Storytelling as Medicine: Indigenous Art Symposium

This one day symposium is an interdisciplinary and inter-generational symposium that will seek to present and explore Indigenous philosophies related to storytelling and oral histories. 

Register to take part in a series of interactive workshops and a lunch, or drop in later in the day for a site-specific performance and a panel discussion.

This is a City of Victoria initiative, presented in collaboration with the Royal BC Museum.


Workshops (9:00 am - 4:00 pm, registration required)

The day will begin with a formal welcome by Lindsay Delaronde. Workshops will be facilitated by Indigenous artists and storytellers Lindsay Delaronde, Monique Gray Smith, Teka Everstz, and Bradley Dick. This workshop portion includes a catered lunch and snacks.

  • 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, a choice of workshops with Lindsay Delaronde or Monique Gray Smith
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, catered lunch
  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, a choice of workshops with Teka Everstz or Bradley Dick


Performance (4:30 pm - 5:30 pm, no registration required)


Kayley Inuksuk Mackay and Tiffany Kuliktana Ayalik are Inuit style throat singers performing ancient traditional songs and eerie new compositions.  Both sisters are also members of the Juno Award winning band, Quantum Tangle, alongside Greyson Gritt.  PIQSIQ also specializes in collaborations with other artists.


Facilitator Bios:

Monique Gray Smith

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish descent and is the proud Mom of twins.  She is an award-winning author, speaker and sought-after consultant. Monique has been running her business, Little Drum Consulting since 1996. Her career has focused on fostering paradigm shifts that emphasize the strength and resiliency of the First Peoples in Canada. Monique’s first published novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature and her first children’s book, My Heart Fills with Happiness recently won the 2017 Christie Harris BC Book Award for Children’s Literature. Her latest release, Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation is currently being used across the country as a tool to educate the hearts and minds of both young and not so young readers. Monique has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 26 years and is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.


Lindsay Katsitsakataste Delaronde

Born and raised on the Kahnawake reservation, Delaronde is a strong advocate for Indigenous voices, stories, culture and history. Delaronde has been living on the West Coast for the past 13 years, she began this journey by travelling to Vancouver to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design followed by a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Victoria. Recently, Delaronde completed her second Master’s degree in Indigenous Communities Counselling Psychology from the University. She is currently the Indigenous Artist in Residence for the City of Victoria in her second term.

Delaronde is a professional multi-disciplinary visual artist who works in contemporary Indigenous performance and facilitator of traditional workshops, such as; moccasin making, beadwork, and Iroquois cornhusk dolls. All workshops are facilitated in a cultural significant way using circle, drum, medicines and prayer.

Her areas of research are stemmed in Contemporary and Traditional First Nations art, expressive arts therapy and working with Indigenous and non- Indigenous peoples within the arts and counseling. Delaronde’s research focuses on healing, land- based, collaborative practice, cultural resurgence and social/political activism through the arts.


Teka Everstz

Tekatsi’tsaneken Little Bear Everstz is a proud member of the Bear Clan - hailing from the Kanien’keha’ka Mohawk Nation Territory of Kahnawake. Located along the southern shore of the St. Laurence River in presentday Montreal, Quebec. Grounded in the Haudenosaunee principle of reciprocity, mutuality, and interdependence Everstz has dedicated himself exclusively to fostering capacity building, community development, and community
empowerment. Advocating strength-based approaches that emphasize resiliency and enhancement of artistic expression and cultural knowledge sharing practice as sustainable innovations to address social governance mechanisms and social determinants of health.

With over 20 years of experience in youth advocacy and engagement, cultural knowledge facilitation and program implementation; Everstz continues to create his pathway forward by adhering to the teachings encompassed within this idea of "Walking in Two Worlds and Occupying and the Third Space. Holding space as an artist, facilitator, role model and mentor; he strives to offer his knowledge, experience, and creativity to the next generations of leaders who aim generate affirmative action. Promoting education and awareness on human rights that advocate for social justice, equality, and inclusion for Indigenous peoples and communities facing systemic discrimination, segregation, and health disparities as a result of their respective differences in gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and mental health conditions.
From a “Leadership Through the Arts” theory, Everstz has cultivated a wide variety of familiar and unconventional mediums or techniques within his art - with the intention to evoke, invoke and provoke notions of curiosity, learning and understanding around of artistic methods, processes, means of expression, and their influence on the social and cognitive development of others. Breathing life into new social innovation strategies and community engagement initiatives that inspire others to use their inner voice and creative talents towards efforts that redefine leadership, governance, and definitive acts of reconciliation in its wake.


Bradley Dick

Lkwungen, Mamalilikulla, Ditidaht Ancestry

Bradley is married to Jennifer Chuckry, has three beautiful children Shayla and granddaughter Kaydence (aka Granny), Dakota, and Cienna, all are of Cree ancestry and Australian shepherds, Cy the family guy and Bo Bo

Bradley is a contemporary artist who enjoys working collaboratively with his Brothers Clarence Dick Jr, Fabian Quocksister and dad Butch Dick carving ceremonial poles that adorn City hall and the Songhees Wellness Centre. Bradley has been doing commissioned works for well over 20 years and has artworks all over the world, as far as New Zealand, England, Norway and Sweden. He has sold numerous drums and carving locally as well and focuses on designs based on his family teachings and culture.

His works consist of Original paintings, small and large carvings, and putting contemporary designs onto Shoes and hats, collaborative paintings with his wife Jennifer that reflects her Cree ancestry as well as Bradley’s west coast influence to the paintings. These works have been sold privately throughout Vancouver Island and Bradley is sure there will be more to come.

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