Path of Possibilities

Path of Possibilities Cover Website

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, Art Starts invites emerging, youth, and/or newcomer artists/arts workers from different ethno-cultural communities to come together and learn about the 7 Grandfather Teachings, 4 Sacred Medicines, residential schools, the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and much more!




Alita Sauvé

Es’Tlu Je Ma (Tahltan name)

Alita is a woman of two nations – Tahltan from British Columbia and Cree from Saskatchewan.
She provides traditional teachings and ceremonies handed down to her through both her maternal
and paternal bloodlines. A mother of 4 ranging in ages 29-46 and 3 grandchildren. Alita is also
the adopted Mother or Auntie or Grandmother to many Indigenous community members of all
ages in Canada, United States and Mexico.
A descendant of Traditional Medicine Societies, Alita has a lifetime of training from both male
and female knowledge keepers.


Amy Desjarlais

Knowledge Keeper
Amy Desjarlais Waabishka Kakake zhaawshko shkeezhgokwe White Raven Woman with turquoise eyes Wasauksing First Nation Beaver Clan Ojibwe/Potowottomi Anishinaabe.
Amy recently released her first full-length hand drum album: Gaate Zaagi'in //Everything Gaate Zaagi'in is ancient, unending, unconditional love...The album is about learning to love consciously. In 2003, Amy founded, EarthTALKER, a magazine focused on women and families. In 2008, Amy was one of two recipients of the FNTI/Ryerson University Practicum Award for Theory of Interconnectedness – An Indigenous perspective on political decision­ making.
Amy has an MA in Culture & History; her thesis, Emptying the Cup: Healing Fragmented Identity, explores an Anishinawbekwe (female) perspective on historical trauma and culturally appropriate consultation and is published by the Centre for World Indigenous Studies’ Fourth World Journal. Amy published Starblanket – A mother’s gift to her son. When she is not writing, Amy facilitates cultural workshops and drum circles. Amy is also a hand drummer and singer.

Deanne Hupfield

Fancy Shawl Dancer

Deanne Hupfield, of the Ojibway Nation is a fancy shawl dancer and from Temagami First Nation.  She has been dancing since she was a small girl and has spent her adult life learning about her peoples' culture and traditions.  She has been teaching powwow dance in her community for the last 16 years.  She has a Entrepreneurship background along with Fashion and Indigenous Governance.  She currently works in the TDSB as a Cultures and Traditions Teacher working with Indigenous kids throughout the city. 

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Kelsey Melanson

Kelsey is a young and ambitious Toronto local. Her current work as a speaker and facilitator focusses on community development, relationship building and conflict resolution. She also likes to dabble in the arts.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Human Relations and community-focused experience, Kelsey understands the power of a healthy and reciprocal relationship. She has learned to celebrate and support the concept of interdependence as a strength, and invites others to explore this idea with her. Kelsey aims to support the building of local relationships to ultimately see better relations between Indigenous and Canadian communities alike. Kelsey is Mi'gmaw and mixed settler heritage.


Lindsey Lickers

‘Medicine Water Woman’

Lindsey is a Haudenosaune/ Anishinaabe multi-media artist, facilitator, Indigenous community advocate originally from Six Nations of the Grand River with ancestral roots to the Mississauga’s of the Credit First Nation. Artistically she specializes in contemporary painting, beading, and leatherwork. Lindsey is also an arts and culture facilitator, with expertise in Indigenous governance, and not-for-profit program and community development. Her traditional name is ‘Mushkiiki Nibi Kwe’, which translates to ‘Medicine Water Woman’ and she is of the turtle clan.

She is a graduate of OCAD University and has sat on a number of community advisory boards and committees in the Toronto area over the last 10 years. She is currently the President and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT) serving her second term, an Indigenous Representative (Ontario) for the Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society’s (IRIS) –National Committee for addressing Violence Against Women, and Indigenous Representative on the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network Committee (TCHTN).

In the past she has supported Birch Hill Equity Partner’s Indigenous youth employment initiative entitled ‘Our Children’s Medicine’, has been a sessional Indigenous Visual Arts instructor for Six Nations Polytechnic, and an Indigenous advisor for both Art Starts and C.I.V.I.X. Lindsey also volunteers her time to support local community organizations, as well as knowledge keepers and elders, in program, community and grant development.

Lindsey also passionately continues her commitment to the arts through her own practice and contributing to organizations like the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council as a juror. In late 2017 she was shortlisted and awarded a public art project for the Region of Waterloo and will be creating a permanent public installation for the Block Line –LRT stop that will highlight Indigenous storytelling and the importance of authentic stewardship of the land.  

Lindsey is currently the Trauma Support Manager at Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto and is the Indigenous Anti-Human Trafficking Liaison for Toronto-GTA. When not entrenched in professional commitments she can be found supporting the community as an Oshkaabewis, or watching her favourite Haudenosaunee sport lacrosse-the Creator’s Game.


Maria Montejo

Traditional Knowledge Keeper

Maria Montejo (Deer clan) is a member of the Jakaltec/Popti (Mayan) community of Indigenous people who reside in the Xajla territory of Guatemala. In addition to her formal schooling, Maria has been mentored from a young age by various Elders, Medicine people and Traditional Teachers on Turtle Island and from Central and South America. Maria has had the privilege of being exposed and participating in various ceremonies and traditional cultural practices that have fueled her passion to develop programming that will bridge the Newtonian/allopathic model of wellness and an Indigenous/multi- dimensional approach. Maria has worked for many years as a mental health and addictions treatment worker and provides education and consulting to various organizations and institutions in Canada. Maria also facilitates the R.E.A.L School Youth Leadership and Native Wilderness Survival Skills Development program in various Indigenous communities around the world and is the manager of Dodem Kanonhsa’ Indigenous Education and Cultural Facility in Toronto.

Stephanie Pangowish

Stephanie Pangowish

Anishnaabekwe Artists

Stephanie Pangowish, an Anishnaabekwe from Wiikwemkoong and S’gamok, has been beading and working with leather for over 13 years creating for her family and community. After launching BEADoon Bling, a beaded jewellery line, she began teaching at the Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School held in the Bata Shoe Museum.  Now she beads everything she can get her hands on.

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Wendy De Souza


Wendy De Souza is a first-generation Canadian and a proud Torontonian, with mixed ancestry and Indigenous roots in Brazil. Her passion lies in youth empowerment through healing, education, intergenerational and cross-sectoral collaborations. Her work is rooted in decolonizing spaces by working from an intersectional feminist lens and an anti-colonial/anti-oppressive framework that encourages youth to powerfully reclaim their space in the world. She is a passionate public speaker and event hostess with 8 years experience facilitating popular education style workshops that use art to explore topics like gender-based violence, equity building and youth development. Her mission is to continue reclaiming spaces while bridging the ‘hood with academia and making education fun and accessible to marginalized youth.

9:30 AM to 10:00 AM Registration
10:00 AM to 10:15 AM Opening Remarks
10:15 AM to 11:30 AM Maria Montejo| Deer Clan & Alita Sauve Four Sacred Medicines | Water Teachings
11:30 to 12:15 PM Kelsey Melanson Relationship building with elements of contemporary arts and culture
12:15 PM to 12:45 PM Lunch Time Chicken, Vegetarian and Vegan options (option selected on jotform)
12:45 PM to 1:45 PM Creative Engagement TBA
1:45 PM to 2:45 AGO Tour 3 tours x 20 people each (Residential Schools and Truth and Reconciliation)
2:45 PM to 3:30 PM Amy Desjarlais | 'White Raven Woman with Turquoise Eyes' Seven Grandfather/Grandmother teachings
3:30 PM to 4:15 PM Lindsey Lickers | ‘Medicine Water Woman’ Cultural Appropriation
4:15 PM to 5:00 PM Maria Montejo An Indigenous Perspective on Transformation

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