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Eddy Robinson

Indigenous Artist, Activist & Educator

An Anishinaabe/Muskegowuk Cree of the Missanabie Cree First Nation born and raised in the city of Toronto. Like many Indigenous people in Canada Eddy did not enjoy an easy childhood as an Anishinaabe youth in the big city. His father – a Residential School survivor – left the family when he was just three years old. Eddy subsequently endured years of abuse from an alcoholic parent. Only in his adult years was Eddy able to understand the legacy of his father’s experience at Chapleau Indian Residential School and Shingwauk Indian Residential School.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Presentations

Diversity & Inclusiveness
Eddy looks at the methodology of being inclusive of ethno-communities and diversity within the educational systems through Indigenous best practices. Multi-culturalism – although well intended – has been a vehicle that has stifled and silenced many voices. The inclusiveness of the global diaspora and nationhood is crucial to the growth of a nation.

Urban Indigenous Ways of Knowing
Eddy approaches the topic of Indigenous Ways of Knowing through an urban lens grounded in the Indigenous methodology of locating one self. He also looks at how we can engage Indigenous ways of knowing through modern technology. When Anishinaabe (Ojibway) people locate themselves in the Anishinaabe language they are essentially locating their spirit to the universe and creation. When in the city and we locate ourselves as Indigenous people with Indigenous methodologies we are re-Indigenizing urban
spaces. Eddy creates access points for the audience to engage in the conversation.

Rewriting Your Story
In this presentation, Eddy shares his personal narrative. He discusses the struggles he faced with his First Nations (Indigenous) identity and the allies who created safe spaces for him throughout his life. Growing up facing struggles of poverty and marginalization, Eddy ended up being on the front line at shelters within the city before making the decision to rewrite his story. He overcame a learning barrier, took on a self-education through books, before eventually obtaining his masters in education and finding himself on the frontline of the academic realm.

Indigenous In the City: The Urban Indigenous Experience
In this talk Eddy draws attention to the impact of colonization (loss of status, enfranchisement etc…) resulting in many Indigenous people migrating to the urban centres. Due to the overwhelming numbers faced with poverty and discrimination this started an evolution of urban Indigenous organizations to meet the needs. Eddy not only shares his personal experience having to rely on these centres but his professional experience working locally, provincial and nationally with the fastest growing demographic in Canada; Indigenous (Aboriginal) People. 

Platform Plus

Workshop | Indigenous Cultural Awareness

This workshop will discuss Indigenous methodologies and how it translates to life today for students, professionals and individuals. This workshop will allow participants to safely ask the question of how we can as a society engage Indigenous Ways of Knowing (culture) within professional and educational environments? There will also be ample opportunity to discuss the current Indigenous presence within society and the distinct differences between; identity (First Nations, Métis and Inuit), culture, language, location and populations.

  • Eddy Robinson's talks fit perfectly with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's call for all of to learn more about First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. Eddy's an Anishinaabe brother, who I greatly respect. His talks focus on fostering relationship building between the organizations, institutions and agencies with thoughtfulness and cultural safety. He shares the impacts of colonization, historic trauma and existing issues of oppression within the First Nations’ communities in a way that is approachable and accessible. Through stories and song, Eddy works towards a day when the power of knowledge, inclusiveness and sharing of First Nations cultures helps our nation and all its’ people connected and stronger.

    - Wab Kinew
  • The depth of knowledge and respect eddy Robinson brings to the mainstream through cultural presentations is invaluable.

    - Ryan McMahon Ojibway/Metis Comedian
  • He is able to address issues of race and discrimination in a way that is non-threatening and allows for deep discussions and commitment from schools to address injustices to the Aboriginal people.

    - Superintendent, Toronto District School Board
  • Everything went great at the conference. Eddy's keynote was fantastic and he was a pleasure to work with. We really appreciate all of your help with making Eddy's keynote at our event a success.

    - Tapestry Conference Coordinator, Greater Victoria School District
  • Eddy Robinson is a powerful and provocative speaker. His winning combination of historical and cultural knowledge, along with a leader’s vision of the future can help all Canadians gain new insights and ideas on how to reconcile and build together.

    - TRUTHPLANE Inc.
  • Eddy Robinson brings his experience into the room when he presents. He speaks from the heart. His is a voice to move us all toward respectful relations with one another.

    - Associate Vice-President Research Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation, York University
  • Eddy is an energetic speaker. He is passionate about bridging the gap between Indigenous and Non Indigenous people. He possesses the rare ability to stimulate audience participation in a nonthreatening environment. As a facilitator and relationship builder, he can navigate through complex discussions with positive and successful outcomes, even when the topics evoke passionate responses from his audience. Eddy speaks from the heart and draws from his knowledge and real life experiences. He shares his knowledge through stories, song and visual symbolism.

    - Regional Sales Manager, Aboriginal Banking, Prairies & Territories TD Commercial Banking
  • A skilled and effective speaker, his message is delivered with both purpose and humour, incorporating personal experiences, historical elements and global perspectives. A natural educator, he is able to create a comfortable space for discussion and a heightened level of audience engagement. I would highly recommend Eddy for your next event.

    - Senior Manager, Corporate Diversity, Aboriginal Peoples and Serving Diverse Communities – TD Bank Group

Summary Profile

Eventually ending up in the care of his grandparents, Eddy found himself caught in the same cycle of violence and addiction that dominated his childhood. He credits a Catholic priest at the Native Peoples Parish located in Toronto for first encouraging him to seek out his roots. He pointed Eddy to a traditional Anishinaabe Vision Quest/Fasting held at “Dreamers Rock” located on Manitoulin Island, ON; that would imminently begin his journey towards understanding his Indigenous identity and helping him leave behind the family legacy of abuse and violence.

The power of the Dewegun (Drum) brought Robinson to the doorway of ceremony and other aspects of his Indigenous Way of Knowing. It was during the early years that he was first exposed called him to a heritage that he now credits with saving his life and setting him on a good path in life.

Over the past 25 years of working on the frontline of social services and advocating for Indigenous communities locally, provincially and nationally Eddy has evolved into a noted Anishinaabe artist, musician, educator, facilitator, trainer and public speaker. He’s involved with numerous local district school boards, colleges, universities, corporate institutions and several Indigenous/Aboriginal organizations.

With the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada putting forth 94 recommendations for residential school healing, Eddy engages the TRC through a personal narrative.  He discusses growing up as an urban Indigenous person and his professional experience with Indigenous organizations on local, provincial and national levels.

Eddy emphasizes the utter importance of engaging Indigenous people in a respectful and reciprocal way. Reconciliation for Eddy is not only a personal journey of forgiveness of self and others in support of past generations but is very much about being mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually part of this legacy of resurgence.

Eddy encourages non-Indigenous people to seek out a deeper understanding of what it means to be Anishinaabe, Indigenous, First Nations, Métis and Inuit before stepping on the path of reconciliation. A member of the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business Eddy established his First Nations owned and operated business Morningstar River in 2007 to address the societal need for Indigenous education and displays of authentic culture.