~ 2008 Aboriginal Youth Achievement and Recognition Awards (AYARA) recipient for Outstanding Achievements in Aboriginal Youth Mentorship.
~ Certified Artist in Education for Artists Working in Ontario Schools.
~ Creator and facilitator of the acclaimed Healing Through Hip Hop Tour and the Native Class School Assembly.
~ Featured performer on TEDx.
~ Two time captain of Team Ontario for basketball at the North American Indigenous Games.
Shibastik, Cree for "underground flow," is an accomplished painter, lyricist, and hip hop producer. He's a member of the Moose Cree First Nation, and grew up in Moosonee, ON, which is an isolated community located along the southwestern coast of the James Bay. Inspired by life as a Cree hunter on the James Bay Lowlands, his music and art promote awareness and appreciation for both the land and First Nation culture.
As a youth, Shibastik was presented with an eagle feather, acknowledging that he was using his art to fight for his people and culture. The elder said it meant that he was now an official Cree warrior. Shibastik was not only deeply honoured by this gesture and gift, but immediately felt the great sense of responsibility that came with it. It was with this sense of responsibility and empowerment that Shibastik would begin his music career.
At the forefront of Canada's Native hip hop movement, Shibastik began producing music independently in 1998. Then in 2002, he landed a spot on a tv series called First Music and Arts, making him one of the first Native hip hop artists to appear on national television. Since then, he has toured across Canada and the US and has developed a huge fan base. He has a diverse performance history, ranging from pow wows in northern Ontario to nightclubs in Chicago.
Shibastik has well over a decade of extensive training and experience working with youth, including youth in foster care and in secure custody detention centers. He has always promoted holistic development through sports, cultural, and arts based programming. Employed as an IRCS (Intensive Rehabilitation in Custody Supervision) Worker at the detention center, Shibastik acquired intensive grief and loss training, cognitive training, and dialectical and behavioural therapy education. He also organized cultural programming and events for youth as a member of the center's cultural committee, even helping to build and run a sweat lodge for the facility.
It was while working at the youth detention center that Shibastik developed his 'Healing Through Hip Hop' workshops. He has since presented these workshops at conferences, in schools (elementary, secondary and post-secondary), and at various events nationwide. His distinctive brand of music and thought-provoking lyrics have continued to move and empower audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
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