Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre

Indigenous Legacy Gathering | September 29-30, 2023

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No advance registration. Workshops are on a first come first serve basis.

John Keeshig – Teaching Lodge Workshop
Friday 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Saturday 1:30 – 2:30 pm 

Cultural workshop on the design and building of traditional teaching lodges. John Keeshig is the Knowledge Keeper who is guiding the design of the Teaching Lodge within the Spirit Garden. Using a structure that simulates the internal construction of the lodge, this year, John will be able to draw comparisons to the structure that is currently being raised on Nathan Phillips Square.

Solomon King – Clay Turtle Making Workshop
Friday 12:30 – 1:30 pm & 2:30 – 4:00 pm
Saturday 12:00 – 1:30 pm & 2:30 – 4:00 pm

Solomon King, the designer for the Turtle Sculpture which has a central position in the Spirit Garden, assists youth and adults to create their own small clay turtles. As an artist and master stone mason, he guides participants in the creation of replicas inspired by the 10-ton granite sculpture that will be on view in the fall of 2024.

Council Fire – Tipi Making Workshop
Friday 12:00 – 1:30 pm & 3:30 – 5:00 pm
Saturday 12:00 – 1:30 pm & 3:30 – 5:00 pm

Join our cultural worker Natalie Ortega to create your own mini Tipi while learning about the history, techniques and meanings behind each part. This workshop is ideal for visitors ages 6 and up.

Roots and  Raven – Medicines Workshop – Sweetgrass Spray
Friday 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Saturday 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Learn how to make beautiful sweetgrass medicine mist to add to your self-care routine. Roots and Raven grow and harvest many of their own organic herbs and medicines.

 Kevin Sandy – Lacrosse

Access on a first come first serve basis when trainers are available during the day in the lacrosse cages.


All Nations Junior – Drum
Friday 11:00 – 11:30 am
Each member of the group has been singing, dancing, and practicing their culture since they were just babies. So, in 2012 when the drum group first met through Toronto Council Fire’s youth program, the Little Embers, All Nations

Juniors was born. The group has composed many songs, one of which,
‘Everyone Welcome’ was written by members Dakota Myran and Jayden
Wemigwans. This Cree/Ojibwe song was composed in honour of all peoples
across Turtle Island and tells a story that all dancers are welcome to come
into the arena to dance and showcase their styles and culture. The All Nations
Juniors are also a part of the A more Beautiful Journey project.

Red Bear Singers – Songs and Hand Drums
Saturday 1:30 – 2:00 pm
The Red Bear Singers started singing together in circle at Toronto Council Fire
in 2018. This was done as a way to continue the personal healing journeys of
each individual member in a group setting. The group wrote their first song
in 2018, titled, “Away Back”. This song honours the children taken from their
families and placed into foster care, orphanages, day schools, and Residential
Schools. Since then, the group has worked on learning several community
songs including the three songs which can be heard on the Soundways App.
The App is a part of the Toronto Transit Commission and the City of Toronto’s
Year of Public Art, A More Beautiful Journey landmark XR (extended reality)
audio installation. (
Aztec Dancers Group Dance
Friday 12:30 – 1:30 pm
Saturday 12:30 – 1:00 pm 

The Aztec Dancers perform traditional Indigenous dances from Mexico. Their
dances honour the 4 sacred elements; water, earth, air, and fire. Each dance
has a meaning and a prayer.

Kevin Sandy – Lacrosse Teachings and Demonstration
Friday 1:00 – 1:30 pm
Saturday 1:30 – 2:00 pm
Kevin Sandy is from Lower Cayuga Nation, Wolf Clan, and resides in Grand
River Territory, Six Nations. Kevin is the CEO/Director of Haudenosaunee Lacrosse and Otahyoni Management Group and a co-founder of the Indigenous Lacrosse Association.
Anthony Gladue
Friday 2:30 – 3:00 pm
Saturday 2:30 – 3:00 pm
Anthony is from Kehewin Cree Nation in Alberta Canada.
He has been a champion traditional dancer since he was 7 years old. A
graduate of Centre for Indigenous Theatre (CIT) in 2012 he has performed in a
number of Indigenous theatrical productions. Anthony is currently the KIzhaay
Anishinaabe Niin (I am a Kind Man) Coordinator. In his solo flute performances,
Anthony regales us with his cultural morality tales, and traditional teachings.
Semiah Smith – Mohawk Singer 
Friday 3:30 – 4:00 pm
Saturday 4:30 – 5:00 pm
Semiah is a Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk) Turtle clan Toronto-based alternative electro RnB artist from Six Nations, ON. Growing up touring around the world with her mother’s dance company (Kaha:wi Dance Theatre), Semiah’s songs ring with the energy of an international heart. Born with golden tones, she’s had a wide spectrum of experiences ranging from hippie art festivals in the Australian outback to the beaches of Trinidad since age 7. Her upbringing has gifted Semiah with unapologetic honesty and wisdom beyond her 24 years.
J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth
Friday 4:00 – 5:00 pm
(One who gives away and still stands tall) is a member of the Ahousaht community within the Nuu-chah-nulth homelands on Vancouver Island. Formerly the Indigenous Outreach and Learning Coordinator with the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) Learning Department, J’net is now the Director, Indigenous Relations and Community Engagement with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB).
EJ Kwandibens – Jingle Dress Teachings and Demonstration
Friday 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Saturday 5:00 – 6:00 pm
EJ Kwandibens is an Anishnaabe Artist & Cultural Educator from Whitesand
First Nation. EJ weaves his personal and family’s history through traditional
teachings on the jingle dress .
James Wilson
Friday 7:00 – 8:00 pm
James N. Wilson is a Mohawk and French-Canadian Singer-Songwriter Musician from Six Nations, Ontario, Canada. He has performed his music all around North America sharing the stage with many artists such as Buffy Sainte Marie, Derek Miller, Logan Staats, and DJ Shub. In 2017 he had the opportunity to sing back-up for “Lorde” at the Much Music Video Awards in Toronto, Canada. Recently he released his debut album “Tidal Wave” which was produced by Jace Martin at Jukasa Studios on Six Nations. His new single “City Lights” hit #1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown in December of 2019! Recently, James has been releasing music with the group “October Red” as well as working on his second upcoming solo album.

Event Site Plan

Spirit Garden

The Spirit Garden Project is a 19,250 square-foot Indigenous cultural space that will provide teaching, learning, sharing, and healing experiences for the Indigenous community of Toronto, the City’s diverse citizens, newcomers, and visitors. The project responds in part to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Call to Action 82, for governments to commission and install a Residential Schools Monument in each capital city to honour residential school survivors, and all the children lost to their families and communities. The design of the Spirit Garden revolves around Turtle Island and offers dedicated places for contemplation, celebration, and ceremonies – open, inclusive, and welcoming to all. The fully accessible site includes a reflecting pond, a Two Wampum walkway, a Voyageur canoe, an Inukshuk, and a timber-frame Teaching Lodge.