ZEZINHO YUBE HUNI KUIN
Huni Kuin (Brazilian Amazon) Community Leader, Filmmaker and Cultural Ambassador
Zezinho Yube (aka José de Lima Kaxinawa) is from the Huni Kuin people of Acre, Brazil. He is as much a cultural ambassador of the indigenous people of the Amazon as a leader working to unite the various tribes to make large changes in the Amazon region. As a filmmaker, Zezinho has participated in indigenous film festivals in the United States, Germany, Mexico and Bolivia and his films have won the the following awards: ForumDoc Documentary Festival of Belo Horizonte -Brazil (2006); Tatu de Oro -Bahia Film Festival (2008); Tatu Plata -Bahia Film Festival (2009). He was Secretary of AMAAIAC (Association Movement of Indigenous Agroforestry Agents of Acre) from 2002 to 2008 and Advisor for Indigenous Affairs with the Government of the State of Acre from 2011 until 2019 and as a result of this position, visited nearly all of the Huni Kuin communities in Acre, a feat accomplished by few people. Zezinho comes from a long lineage of tradition, in which the sacred rites of the Huni Kuin people have been handed down from one generation to the next.
DIANE LONGBOAT, M.ED.
Turtle Clan, Mohawk Nation, Traditional Teacher
Diane Longboat, MEd is a member of the Turtle Clan and Mohawk Nation at Six Nations Grand River Territory, Canada. She is a ceremonial leader, traditional teacher and healer. She has served as Elder for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health since January of 2013 and is currently the Senior Project Manager, Guiding Directions Implementation.
Diane is founder of Soul of the Mother, a Healing Lodge on the shores of the Grand River at Six Nations Grand River Territory, as well as, the founder of First Nations House (Office of Aboriginal Student Services and Programs) at the University of Toronto.
Diane is a professional educator with a Master's degree in education and has taught at universities and conferences, nationally and internationally, on the topic of traditional Indigenous knowledge systems and spirituality as the fuel for innovation.
Diane was also the Indigenous Education Advisor to the Premier of Ontario and the Ontario Minister of Education for 2017 and 2018. Recently, Diane was Co-Chair for the development of the Indigenous Peoples Program at the Parliament of the World’s Religions global gathering in Toronto for 8,500 delegates in November 2018. The legacy of the Indigenous Peoples Program is a series of ceremonial gatherings between Indigenous Nations designed to renew alliances, and relationships beginning in 2019 with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Anishinaabek Nation.
Diane is recognized as an Evolutionary Leader by the Source of Synergy Foundation in New York City and is a faculty member for the Leadership Quest of the Earthwise Centre.
M.A. (traditional plant use), B.F.A. honours, artist, farmer, wildcrafter, builder, teacher, writer, visionary.
Steven has more than thirty years experience living co-creatively with the Earth, practicing traditional living skills of growing food, building and healing. Steven created Livingstone & Greenbloom in 1986, Toronto’s first green landscaping company. In 1996, he created the Algonquin Tea Company, North America’s premiere bioregional tea company. He has given talks and run workshops internationally for more than twenty years and taught plant identification and wilderness skills at Algonquin college for 11 years, and at the Orphan Wisdom School for 8 years. In 2014 Megan and he started the Sacred Gardener Earth Wisdom School. Steven released his first book, “The Story of the Madawaska Forest Garden” in 2016, and his second “Sacred Gardening” was released in June 2017.
Scientist Emeritus (CAMH) and Professor Depts. of Public Health Sciences and Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Brian worked for over 38 years as a substance use/mental health researcher with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and “retired” in 2013. He retains an honorary appointment in CAMH as Scientist Emeritus and is a Full Professor at the University of Toronto in both the Departments of Public Health Sciences and Psychiatry where he is still very active in graduate student supervision. Many projects also continue under the auspices of his consulting practice VIRGO Planning and Evaluation Consultants or through volunteer work.
His work spans population health, evaluations of mental health and addictions treatment programs and services, including those focused on alternative and traditional medicine. Brian is currently the Project Leader for the multi-site study known as the Ayahusaca Treatment Outcome project (ATOP). He is also active in facilitating the collaboration among Canadian researchers and students interested in psychedelic science including traditional plant-based medicine.
Eco-Architect, Bio Energetic Psychotherapist, Sound Healer and Earth Steward Elder
Ingrid Cryns, BES, B Arch (Honours), Eco Architect (OAA) Certified Bioenergetic Therapist (CBT), Registered Psychotherapist (RP, CRPO) and Elder Land Steward, works out of offices in Toronto, Newmarket & Uxbridge, Canada. As a licensed Architect, Ingrid specialized in healthy, non-toxic and Natural Building methods such as building with straw bale and clay plasters. With over 15 years of clinical experience as a psychotherapist and sound energy healer, Ingrid currently works with individuals & couples, specializing in shock and relational trauma, anxiety, depression, shame, spirituality issues and more. She has been teaching her work since 2001, as well as writing for magazines, blogs and has self-published several mini-books. Ingrid has been on a conscious healing journey for over 20 years. In 1995, due to a relational trauma experience, Ingrid experienced an unexpected spiritual emergence event that profoundly shifted her into a more fluid consciousness and exposed the great disconnection and confusion within her body-mind relationship. This began a deep exploration into learning how to listen to the wisdom of her body while grounding and expanding her intuitive, creative and empathic abilities to reclaim her ecstatic self and inter-connectedness with all of Life. Ingrid currently is homesteading on a small hobby farm, learning how to live more self-sufficiently, developing her personal indigenous wisdom practices and deepening her loving relationship with the sacred land and sentient beings that she has become a grateful steward of. For more about Ingrid’s work, please visit http://www.buildingsoul.ca
MAESTRO MANUEL RUFINO
Maestro Manuel Rufino is a recognized elder in the Taino tradition and World Director of M.A.I.S.C. He is a spiritual guide, gifted ceremonial leader and teacher of sacred initiatic traditions of the world. Maestro Manuel is also an artist, certified iridologist, naturo-therapist, vegetarian chef & the visionary guiding the Golden Drum community and many vegetarian restaurants including Jungle Café in Brooklyn. Guided by his teacher, Maestro Domingo Dias Porta, Maestro Manuel has been following the trails of indigenous healing arts for over 40 years. Maestro Manuel travels around the world sharing initiatic traditions, leading workshops, lectures, sweat lodges and healing rituals.
In 2010 Maestro Manuel and a number of his students opened Golden Drum as a space for sacred traditions in New York City. Founded to give voice to the worldview of Native Americans, indigenous peoples and the esoteric schools, Golden Drum features living representatives and students of these great traditions.
KAWENNONTIE (SHANI) MARTIN
Turtle Clan, Mohawk Nation, Six Nations Territory, Mother, Grandmother, Haudenosaunee Waldorf Teacher
Kawennontie Martin is from the Six Nations Grand River Territory. She is of the Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan Family. Kawennontie has been an active role model for her community in the deliverance of her loving distributive energies through her heart and her creative thinking. Kawennontie embraces ancient Ancestral knowledge through daily living and a seasonal rhythmic ceremonial life while planting seeds of important values as a Haudenosaunee/Waldorf Teacher. She is currently studying Anthroposophy at the Rudolf Steiner Centre, Toronto and her life’s education continues through the development of the senses, observing, planning and interacting with the inner and outer landscapes of life. Kawennontie is a loving mother of nine children and 4 grandchildren.
LAUREN SAVILLE OF ROOTS & SHOOTS, JANE GOODALL INSTITUTE OF CANADA
MA, Manager of Roots & Shoots, Jane Goodall Institute of Canada
Lauren has extensive experience teaching and facilitating educational programs for young people about science and the environment. With degrees in Evolutionary Anthropology and Animal Behaviour, as well as participating in a wildlife ecology program in Tanzania, Lauren is thrilled to share her knowledge of all things primate and animal related and help inspire a new generation of environmental stewards.
VENERABLE DR. BHANTE SARANAPALA
“The Urban Buddhist Monk”, Meditation Teacher, Founder and President of "Canada: A Mindful and Kind Nation"
Recipient of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms from the Government of Canada
Recipient of “Canada 150 Medal and Sesquicentennial Community Award” from the Government of Canada
Recipient of Spirit Award from the Government of Ontario
Known as the "Urban Buddhist Monk", an appropriate nomenclature for a Buddhist Monk for modern times, Bhante Saranapala has been acclaimed as a consummate teacher of meditation by a growing number of seekers of spiritual and healthy life and peace of mind in North America and Europe who admire his simple and all-embracing approach in transmitting the universal message of love, kindness, compassion, understanding and wisdom. He has earned an enviable reputation as a global public speaker and a meditation master par excellence. Born in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Bhante Saranapala, after receiving both his monastic and secular education in Sri Lanka, made his way to Canada to further his studies (did his undergrad and grad studies at the University of Toronto and McMaster University) and soon addressed his mind to the noble task of spreading in the West his own tested approach to Mindfulness and Insight Meditation. Settling down in the City of Mississauga-Toronto West, he has been a monk in residence at the monastic fraternity of the West End Buddhist Temple and (Monastery) Meditation Centre for the past 23 years.
A veritable dynamo of activity at his Mississauga Buddhist Monastery, he is the Principal of its Sunday Dhamma School and the Director of its Youth Forum that conducts a Soup Kitchen Project / Sharing is Caring, now in its 20th year, in collaboration with the Toronto Downtown’s Good Shepherd Centre.
Acclaimed as a Buddhist monk for the modern times by a growing band of admirers, Bhante Saranapala has earned an enviable reputation as a public speaker and a meditation teacher par excellence. Within a short period of time, his scholarly lectures expounding the Teaching of the Buddha and mindfulness and Vipassana meditation began to attract the attention of the university academic circles and the Inter-faith community of Canada. Bhante Saranapala soon became a popular guest speaker at many a prestigious parley. In 2004, he was invited to address the parliamentarians in Ottawa. In 2005 September, he was accorded the honor of officiating on behalf of all religious denominations at the induction ceremonies connected with the Order of Ontario Awards in the Ontario Legislature. Bhante Saranapala is a recipient of Spirit Award from the Government of Ontario for his humanitarian services. In 2017 and 2018, the Government of Canada has recognized his mindfulness meditation sessions with the Canadian police, paramedics and fire fighters, and spiritual services to the different communities across Canada by giving him “Canada 150 Medal and Sesquicentennial Community Award” and “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” He has conducted meditation retreats to the City Councillors in Mississauga, Brampton, Toronto, the Peel Region and the Toronto District School Board Principals. His inspiring lectures at the Peel Region’s District and Catholic Schools Boards’ Secondary Schools have won him much praise making him one of the most sought after speakers on Buddhist spirituality.
Founder Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing, Author, Spiritual Guide
Dedicated to a life of service and advocacy, Madeleine founded Grail Springs here in Ontario in 1993 serving over 2,000 seekers annually. A Raja Yoga Meditation Practitioner, Madeleine continues to design and produce programs and events to raise awareness about the sacred relationship between ourselves, each other, animals and planet. Madeleine holds a series of lectures and courses throughout the year at Grail Springs and continues to write about the eternal quest and processes that bring us closer towards the human-soul kingdoms and their eventual integration.
Shamanic Sound Meditation Ensemble
ROUA AUOR is a shamanic sound ensemble created by members of the Blue Wolf Community. ROUA AUOR leads participants into a deep state of relaxation and meditation though the use of Native American songs, shamanic chants, mantras, crystal bowls, tuning forks, chimes, harmonium, didgeridoos, native flutes and a number of other various instruments, creating an environment that’s conducive to healing.
KIRTAN CULTURE INITIATIVE
The Kirtan Culture Initiative (KCI) is a newly formed Toronto-based project whose aim is to share the heart-opening practice of kirtan yoga (musical mantra meditation) along with the holistic aspects of bhakti-yoga. Kirtan is a call-and-response form of musical mantra meditation and involves exploring sacred sound through mystical chants and music. It has the power to tap into deep states of consciousness and can also invoke exciting feelings of joy and energy. The KCI's aim is to continue to build, contribute and nurture the growing practice of kirtan and bhakti-yoga in yoga studios, wellness centres and sacred spaces.
Saikou Saho has been drumming for the most of his life and has been teaching drumming for over 25 years. He facilitates private drumming and percussion lessons as well as group workshops for pre-school aged children up to senior citizens. His facilitation style centralizes community and creates a co-operative learning environment where participants can be both learners and teachers. . Along with traditional djembe rhythms, students can expect to learn djembe fundamentals such as hand placement and drum care. Saikou has facilitated programs in different settings including schools and prisons. He has been facilitating a drum building program with VIBE Arts in schools all over the GTA for the past 7 years. This program is a multi-week program where participants learn about West African culture while they build their own djembe drum; they then learn djembe rhythms that they get to practice on their very own drum! This program encourages creativity and leadership as well as self-care and healing. Saikou approaches teaching holistically where history and culture are a part of the hands on drumming lessons; he believes this style of teaching builds healthy individuals as well as healthy communities
Along with teaching Saikou owns African Drums and Art Crafts located in the famous Kensington Market for over 20 years. His store is a community gathering spot where people come to share stories, troubles and company with one another. As an elder in the African, Gambian and Drumming Communities in Toronto, he has been an important figure to many community endeavors and events. The store is a plethora of African drums, percussion instruments, jewelry, masks, art and handmade crafts. Outside of the scheduled drop-in drumming class on Friday evenings the store is a hot spot for spontaneous drum jams.
Dream Seed is a shamanic sound ensemble featuring members of members of Golden Drum and Didge Project. Shamanic chanting, mantras, overtone singing, Native American songs, indigenous music, didgeridoos, crystal singing bowls, bells, gongs, harmoniums, tuning forks and other overtone-emitting instruments are used to create an environment conducive to deep relaxation and inward investigation. Participants are led through guided meditations and sound healing practices designed to harmonize body, mind and spirit.
“Tonight’s event was a spiritual ceremony first and a concert second. Not because the music wasn’t the most transcendent but because the function felt like it was to to connect with our souls and to elevate us and to heal us rather than simply to deliver music for enjoyment or entertainment. It was the sound of the soul to align the souls to the greater spirit and it was effective and it was really powerful and it was spontaneous. It was loving. It brought us to the peace that does surpass understanding.” — Alex Grey, Visionary Artist and Co-Founder of Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM)
Learn more: http://dreamseedsound.com/
CATHY MINES, PEACE AMBASSADOR, ALLY, RIHR, CYT, YES
Cathy is the Owner and Director of Wellness at Reach Yoga. Organizing and facilitating Yoga & Meditation programs across the GTA as well as Retreats both in and out of the city, Cathy creates a safe environment for the experience of yoga where ever she goes. Jokingly calling herself “Wellness On Wheels” as from her car unfolds a complete mobile yoga studio! with mats, yoga straps, music and candles. All you need to bring is yourself.
It is Cathy’s goal to bring wellness programs to as many individuals and companies and schools as she can, helping to inspire the end of unnecessary stress in our lives.
Reach Yoga has been a growing seed for Cathy for many years now, considering herself a perpetual student of yoga, she is constantly collecting skills and knowledge. Building her own unique approach to wellness, allowing her students, teachers and mentors to inspire and shape the heart of her teaching style. Where there is a need for healing yoga has its place. From the physical to the emotional to the spiritual yoga supports a well rounded look at healthy living.
Cathy is a certified yoga instructor since 2003, a graduate of the Transformational Arts College Spiritual Psychotherapy Program and a Clinical Hypnotherapist. Receiving a Certified Peace Ambassador Certification from her studies with James O’Dea and the Shift Network has been one of Cathy’s most treasured achievements in this work. Most of all Cathy is living the dream of loving the work she does.
Turtle Clan, Mohawk Nation, Six Nations Territory, Faith Keeper
Colin W. Martin is a Mohawk Nation member from the Six Nations Reserve in Grand River Territory, Ontario, Canada. He is a Traditional Longhouse follower and has Faithkeeper responsibilities at the Sour Springs Longhouse. He is responsible for the learning, teaching and maintenance of the traditional ceremonial cycle. He was also a Police Officer for the Six Nations Police Service for 22 years. He currently works at the Haudenosaunee Resource Centre where he continues the studies of the ceremonial ways of his people.
and more to be announced!