On Monday, August 29, 2011, classes began at Trent’s School of Education and Professional Learning with an inspirational talk and performance by one of Canada’s first Aboriginal hip hop artists, Shibastik.
“Shibastik’s music and art, deeply inspired by life in the James Bay Lowlands, creates an awareness and appreciation for the land and Aboriginal culture, as well as an understanding of the Aboriginal experience, past and present,” said Nicole Bell, an instructor with the School of Education and Professional Learning. “His connections to the land and the creator are evident throughout his work. His distinctive brand of hip hop and thought-provoking lyrics have inspired and empowered audiences of all ages and backgrounds.”
Winner of the 2008 Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award and the Recognition Award for Outstanding Achievement in Aboriginal Youth Mentorship, Shibastik wowed the audience with stories of his life in Moosonee. The audience was treated to performances from three of his independent albums, along with samples of his paintings, as he described his influences, struggles and triumphs while coming of age in a remote northern community in Canada.
The School of Education and Professional Learning welcomed this year’s teacher candidates with the performance, keeping with the 2010 Accord on Indigenous Education signed by the Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE).