Canadian indigenous and non-indigenous peoples have been living on this land together for centuries. But how well do we know each other? Many would answer not nearly well enough. The 2nd Annual Indigenous Life Festival at Blue Mountain Village is a fun, educational, inclusive and interactive weekend that hopes to change that by making the sharing of information the focal point. The ILF is responding to The Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action to foster learning and education amongst Canadians.

This is a one-of-a-kind festival jam packed with award winning entertainment, workshops, fun activities and crafts for all to make and take away. From amazing live music and native films, to traditional games and ceremonies, to delicious contemporary cuisine cooked up by returning celebrity Ojibway Chef Zach Keeshig, it’s going to be exciting – and tasty too!

Presented by M’Wikwedong Native Cultural Resource Centre

M’Wikwedong was established to address the social, spiritual, mental and physical needs of the Urban Aboriginal population of Owen Sound and surrounding area by providing a safe environment for the Aboriginal peoples to participate in their community and to break down the cultural and systemic service barriers between local Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal populations. Since 2001 M’Wikwedong has been driven by a grassroots initiative comprised of a core group of 50 Aboriginal community members from Owen Sound. 
Creative Director: Lisa Farano

In 2002, Lisa Farano co-created the children’s education charity, Elephant Thoughts, focusing on Indigenous education not only here in Canada but around the globe. Lisa believes that education is the key to freedom and prosperity and continues to work with Elephant Thoughts enabling innovative education solutions in aboriginal communities across Canada. Lisa is passionate about creating awareness on the subject of Indigenous conditions and perspectives. She is knowledgeable of the shared mis-information that has led to racism and strives to change this long-standing paradigm through education and awareness. Her current projects include producing The Indigenous Life Festival, a one of a kind education and awareness sharing festival with The Village at Blue and the Town of Collingwood. She is also working on a national public awareness campaign to foster a better understanding of the historical and current relationship between Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.
Creative Genius: Glenn Trivett

Glenn Trivett is an Ojibway knowledge keeper and medicine man.  He is a member of the Odawa Midewiwin medicine society.  He has traveled extensively throughout Ontario in initiatives related to Indigenous youth empowerment and healthy relationships.  Glenn has learned about Indigenous history from elders, anthropologists and his spiritual leader in Wikwemikong.  His unique presentation style and perspective leaves those he touches with a much stronger understanding of the issues and hope for the future.  Glenn currently works at M’Wikwedong Native Cultural Resource Centre as their Cultural Resource Coordinator.
Rotary HIP

Rotary HIP was created by Rotarians in Southern Ontario in partnership and consultation with the Indigenous peoples of many Nations. We are honouring Indigenous people by supporting their educational efforts and encouraging all Canadians to be aware of indigenous issues, history and culture.
Elephant Thoughts

As a registered Canadian charity, founded in 2002 by a group of teachers, principals and other professional educators, Elephant Thoughts enables teachers to create change, both in Canada and abroad. ET has been working in northern Canada since 2002 and have grown to be a force for change in First Nations education. They have quickly expanded to become Canada’s largest science outreach program to northern schools, visiting as many as 100 Indigenous communities per year. They have been awarded many of Canada’s top honours for the Non-Profit Sector for our work in Indigenous  education programs.
Presenter: Sabrina Sutherland

Sabrina Sutherland is member of Attawapiskat First Nation and her mother and grandparents are from Fort Albany, in James Bay. She is the mother of one daughter, Kayla, age 25 and is currently a writer of poetry and stories.  She has been writing since childhood, during various times in adult life and now full-time as part of her healing journey. Sabrina settled in Bruce County 8 years ago and currently resides in Saugeen First Nation.
Presenter: Shirley John

Shirley John is “Strong White Buffalo Woman” and a member Loon/Grizzly bear of the Chippewa’s of Saugeen along the beautiful shores of Lake Huron. She speaks through her interactive teachings sharing her passion of the love of creation and her love and dedication for the water to numerous organizations and conferences throughout Turtle Island. Shirley has shared alongside her loving lifelong partner for 43 years who shares the joy of Anishinabek way of life.

Celebrity Chef and Presenter: Zach Keeshig

Zach Keeshig lives in Owen Sound. He attended cooking school locally at Georgian College and procced to complete an apprenticeship under local chef Tim Johnston (Cobble Beach). After the Apprenticeship he has proceed to work in restaurants such as Michael staulanders Eginsinn Farm (Singhampton) and Langdon Hall (Cambridge). Zach most recently had opened a pop up dining experience, using the local farmers market serving 10 guests, locally sourced and foraged foods showcased in a 7 course tasting menu, which won him an award through the city of Owen Sound. In his spare time, Zach enjoys reading, recipe testing and teaching his children about local and foraged foods.
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