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Eddy Robinson Educator + Dancer + Drummer

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The Beat of a Different Drum

Featured in CBC’s Moccassins & Concrete documentary and having performed with the likes of Serena Ryder, Andrea Menard, Plex and many others, Eddy Robinson’s perspective and drum beats are highly sought after.

Eddy Robinson is a caring and motivated educator, speaker, and life changer.  He speaks to the need for understanding the benefits of knowing your culture.  Eddy will enlighten and entertain with passionate, personal narratives, along with a depth of insight into indigenous culture and knowledge.

Eddy Robinson has dedicated his life to creating an authentic voice to help institutions develop an appreciation of Indigenous people.  As a living example of how important sharing genuine indigenous stories and histories are, Eddy shares his real life experiences to engage audiences with indigenous culture and knowledge in an inspiring way.

Born to the Missanabie Cree First Nation, but raised in Toronto, Eddy Robinson didn’t have an easy childhood as an Anishinaabe youth in the big city. His father, a Residential School survivor, left the family when he was just three years old and he subsequently endured years of abuse from an alcoholic parent. It was during these early years that he was first exposed to a heritage that he now credits with saving his life.

Despite the care of his grandparents, Eddy found himself on the same path of violence and addiction that dominated his childhood. He credits a Catholic priest at the Native Peoples Parish in Toronto for first encouraging him to seek out his roots. He pointed Robinson to a traditional Anishinaabe Vision Quest/Fasting ceremony that would begin his journey towards sobriety.  The power of the Dewegun (Drum)opened the door to other aspects of his culture.

A member of the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business (CCAB) Eddy established his First Nations owned and operated business Morningstar River, in 2007 to address the need for Indigenous education and the importance of an authentic culture.

  • Journey of an Indigenous Student: Finding Strength in the Narrative

    In this presentation, Eddy shares his personal narrative of the struggles with his First Nations (Indigenous) identity and the allies who created safe spaces for him throughout his life.

    “I approach the topic of Indigenous Ways of Knowing through an urban lens grounded in the Indigenous methodology of locating one self,” said Eddy. “As future teachers you need to learn how to safely ask the question of how we as a society can engage Indigenous Ways of Knowing (culture) within professional and educational environments.”

    Urban Indigenous Ways of Knowing: Engaging Culture through Technology and Re-Indigenizing Urban spaces

    Eddy looks at how we can engage Indigenous ways of knowing through modern technology. When Anishinaabe (Ojibway) people connect with the Anishinaabe language they are essentially locating their spirit to the universe and creation. When in the city, Indigenous people reconnect with their culture and with Indigenous methodologies they are re-Indigenizing urban spaces.

    Indigenous In The City: A Look at the Urban Indigenous Experience within the Urban Centres of Canada

    In this talk Eddy draws attention to the impact of colonization (loss of status, enfranchisement) resulting in many Indigenous people migrating to the urban centres. Due to the overwhelming numbers faced with poverty and discrimination this started an evolution of urban Indigenous organizations to meet the needs in the cities. Eddy not only shares his personal experience having to rely on these centres but his professional experience working locally, provincial, and nationally with the fastest growing demographic in Canada, Indigenous People.

    Becoming an Indigenous Ally: Building Relationships through Diversity and Inclusivity

    Eddy approaches becoming an Indigenous ally through grounding learners with his personal insight to the Indigenous narrative in Canada.  Culturally safe methodologies of inclusivity are introduced and the Indigenous ways of knowing that help encourage diversity will be offered during the keynote for allies to help foster and form relationships with Indigenous people and communities.

  • Cultural Awareness: Understanding and Integrating Indigenous Ways of Knowing Into Your Everyday Life

    This workshop will discuss Indigenous methodologies and how it translates to life today for students, professionals and individuals.  Participants are safe to ask how we can, as a society, engage Indigenous Ways of Knowing (culture) within professional and educational environments. There will also be ample opportunity to discuss the current Indigenous presence within society and the distinct differences between, identity (First Nations, Métis and Inuit), culture, language, location, and populations.

    Stereotypes and Misconceptions: A Reflective Analysis of the Objectified Image of Indigenous People in North America

    In this workshop the misrepresentation of Aboriginal/Indigenous/Native American people in Hollywood films, mainstream society, sport teams, mascots, objectified imagery, literature, and media will be discussed in the context of anti-oppression. The appropriation of Indigenous culture and objectification of Indigenous people is still continuously within media and the mainstream culture of North America.

  • "Eddy Robinson is one of our country’s rising Indigenous stars for a reason. An extraordinary storyteller, an engaging and charismatic speaker, a beautiful and powerful singer and drummer, Robinson weaves the different strands of a contemporary Indigenous man, father, teacher and artist to present some of the most engaging talks and workshops I’ve encountered. Eddy Robinson’s own story is the stuff of novels, and for such a young man, he’s already lived a very big life. His words have the ability to teach, to create dialogue, to beg questions, to incite discussion, and certainly to help begin healing as we join together as Canadians on our walk to reconciliation. I can’t sing Eddy Robinson’s praises highly enough."

    - Joseph Boyden

    "Eddy Robinson is a powerful and provocative speaker. His winning combination of historical and cultural knowledge, along with a leader’s vision of the future can help all Canadians gain new insights and ideas on how to reconcile and build together."

    - Mark Bowden, TRUTHPLANE Inc.

    "I had the privilege of meeting Eddy Robinson at an Indigenous Awareness presentation to TD employees and Senior Managers. Since then I have heard him speak on a number of occasions. Eddy is an energetic speaker. He is passionate about bridging the gap between Indigenous and Non Indigenous people. He possesses the rare ability to stimulate audience participation in a nonthreatening environment. As a facilitator and relationship builder, he can navigate through complex discussions with positive and successful outcomes, even when the topics evoke passionate responses from his audience. Eddy speaks from the heart and draws from his knowledge and real life experiences. He shares his knowledge through stories, song and visual symbolism. Thank You Eddy, for inspiring positive change and bridging the gap between Indigenous and Non Indigenous People."

    - Angelo Torchia, Prairies & Territories TD Commercial Banking

    "Eddy's discussion about Indigenous Ways of Knowing through an Urban Lens was the perfect connection to our N'Wiwiijnookimin- Early Years Collaborative Inquiry. Educators were provided the opportunity to ask questions and have interactive discussions regarding the topic. Eddy also had lunch with the participants afterwards which allowed for candid conversations in smaller groups. Eddy is committed to his work and sharing his story in way that supports Educators in their work. He will also work adjust his presentation to meet the needs of your work. Eddy- a sincere thanks for spending your day with York Region District School Board! We look forward to seeing you at Quest 2016."

    - Pamala Agawa, Curriculum Coordinator

    "Eddy has presented for educators in Peel District School Board many times. Each presentation is engaging, informative, and educational, and participants always provide positive feedback afterwards. Eddy's presentations provide a balance between Indigenous history in Canada and Indigeneity in contemporary Canada too. His presentations highlight historical injustices, and offer multiple pathways toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada. All school boards can benefit from Eddy's knowledge and insight, and we look forward to having him in Peel again!"

    - Melissa Wilson, MA, OCT

    "Eddy Robinson is truly an inspirational member of the community. Through song, stories and discussions he creates a safe environment conducive for learning and sharing with all participants. His in-depth and extensive knowledge on indigenous culture and indigenous ways of knowing really helped my artist team understand the many layers of decolonization and how they can be involved in the process. I would highly recommend Eddy Robinson for any event you might be hosting where he can share his talents, insights and timeless wisdom."

    - Matthew Jones aka Testament, Director of National Programs, UNITY Charity

    "Eddy Robinson brings his experience into the room when he presents. He speaks from the heart. His is a voice to move us all toward respectful relations with one another."

    - Celia Haig-Brown, York University

    "I have had the great pleasure of working with Eddy on many occasions over the past few years. A skilled and effective speaker, his message is delivered with both purpose and humour, incorporating personal experiences, historical elements and global perspectives. A natural educator, he is able to create a comfortable space for discussion and a heightened level of audience engagement. I would highly recommend Eddy for your next event."

    - Sherri Gray Senior Manager, TD Bank Group

    "Eddy Robinson is a fearless speaker who walks his talk! He leads with a level of knowledge and optimism that is felt by everyone in his presence. Behind his humble and sincere energy is a powerful change maker who leaves audiences inspired. Eddy shares his story with an honesty that is critical to our self-awareness and responsiveness to the work we are called upon to do."

    - Reagan Kennedy, Art Gallery of Mississauga

    "We have worked with Eddy Robinson on several events and have found him to be professional and prompt in the planning stages and engaging and inspirational in execution. Our guests and staff have learned so much from Eddy with regards to Anishinaabe traditions and our challenging history as Canadians. He doesn’t shy away from difficult concepts and issues, but is able to engage audiences with the information in such a way as to inspire change and create allies in the community. I learn something new every time I hear him speak and love watching others walk away inspired by his presentations."

    - Brenna Bartley, Educational Programming Conservation Halton

    "Eddy Robinson's workshops authentically engage teachers in reimagining Canadian history. Eddy provides quality programing for our students and staff that strip away constructed stories of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples, while engaging the learner with appropriate pedagogy and methodology that breaks down systemic and oppressive structures. Eddy has been fundamental in working with us to achieve our goals of creating equitable and inclusive programing for our students and staff. With a focus on Indigenous ways of knowing he uses his lived experiences to teach the historical narrative of Canada’s Indigenous communities. After attending sessions teachers leave with a deeper understanding of tradition, culture, segregation, assimilation and integration. Eddy is a prophetic voice that is desperately needed in our schools to build awareness, allyship and truth."

    - Joanna Newton

    "Eddy Robinson’s ability to speak with such passion and clarity while focusing on the importance of relationship when discussing the complex issues that face Indigenous Communities in “Canada” is powerful. Through sharing stories, facts and theory on the impacts of historic trauma from the colonial process and how existing forms of oppression affect Indigenous Communities calls people into the conversation in compassionate and influential ways. This act of calling people in allows for the audience to think about change as systemic, and a shared responsibility. "

    - Hannah Batten, Wilfrid Laurier University

    “Eddy Robinson is a gifted story-teller, an engaging workshop facilitator and an inspiring Keynote speaker. His captivating ability to share his cultural knowledge and history with a widely diverse audience, from a place of authenticity and inherent wisdom, allows for greater understanding and impactful learning that is instrumental in inspiring positive change in attitudes, individually and collectively.”

    - Roz Espin, Harmony Movement

    "I've worked with Eddy Robinson many times over the past ten years and each experience gets better.”

    - Jennifer Podemski, Redcloud Studios Inc.

    "I invited Eddy to speak to a group of indigenous and non-indigenous college students about music, the drum, and how technology can be used to pass on culture. Eddy's talk had my generally chatty group silently captivated from start to finish, and afterward he was surrounded by my students who had many questions. Beyond having a wealth of knowledge to draw from, Eddy backs that up with his depth of personal experiences that add a personal touch to the histories and teachings he shares. Though the topics he explores are serious, he interweaves these with humour and song, and these elements drew my students in immediately. Eddy's talk was a real gift, and I hope to invite him back every year."

    - Kerry Potts, Humber College

  • Clients

    • Anisinaabe Teachings Workshop, Crawford Lake Conservation Area, Milton, ON
    • Art Gallery of Mississauga, ON
    • Artist in Education Webinar - Arts Council, Toronto, ON
    • Atlantic Native Teachers Education Conference, Fredericton, NB
    • Avondale Schools, North York, ON
    • Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ottawa, ON
    • Centre for Indigenous Theatre, Toronto, ON
    • Conservation Officers Ontario, Crawford Lake Conservation Area, Milton, On
    • Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB) Peel, ON
    • Erindale Secondary, Toronto, ON
    • Greater Victoria School District, Victoria, BC
    • Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, ON
    • Harmony Movement Social Change Makers Awards Gala, Toronto, ON
    • Harmony Movement, Crawford Lake Conservation Area, Milton, ON
    • Heart Lake Secondary, Toronto, ON
    • Indigenous Student Services, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, ON
    • Indspire’s National Gathering for Indigenous Education, Calgary, AB
    • Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute, Manitoulin, ON
    • Liberal Studies Students, Humber College, Toronto, ON
    • Memorial University, St. John’s, NFLD
    • Milton District High School, Milton ON
    • Nin Os Kom Tin, Fairy Lake, Newmarket, ON
    • Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS), Irondale, ON
    • Ontario Native Education Counselling Association Conference, ON
    • Pan Am Aboriginal Pavilion, Fort York, Toronto, ON
    • Peel District School Board, Mississauga, ON

Eddy Robinson has dedicated his life to creating an authentic voice to help institutions develop an appreciation of Indigenous people.  As a living example of how important sharing genuine indigenous stories and histories are, Eddy shares his real life experiences to engage audiences with indigenous culture and knowledge in an inspiring way.

Born to the Missanabie Cree First Nation, but raised in Toronto, Eddy Robinson didn’t have an easy childhood as an Anishinaabe youth in the big city. His father, a Residential School survivor, left the family when he was just three years old and he subsequently endured years of abuse from an alcoholic parent. It was during these early years that he was first exposed to a heritage that he now credits with saving his life.

Despite the care of his grandparents, Eddy found himself on the same path of violence and addiction that dominated his childhood. He credits a Catholic priest at the Native Peoples Parish in Toronto for first encouraging him to seek out his roots. He pointed Robinson to a traditional Anishinaabe Vision Quest/Fasting ceremony that would begin his journey towards sobriety.  The power of the Dewegun (Drum)opened the door to other aspects of his culture.

A member of the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business (CCAB) Eddy established his First Nations owned and operated business Morningstar River, in 2007 to address the need for Indigenous education and the importance of an authentic culture.

Speaker Summary

Location: Canada

Language: English

Website: Click Here

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