Native Class (The 7 Teachings)

Hunt for Healing


Painting Workshop

We must never forget that for 150 years our children were stolen and mentally, spiritually, physically and often sexually abused in concentration camps they called residential schools. It is a dark part of our history that still haunts us. Its lingering effects are most evident in the large and disproportionate numbers of our youth in foster care, our incarceration rates, and our missing and murdered women. Our resilience is our strength, proving it's never too late to revive who they tried to kill in us! It is time to end the cycle of pain that began in residential schools.

There any many ways to fight for a cause, and painting is one of them. Expressing yourself and releasing your emotions through your art can also be very therapeutic, and is a healthy coping mechanism for stress, anger, and depression. Shibastik will work with participants to provide art instruction on composition, visual elements, acrylic paint application and techniques, as well as share stories and teachings on art as a healing tool and weapon to fight for what you believe in.

(Music Therapy)


Song Production Workshop

​As well as advocating for the protection of the land and waterways, Shibastik encourages youth to feed their inner spirit by learning their history and practicing their traditions.​​ Our culture needs to survive in order for our children to be able to grow into the Native men and women they were meant to become.

Music is medicine. It can be used to heal. It can also be used to poison. There are many negative influences in mainstream media, including materialism, alcohol and drug abuse, promiscuity, and violence, among others. NISH HOP is about using hip hop to bring the culture back and to share the teachings of our people. This workshop teaches the importance of becoming media literate in order for youth to make educated and positive decisions. Youth who have participated in the Native Class workshop have found self-confidence and a deeper appreciation for what it is to be First Nations.

Coping with loss, dealing with depression, finding peace.

Hurt People

Respect, love, courage, wisdom, humility, honesty, and truth.

Fight Through the Paint

The Art of Nish Hop - This workshop is about much more than creating a song. Through various jobs, Shibastik has spent the past 20 years using art and music to connect with youth and help them heal, often from wounds they were totally unaware they had. In 2007, following many years of touring Canada with his music, Shibastik began his work in Thunder Bay's Secure Custody Youth Detention Centre after being seen performing and speaking at a suicide awareness conference held in the city. This is where "Healing Through Hip Hop" was developed as a program for the young offenders who had an interest in rapping and making beats. The Sunday afternoon sessions were such a success that they led to a full time job at the facility, and 3 years of using hip hop to help young people in custody. This experience, combined with his years working in foster care and with special needs students in the schools, have equipped Shibastik with the tools necessary to reach our youth on a level that can be very difficult to dig down into. Participants will not only create an original song, they will take off their hoods to put on those headphones, raise their chins to that microphone and share their spirits with the world. All in a space that promotes healthy self expression and in an energy that is positive and hopeful. Shibastik will set up his mobile 'Swamp Creeture Studio' on the spot and help make the magic happen! Participants will have the opportunity to write lyrics, produce beats, track instruments, compose songs and record and mix vocals, all with Shibastik's help and guidance. The end product will be a completely original song that the participants can be proud to call their own, as well as a brighter view of the future and a clearer understanding of the past.

The Hurt People workshop focuses specifically on residential schools and the devastating impacts they've had on our lives and in our communities. Many do not associate residential school traumas with current issues affecting their families and/or communities. Even worse, these problems are often generalized as 'just a Native thing.' "We do not have these issues because we are Native," says Shibastik. "We have these issues as a direct result of our historical trauma." Shibastik feels it is extremely important that all Canadians make this connection.

A discussion of the inter-generatonal

effects of residential schools.

(Art Instruction/Therapy)

​A proud Cree hunter from the James Bay Lowlands, Shibastik was taught many valuable lessons while living off the land, including the value of hard work, the art of patience, and respect for nature. 

The Native Class workshop reminds us about our history as Native people, and who we have the power to be today. RESPECT is key and LOVE is the answer! These are just two of the seven sacred teachings that Shibastik will share and discuss.​​​​

"My goal is to inspire all youth to strive to live with respect and love, to be honest and to seek the truth, to work to gain wisdom and to have the courage to stand by their beliefs and morals. With humility, I remind each and every one that we are all equal in the eyes of the Creator and we have all been blessed with our own gifts. I hope to leave a positive impression that will last a life time" ~ Shibastik

The Healing Through Hip Hop Workshops were designed by Shibastik to instil pride, inspire courage, raise awareness, and promote healing. Using live music and original artwork as well as storytelling and motivational speaking, these interactive and entertaining workshops focus on many of the issues Aboriginal youth are all too often confronted with. While topics including depression, suicide, addiction, and the inter-generational effects of residential schools are discussed, the importance of healing and moving forward are the focus.​​ Whether small or large, audiences are captivated by the music, artwork, and storytelling of a Native who grew up on the land and has a deep love for his people and his culture.

For Shibastik, the land has always been a source of strength, a place to heal, to reconnect, and to recenter. Life is all about balance. There must be balance in nature, and there must be balance within. When healing, it is important to focus on the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual sides of one's self. It is all connected, as are we. 

Hunt For Healing teaches healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with issues such as depression, anger, and low self-esteem, while at the same time addressing their root causes and connecting the past to the present.

​Through his work as a IRCS (Intensive Rehabilitation in Custody Supervision) Worker at a Secure Custody Youth Detention Centre, Shibastik gained extensive experience working with troubled youth. Shibastik also received a wide variety of training, in everything from cognitive therapy, to building sweat lodges and running sharing circles. This workshop is a product of all of this work and experience.​ Delivering a message of self-empowerment, self-respect, and self-worth, HTHH's Hunt For Healing will ignite a fire of hope. Through education and understanding, we can begin the process of healing.