Taiaiako’n Historical Preservation Society’s Director and Elder Donna Powless and her son, Troy Powless (Snipe Clan, of Cayuga of Six Nations) will lead this informative series of workshops at High Park Nature Centre for participants interested in the Indigenous histories and land stewardship practices of High Park’s sacred spaces, where 57 ancient Iroquoian burial mounds have been found. Taiaiako’n also works to protect the ancient Mohawk-Seneca town site of Taiaiako’n (village at the crossing), located in current day Baby Point, and the Thunderbird Mound just below, in Magwood Park.
Multidisciplinary artist Catherine Tammaro (Spotted Turtle Clan), will lead participants through a workshop of beading single beads on a collective string. As we create, we will discuss activations of ceremony, continuity, time, song stories, transformation and collective memory. She will hold this circle of beads as community medicine – making an empowered object of reworlding/restorying amongst/by participants.
Workshop 1 – Donna Powless, Sacred Trees and Medicines of High Park
Workshop 2 – Catherine Tammaro, Timelines: Each Bead is a Beat
Workshop 3 – Troy Powless – Treaty Relations
12:30–1:30pm: Join TBA Storytellers Jeffrey Canton, Melly Davidson, and lwrds duniam for a walking debrief around High Park’s sacred spaces, referencing our learning tool, Your Tkaronto Companion Guide: High Park.
Notes: There will be seating available during the morning workshop. Some walking may be required during the Debrief tour with TBA Storytellers in the afternoon. Dress for all weather, rain or shine, and bring with you a small lunch/snack contribution to share.
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Catherine Tammaro is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practise spans decades.
Catherine is a seated Spotted Turtle Clan FaithKeeper and is active throughout the City of Toronto and beyond, in many organizations as Elder in Residence, Mentor, Teacher and Cultural Advisor. She is an alumna of the Ontario College of Art and has had a diverse career, multiple exhibits and installations, published written works
and presentations and continues her creative practise.
Catherine actively supports the work and development of other artists on an ongoing basis. She served on the Board of the TAC, TAC’s Income Precarity Working Group and was the Chair of the Toronto Arts Council’s Indigenous Advisory Committee in 2020/21 and is the Indigenous Arts Program Manager at Toronto Arts Council and continues teaching, learning and exploring her creativity and that of others.
Donna Powless is Director of Taiaiako’n Historical Preservation Society. She is of Snipe Clan, Cayuga 6 Nations of the Grand River. Donna is a traditional teacher and counsellor. She is also an Elder of the Indigenous Land Stewardship Circle affiliated with the High Park Nature Centre and High Park.
Over the last three decades, Jeffrey Canton (he/him) has shared both original stories that dig deep into the strata of Toronto’s history as well as, with a little soft-shoe and a gay show tune or two, his own queer past, and folk and fairy tales (especially stories) that connect him to his Jewish heritage. A long-time member of Queers in Your Ears, Toronto’s only LGBTQ2S Storytelling Collective, he’s spent the pandemic adding to his original queerstory “Tales of an All-Canadian Queer Childhood”, the first part of which he told at the Toronto Storytelling Festival at Harbourfront Centre in 2006. He’s been ZoomTelling both in Toronto, across Canada, and as far afield as Arirang Nights of Storytelling in Korea. He also teaches the course “Transformations” for Storytelling Toronto. Most recently, he acted as a storytelling coach for Arts and Human Rights Organization JAYU and Qu’Arts Ottawa’s “Stories Beyond Status” which recognizes fourty years of AIDS/HIV in Canada. Jeffrey was the winner of the Alice Kane Award from Storytelling Toronto in 2018 and in January was the recipient of a Recommender Grant from the Ontario Arts Council. He is also the Children’s Books columnist for The Globe and Mail.
lwrds (pronounced ‘lords’; they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, independent researcher, and 2019 OCAD University graduate (BFA Integrated Media) living and creating in Tkaronto. Their ARTivist practice is informed by frameworks of Decolonial Critical Theory and is intersectional, anti-racist, anti-oppressive, sex-positive, trauma-informed, and grounded in disability justice. With a focus on Critical Design and decolonial research practices and pedagogies, they have been working as a freelance artist/designer for the past 10 years. Their studio practice conjures performance, sculptural, illustrative, poetic, and remediated mixed-media outcomes, emerging from a foundation of transgressive witchy knowledge and traversing the multiple realms of their idiosyncratic spirituality. lwrds’ work as an artist responds to their personal journey of healing sexual trauma at the intersections of gender variance, Blackness and Indigeneity (complicated by an imposed latinidad they reject due to its colonial underpinnings), and disability for reasons of neurodivergence and chronic illness. A born storyteller with a deep commitment to healing personal and collective traumas, their art-making approach is an intuitive process of learning with other non-human beings, valuing energetic exchanges with all that exists.
Melissa (Melly) Davidson (she/they) is a queer, Arab-Canadian interdisciplinary artist and arts educator. Melly’s pursuit of interdisciplinary arts includes street dance, spoken word, page poetry, and mixed media. She has been performing and competing in slams across Turtle Island since 2017, and was the co-champion of the 2019 FEMS Empowerments Slam. Melly’s primary focus has been developing poetry workshops and programs that prioritize play and exploration for local community members. Her work can be found in Arc Poetry Magazine and Pigeon Pages. Melly is part of a Lebanese diaspora which settled and found refuge in Jamaica. Originally from Mohkínstsis (Calgary, Alberta) she is now based out of Tkaronto (Toronto, Ontario). Melly is currently moved by the Fast & Furious franchise, keychains, and post-ironic playlists.
My Cayuga Name is Gunyohsagenyohs (Old House or dwelling). I am a Haudenosaunee (People of the longhouse) citizen living in our traditional territory raised with traditional values. I was raised with both Ongwayhonway (original being) and Anishinabe (Ojibway) values. Both my parents are faith keepers. I was raised hearing many different spiritual discussions and have been in contact with many spiritual knowledge keepers growing up. I was raised with the privilege of hearing many indigenous knowledge keepers’ oral tradition of handing down indigenous culture and knowledge from our ancestors originally from turtle island before contact with European culture. I believe indigenous culture is about connection to the natural world and living in harmony with it as per original instructions given to us by the creator on how to take care of, and live in peace and harmony on our Mother this existing Earth.