,” a virtual talk with Jaime Morse for OCDSB staff and students in grades 7-12. This talk, entitled “Mending the Net,” is a story of hope and healing. Jaime will share a personal perspective about who the Métis are, from history to current issues, and about growing up in a northern multi-cultural community and dealing with racism and trauma. The talk will cover current issues such as missing and murdered Indigenous women, 60’s Scoop, Residential Schools, addiction, homelessness, and the inter-generational effects of trauma on three generations from all the above. The talk will touch on the effects of industry on the land and sustenance living. Jaime will also discuss geography, art, and reconnecting with family through social media, the land, and art.

Photo credit: Clearskies Studio

Deborah Kigjugalik Webster and David Finkle

Date: Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

Time: 9:30 a.m.

The OCDSB Indigenous Speaker Series proudly presents a presentation by Deborah Kigjugalik Webster and David Finkle for OCDSB staff and students in kindergarten to grade 6. 

Deborah Kigjugalik WebsterDeborah Kigjugalik Webster grew up in Baker Lake, Nunavut, where she loved to learn about her Inuit culture and heritage. She has a degree in Anthropology from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, and works as an Inuit heritage researcher and author. Deborah’s published works mostly include papers and articles. She is the author of three books including Harvaqtuurmiut Heritage: The Heritage of the Inuit of the Lower Kazan River, Akilak’s Adventure, and When I Was Young in Nunavut.

DAVID FINKLEHailing from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in southern Ontario, David Finkle is an award-winning multi-instrumental recording artist versed in many musical genres. He is a sound engineer, traditional knowledge keeper, storyteller, drum maker, and producer, and has completed scores for many theatrical productions, documentaries and full-length features. David's music ranges from traditional melodies unchanged for thousands of years to complete live improvisation often utilizing traditionally handmade instruments he makes himself.

Theland KicknoswayTheland Kicknosway 
 Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021
 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The OCDSB Indigenous Speakers Series proudly presents a webinar with Theland Kicknosway for OCDSB staff and grade 7 to 12 students. Theland Kicknosway is Wolf Clan, Potawatami & Cree Nation and a member of Walpole Island, Bkejwanong Territory in Southern Ontario. He is a singer, a grass & hoop dancer, and helps in ceremonies in many places. He is in Virtual High School in the Ottawa Region and enjoys offering his gifts of song, dance & voice for all. He has been a Blanket Exercise Facilitator since 2012 and was one of the youngest Indigenous trained within the region.

Theland Kicknosway and Elaine Kicknosway Theland Kicknosway and Elaine Kicknosway 
 Tuesday, March 9th, 2021 
 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The OCDSB Indigenous Speakers Series proudly presents a webinar with Theland Kicknosway and his mother Elaine Kicknosway, for OCDSB staff and grade K to 12 students. Theland and Elaine will be speaking about "Boys with Braids".

Elaine Kicknosway is proud to be Swampy Cree through her biological mother and Chippewa from her biological father. She is a member of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation in Northern Saskatchewan, and is Wolf Clan. She is a Sixties Scoop Survivor and returned home in the late 20’s. She has been a long time community advocate in the areas of child welfare, healthy families, and Indigenous women. Elaine is an Indigenous wedding officiant, KAIROS Blanket exercise facilitator and trainer, Indigenous doula, Traditional dancer, singer, drummer, and carrier of ceremonial teachings.

Gabrielle FayantGabrielle Fayant

Date: Tuesday, February 16th, 2021
Time: 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. 

The OCDSB Indigenous Speakers Series proudly presents a webinar with Gabrielle Fayant for OCDSB staff and grade 7 to 12 students.

Gabrielle is an award-winning woman for her work in her community, her dedication to supporting young people, and amplifying grassroots efforts. Gabrielle is passionate about cultural resurgence, revitalization and restitution for all Indigenous peoples.  Gabrielle is the co-founder and co-CEO of an Indigenous youth-led and driven non-profit, Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G).

Twin FlamesTwin Flames

Date: February 9, 2021
Time: 10:00 a.m.


Join the OCDSB, OCSB and CDSBEO for a virtual live concert with multi-award winning musicians Twin Flames. This event is open to OCDSB students in grades 7-12.

Please note that this session will not be recorded as the OCDSB is not hosting this event.

Autumn PeltierAutumn Peltier
Date: January 19th, 2021
Time: 11:30 a.m.

The OCDSB Indigenous Speakers Series proudly presents a webinar with Autumn Peltier for OCDSB staff and students in grades 7 to 12.

Emily Marie Seguin

Emily Marie Seguin
Dates: Tuesday, January 12 and Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Time: 9:30 p.m. 

The OCDSB Indigenous Speakers Series proudly presents two webinars with Emily Marie Seguin, for OCDSB staff and students in JK to grade 6.

Emily Marie Seguin is an emerging performer, writer, theatre creator and visual artist. Hailing from the Oji-Algonquin Nations surrounding Golden Lake, she is a mixed two-spirit Anishinaabekwe, creating work to honor her ancestors and reclaim artistic spaces.

Additional Resources:

The Story of Sound Workshop Breakdown (English)

The Story of Sound Workshop Breakdown (French)

Kanahus Manuel Kanahus Manuel
Date:Friday, December 11th, 2020 
Time:1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

This rare and special live stream will feature Kanahus Manuel from the west coast (Secwepemc and Ktunaxa) who will be speaking to students in grades 9 to 12 on current events taking place on Indigenous lands in British Columbia.

This session will be moderated by Isaac Murdoch (Serpent River First Nation) and together they will highlight the connections between colonialism and climate change, resource extraction and violence against Indigenous peoples, and how students can play an important role in solidarity and action movements.

Isaac MurdochIsaac Murdoch
Date:Tuesday, December 8th, 2020
Time:11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

This event is open to OCDSB grade 9 to 12 students and staff. Bomgiizhik Isaac Murdoch is from Serpent River First Nation. He is of the Fish Clan and is Anishinabe. He loves learning about the earth and stars and passing it on to young people. He currently lives at Nimkii Aazhibikoong an Anishinabek Cultural Community north of Lake Huron.  

Riley Yenso Riley Yesno 
Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Riley Yesno (she/her/hers) is a queer Anishinaabe writer, researcher, and public speaker from Eabametoong First Nation. Riley grew up primarily in Thunder Bay, ON and currently calls Toronto, ON, and St. John’s, NL, home. She has experience working at all levels of change making, from the grassroots to the international, and has participated in over 100 panels, workshops, and conferences. Riley has attended climate negotiations at the United Nations, delivered a TEDx Talk, and travelled the world public speaking. You can find Riley’s writing in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Maclean’s, and many others. She is currently studying at the University of Toronto.

This event, hosted by JKyl Morrison, Indigenous Grad Coach, is open to Grade 9-12 students and staff. 

Monique Manatch
Monique Manatch
Sessions: Secondary - Tuesday, November 3rd from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
                 Elementary - Wednesday, November 4th from 12:45 p.m. 1:45 p.m.

Monique Manatchis a member of the Algonquins of Barriere Lake. Monique is a Knowledge Keeper working closely with Algonquin Elder Albert Dumont. In 2004, Monique became founder and Executive Director of Indigenous Culture and Media Innovations (www.icmi.ca). ICMI is dedicated skills development of Indigenous women and youth through the production media and arts. Monique has facilitated Indigenous artists and community members throughout Ontario and Quebec. 

Cody Coyote
Cody Coyote
Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Cody Coyote was born in 1992, raised in Ottawa, Ontario, and is of Ojibwe/Irish descent with ancestry from Matachewan First Nation. With his fusion of strong, profound lyricism accompanied by corresponding influential sounds, this multi-award nominated and award winning hip-hop/electronic artist grabs his listeners' attention and delivers a mesmerizing performance. Outside of music, Cody Coyote is also a motivational speaker, workshop facilitator and is the host of “The Beat” on elmnt fm. 

This event, hosted by Josh Josh Lewis (Noodin), Indigenous Student Support Coordinator, is open to Grade 7-12 students and staff.

Waubgeshig Rice

Waubgeshig Rice

Date: Thursday, June 18, 2020
Time: 1:00 p.m. 
Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation on Georgian Bay. His first short story collection, Midnight Sweatlodge, was inspired by his experiences growing up in an Anishinaabe community, and won an Independent Publishers Book Award in 2012. His debut novel, Legacy, followed in 2014. A French translation of Legacy was published in 2017. His latest novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was released in 2018 and quickly became a bestseller. As a journalist, he most recently worked as host of Up North, CBC Radio’s afternoon show for northern Ontario. He currently lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and son.  

Drew Haydon TaylorDrew Hayden Taylor
Date: Thursday, June 11, 2020 Time: 1:00 p.m.  Drew Hayden Taylor is an award-winning playwright, novelist, journalist and filmmaker. Born and living on the Curve Lake First Nation (Anishnawbe), Drew has done everything from performing stand up comedy at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC to serving as Artistic Director of Canada's premier Indigenous theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. Drew is the author of 33 books, including his latest novel, Chasing Painted Horses. He sees himself primarily as a contemporary storyteller.

Jesse Thistle

Jesse Thistle

Date: Friday, June 5, 2020
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Jesse Thistle is a Métis-Cree-Scot from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, whose bestselling memoir, From the Ashes (Simon and Schuster Canada), chronicles his life on the streets and how he overcame trauma and addiction to discover the truth about who he is. His scholarship is focused on intergenerational and historic trauma of the Métis people, and also reflects on his own past struggles with homelessness. Jesse is widely recognized in the scholarly community and beyond. He holds an MA in History from Waterloo and is an Assistant Professor of Métis Studies at York University.

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