Who We Are

Tribe of One are world-class performers who fuse the rich heritage of indigenous cultures with modern forms of artistic expression. Featuring First Nations, Metis, French & English musicians, dancers, painters and slam poets, Tribe of One create wildly unique, one-of-a-kind performances.

Sound


A fusion of indigenous instruments from cultures around the world are the foundation of Tribe of One’s thunderous Tribal Roots sound. Learn More

Movement and Dance


Emotions are set in motion through a combination of traditional and modern dance styles, regalia and costumes. Learn More

Performance Painting


Images and colours emerge from an empty canvas, infused with the swirl of music, movement and creative energy on and off stage. Learn More

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2016 A Journey of Discovery

Do you want Tribe of One to come to your school? Are you looking for workshop facilitators? Conference presenters? Festival performers?   Contact us! Our Head Office,Victoria, B.C. 250-896-2572. Metis/Francophone Office, St Boniface, MB 204-228-6604. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

This year we proudly present, 'A Journey of Discovery' a multi cultural storytelling extravaganza...from the shadows of a dark past to the bright light of a new day, as we face the future together.

Live performances feature First Nations, Metis, French and English musicians, dancers, visual artists and slam poets. Our workshops include traditional drumming, singing, jigging and dancing as well as contemporary dance styles, slam poetry, songwriting and filmmaking.

Tribe of One has worked with the United Nations, the Foreign Affairs Department of Canada, UNESCO, youth conferences festivals, educators and indigenous communities across Canada. 
We would love to come to your community or school. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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https://youtu.be/01Kgcu0jUQc

Change Your Words You Can Change The World

An Artist Residency is one of my favourite things in the world. It gives me the opportunity to spend quality time in a school investing in the lives of the students and staff. This week I got to work with 360 students to produce a multi media production called, Change The World/Change le Monde.

Words like ‘madhouse’ ‘bedlam’ and ‘creative chaos’ were used on several occasions and some of the more ‘senior staff’ were captured on video covering their ears in a desperate attempt to muffle the deafening cheers. (Though smiles tugged suspiciously at the corners of their mouths at the same time)

The Plan…produce a digital media project that celebrated the community life of the school, highlighting themes like social responsibility and leadership and really set the tone for the school year. When I arrived Monday morning, I was given a schedule that looked like a piece of homework that maybe the dog actually should have eaten. Teacher’s names were scribbled and scrawled…some were crossed out and redirected with curved double-ended arrows indicating a reshuffling of exotic ingredients in some madcap creative recipe. I kid…it showed me immediately that the staff were engaged and accommodating to making this plan work for everyone. Cooperation is key to success!

Day One…I spent the first day dashing from room to room, interviewing all the students. What words did they use to describe their school, their class, teacher and friends? I asked them for personal stories of how someone had made their life better, and how they had made someone else’s life better and wrote it all down.

I compiled word banks and created a cache of stories from these interviews. A big colourful sign in the hallway that said, ‘Change Your Words, Change Your Mindset’ really caught my eye. (and imagination) At the end of Day One I sat down and channeled all the inspiration to write a song called, Change the World.

Day Two…bright and early I was once again scampering through the hallways, drifting in and out of classrooms like a wandering minstrel, teaching the new song to each class. In between rehearsals we worked out visual components of our project. Central is a French Immersion school, so language is a big part of their identity. ARTS posters are pinned on every wall spelling out the school’s community values. Acceptance/Accepter, Respect/Respecter, Together/Tous, Security/Sécurité.

Plans emerged for each classroom make giant, colourful posters that spelled out these words. It was a tactile way for the kids to engage with the words that express the values that create a safe, encouraging environment that foster their hopes and dreams.

 

We covered a huge area in one hallway with paper, creating a ‘School Wall’ where students could write personal iMessages like, ‘I feel safe here’ ‘I respect my friends.’ In the brilliant words of one little dude, ‘this is the most awesomeist graffiti ever!’

I explored the wild side of the playground with my camera, capturing the kid’s energy and enthusiasm in their natural habitat. When you’re in elementary school, the playground is where the real work of respect, acceptance and togetherness is done.

I also found time to marvel that at some point in my life I too had been able to swing on monkey bars without pulling my limbs from their sockets.                        (those days are long past)

Day Three…flew by in a blur of filming, drawing, colouring and rehearsing as I raced from the highest room in the tallest tower to the deep dark recesses of Central’s WWII era basement. I’m not going to lie, 360 kids keep you hopping. One of things I love about being a facilitator is the energy builds exponentially because everyone is able to be involved in a way that plays to their strengths. I’m not the horse or the wagon…I’m just the wild guy with the guitar having the time of his life playing a melody that lets us sing together at ear-bleeding levels.

Day Four…the momentum continued to build through the day, coming to a deafening ‘world changing’ crescendo at the assembly in the gym, where the mood was electric and the kids sang so loud it felt like an AC/DC concert.

I set up my portable recording gear, set a stationary camera at the back of the room and gave my handheld to a volunteer and we proceeded to record and film the song three different times. Watching the footage close to a gazillion times as I edited the video, I was blown away by the power of community and creativity to change our lives and the world around us.

I love being part of a great story and happily offer my 18 years of experience as a professional writer, performer and producer in the music, TV and film industry to each school to help students discover their talents, gifts and abilities so they can tell their story in ways they haven’t before. If this is something that would interest your school or community, you are 100% free (and encouraged) to contact me anytime!  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

It is a privilege to be able to invest in the lives of others.
Merci Beaucoup…Change le Monde!

Related Video

https://youtu.be/Srh475r9ggY

When I spend time in schools, I want to create environments where students (and teachers!) can explore their creative gifts and abilities. We all need a safe place to take creative risks and try something for the first time. So that’s my first job…to create that safe space.

The songwriting workshops are great for this, especially when I’m working with younger classes where some students have trouble spelling or writing.

IdeasI use the whiteboard at the front of class to centre our focus as we create a pool of ideas we can use for inspiration. It’s always easiest to write about what you know, so I ask the class questions about who they are, their interests, their age, activities, likes, dislikes, etc.

This generates excitement right out of the gate. They are able to talk about themselves, which is something most of us are comfortable doing. They start to see similarities and differences with others in their class. As I’m writing their ideas down, I celebrate all the information…so being different or liking different things is encouraged, because it’s not a competition. It’s a celebration of who the class is together.

Songwriting Workshop

Last week I was working with a Grade 1-2 split. I was prepped before I started that there had been some bullying going on in the class. The teacher was really hoping the experience would encourage the kids to be kind to each other. She had shown them a video of a song I’d written with kids at another school in advance…and they were pumped.

When I walked into the room a little boy at the back of class burst out, “oh Rik Leaf, we’ve been waiting so long for you to come. We are so excited you are here!”

An absolutely amazing song emerged as we worked together. They identified the different clans they were from. I encouraged them to put their hand up when we sang the name of their clan. This let them be proud of who they are, while identifying with others from the same clan. It also helped visualize that the class was made up of a number of different clans, but that together we’re better. The chorus became the positive reinforcement that the teacher was looking for.

When I spend a week in a school, it allows me the opportunity to work with each class Monday – Thursday in preparation for a school assembly with all the students, staff and families on Friday afternoon. When this Grade 1-2 class got up in front of the school to perform, the song suddenly took on a broader context and felt like a school anthem. The assembly ended with a round dance in the gym that included everyone in attendance.

 

Related Video

 

PKOLS is a mountain located in Lekwungen, the traditional territory of the Songhees and Esquimalt people. It's a region I have had the privilege of being a guest for the last four years.

I hike the trails of PKOLS often, and on one particular day I kept hearing singing. As if a huge pow wow drum group were singing a few feet off the trail. I kept pulling out my phone and recording what I was hearing. When I got home, I listened to the different parts and realized they were all parts of the same song.

 

 

Creativity and culture have always been the foundation of my experiences with Tribe of One. Going into the studio to record PKOLS, provided the perfect opportunity to invite some drummers from Standing Nation to join me. Standing Nation is the pow wow drum group based out of the First People's House at the University of Victoria that I've had the honour of drumming with since moving to the territory.

PKOLS is available as a free download HERE.

Rik Leaf is the principal songwriter for Tribe of One, an inter tribal collective of indigenous artists from around the world.


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Discover 'Hope' and the sound of indigenous new world music!

Since 2005 Tribe of One has worked with educators to present highly innovative, captivating and engaging workshops for students.

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Northwest Territory Tour by the Numbers

Over a 21 day, three - week period in September /10 the 4 performers and 1 sound tech from Tribe of One produced 16 concerts and lead 112 creative workshops, impacting 1000's of students in 16 separate schools and communities. Never have we accomplished so much in so short a time. The names and faces may blur into one massive memory, but the tour experience was marked by a number of amazing moments with many exceptional students and staff.

As our government continues to sacrifice funding for arts programs in schools and regions across the country, the need for passionate, talented individuals to rise up and provide innovative grassroots solutions is greater than ever. Tribe of One has always been at the forefront of developing creative solutions and partnerships that allow us to work on issues that affect the quality and dignity of life. We were honored, (and humbled) by the spirit and determination we discovered in communities across the north, and mark it a rare privilege to be able to spend a month sharing our stories with theirs. It really is true...we're better together!

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