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Joseph Naytowhow Storyteller - Wisdom Keeper

Gemini Award winning actor, Joseph Naytowhow is a multitalented Plains/Woodland Cree singer, actor, and storyteller who transforms lives and fills hearts with song, joy, and illumination. Joseph has performed for many dignitaries and world leaders alike. Audiences will leave with their hearts warmed and perspectives expanded as Joseph imparts his truth with incredible vulnerability and piercing insight.

Joseph is a respected Knowledge Keeper, from the Sturgeon Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, and highly regarded Indigenous Adviser for many Universities, organizations, and communities throughout Canada. As a residential school survivor, Joseph embodies extraordinary resilience and unwavering tenacity, along with a quiet strength and unexpected optimism. Joseph graciously shares his story of a painful past to help his audience restore lost parts of Canadian history and to better understand Indigenous identity. He is admired for his vulnerability and power to transform his important story into a motivating call to action.

An expert in a multitude of creative mediums, Naytowhow has made a career for himself in the music, acting, dance, and storytelling industries demonstrating a unique understanding of the power that words and movement hold in the process of healing. Going on to win the title of Best Emerging Male Actor at the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival for his performance in Run: Broken Yet Brave and a Gemini Award for Best Individual or Ensemble Performance in an Animated Program for his role in
Wapos Bay.

Realising the importance of acting upon what you have learned, Joseph has fully embraced a lifelong journey of self-evolution and expression. Today, this dedication is demonstrated through his work as an emerging Elder and Indigenous adviser across turtle island.

  • The Residential School Legacy: My Truth is Our Truth

    Joseph’s message is that the truth and history of Residential Schools is OUR shared history. Residential Schools happened to us all. The legacy of those events have impacted every person in Canada and living disconnected from that history has created division and isolation across this great land. Joseph speaks with compassion and insight, helping all of us to own and acknowledge our past, so that through this we can better transform our future. 

    Learning from this presentation includes:

    ● Acknowledging OUR History: Audiences will get to understand how the residential school legacy is their legacy too, and to realize how knowing and owning this history empowers them to create change that benefits everyone’s future.

    ● Empathy and Allyship: Listeners will learn what empathy and allyship looks like from a residential school survivor's eyes and see how that lens can expand their personal and professional connections.

    ● Action to Change Our World: Audience members will leave with a deeper understanding and empathy for the residential school experience and feel empowered to be a part of the change.

    Spirituality through Cree Ritual

    Joseph speaks on the power of traditional Cree rituals and their crucial role in the development of one's personal and spiritual identity. The Indigenous understanding of spirituality is all encompassing and holistic, which means that it can impact all realms of life. Naytowhow moves, inspires and educates on the power of Cree spirituality in the ongoing process of healing on a vocal, mental, and physical level.

    Listeners will experience and learn about the:

    ● Power of music and storytelling

    ● Finding Identity from a Cree perspective

    ● Holistic Healing

    Diversity & Inclusion through Traditional Protocol and Indigenous Knowledge

    With growing demands to diversify the workplace across all industries and institutions, the indigenous way of knowing is becoming more and more important in our world. In this presentation Joseph creates a safe space for his audience to learn and develop an understanding of Indigenous peoples, knowledge and traditional protocols. His teachings will help you not only honour but uplift people of all backgrounds within your organization.

    Listeners will experience and learn about the:

    ● Value of Traditional Knowledge: Audiences will get a deeper understanding of what traditional knowledge is and why it is fundamental to Indigenous cultures and societies.

    ● Understanding and Honoring Indigenous Protocol: Listeners will learn what honouring means and looks like from an Indigenous lens.

    ● Bridging Gaps between Cultures: Organizations will leave with deeper understanding of how to connect and build relations with Indigenous communities.

  • “His sharing of culture through humor, oral storytelling, flute and drum really resonated with everyone who attended our lunch and learn. I would not hesitate to ask Joseph to come back and share with us again.” - Douglas Casimel

    “Joseph was a pleasure - very upbeat and witty, with a smile that didn’t stop. He is gifted with storytelling and he has music in his soul. He easily kept everyone's attention and was very interactive with us. I highly recommend getting to know Joseph - he has a spirit that is worth sharing.” – Gina M., SaskTel Aboriginal Employee Network

    “Students and staff alike enjoyed his performances and his manner, feeling a bond with him even in a short time. Joseph provided solid teaching on treaty essential learning and was very inventive and engaging when helping students explore history through participation, role play and activities. He has played an important role in Living Sky School Division as a leader, artist and cultural knowledge keeper.” - Sherron Burns, Learning Consultant, Living Sky School Division No. 202

    • Arts & Learning Award, Saskatchewan Arts Board. 2018 
    • Poet of Honour, Spoken Word Award, Canadian Festival of Words. 2015 
    • Imaginative Theatre award, collaboration with Moe Clarke, Nitahkotan (single) music video. 2015 
    • Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival, Best New Talent, RUN. 2009 
    • Gemini Award for Best Individual or Ensemble Performance in an Animated Program or Series for his role in Wapos Bay series. 2009 
    • Best Emerging Male Actor award at the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival for his role in Run: Broken Yet Brave. 2009 
    • Best Traditional Male Dancer at John Arcand’s Fiddlefest in Saskatchewan. 2009 
    • Canadian Aboriginal Music Award’s Keeper of the Tradition Award. 2006 
    • Commemorative Medal for the Saskatchewan Centennial. 2005 
    • Performances for the Prince of Wales and the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan.
    • Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan.
    • Lululemon Staff Development Session, Online Presentation (2020).
    • University of Saskatchewan Student Union, Cultural Advisor (2020).
    • University of Regina Resident Knowledge Keeper, (2013- Present Day).
    • Concordia University, Land as Our Teacher and Youth Outdoor Education (2019- Present Day).

Joseph is a respected Knowledge Keeper, from the Sturgeon Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, and highly regarded Indigenous Adviser for many Universities, organizations, and communities throughout Canada. As a residential school survivor, Joseph embodies extraordinary resilience and unwavering tenacity, along with a quiet strength and unexpected optimism. Joseph graciously shares his story of a painful past to help his audience restore lost parts of Canadian history and to better understand Indigenous identity. He is admired for his vulnerability and power to transform his important story into a motivating call to action.

An expert in a multitude of creative mediums, Naytowhow has made a career for himself in the music, acting, dance, and storytelling industries demonstrating a unique understanding of the power that words and movement hold in the process of healing. Going on to win the title of Best Emerging Male Actor at the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival for his performance in Run: Broken Yet Brave and a Gemini Award for Best Individual or Ensemble Performance in an Animated Program for his role in
Wapos Bay.

Realising the importance of acting upon what you have learned, Joseph has fully embraced a lifelong journey of self-evolution and expression. Today, this dedication is demonstrated through his work as an emerging Elder and Indigenous adviser across turtle island.

Speaker Summary

Location: Canada

Language: English

Website: Click Here

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