Tour Stories Tribe of One is a collective of world-class performers and producers who fuse the rich heritage of old world cultures with modern artistic expression. With deep mutual respect and a sense of adventure, Tribe of One embraces artists from a variety of disciplines and cultures to create wildly unique, one-of-a-kind performances. Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:23:19 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Contact Us!

2016 A Journey of Discovery


If you are looking for conference presenters, workshop facilitators, or multi cultural performers for your festival - contact us!


Head Office

Victoria, B.C.


Metis/Francophone Office

St Boniface, MB



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.


Tour Stories Thu, 28 Jan 2016 18:00:39 +0000
ONYAT'A:KA Oneida Pride!


Oneida Pride


Oneida Pride – Students Celebrate Their Creativity & Culture

I just had an incredible week full of Oneida Pride as I worked with students at Standing Stone School at Oneida Nation of the Thames. Four classes were interested in songwriting, one wanted to do filmmaking and another did slam poetry. On Friday afternoon I commandeered the school PA system and started playing this song we’d written together over the intercom. The students all poured out of their classrooms and we had this impromptu rock show moment in the hallway!

When I walked into the Grade 2 classroom I asked what type of song they’d like to write. “A Christmas song!” one little girl exclaimed. I asked what we should call it. “Christmas Town” another chimed in. By the time I could grab a marker and make my way to the white board the kids were off and running, calling out lyrics as I scrambled to write them down.

I grabbed my guitar and started to find a melody that would work with the lyrics, as well as be in a good key for them to be able to sing. In four days we wrote the music, lyrics and melody together and recorded it. And honestly…it’s an amazing song!


At the beginning of the week, I had an opportunity to get together with L:ao Antone, the Oneida language teacher, who graciously helped me work out some Oneida words that could be incorporated into the song I was writing with the kids. Creative and cultural literacy projects are an incredible opportunity to work together collaboratively to create something bigger than anyone person who is involved. This video is where we started on Monday…by Friday we were chanting at the top of our lungs in the hallway like we were at a rock concert!


If you’re interested in booking creative or cultural literacy projects for your school contact or call 250-896-2572

Tour Stories Thu, 03 Dec 2015 17:55:42 +0000
Change The World

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!

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


Tour Stories Tue, 06 Oct 2015 18:38:23 +0000
Writing an Anthem!

Writing an AnthemWhen 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.


Tour Stories Wed, 04 Mar 2015 20:48:27 +0000

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.

Tour Stories Fri, 06 Feb 2015 20:18:14 +0000
Record Your Version of This Song!

Dark is the Night, came out of recent conversations with young songwriters, slam poets and filmmakers in remote communities across the country. Their personal stories of pain, hope and struggle mixed with the stories coming out of Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island.

The theme of my workshops is always about finding your voice so you can share your story with others, and recognizing how having different talents and abilities provides opportunities for us to work creatively with others. So we talk about how it’s in dark times of terror and tragedy that many of us discover our ability, maybe even our responsibility, to stand up for our friends, families and communities. To light the fires for those who have lost their way, and help them make it back home. To let them know that they don’t struggle alone and they haven’t been forgotten.

Here's my invitation to you. If your school, community or church has a choir, I’d like to invite you to arrange and perform your own version of this song. If you’re a solo artist, a singer/songwriter or in a band or maybe just have a great group of friends who’d like to come up with your own version…please do! And then send it to me, so I can post it and share it with the students and communities I work with, to further inspire and encourage them.

Each of us has been given a voice…you can call it a gift, a talent or an ability. When we take what we’ve been given and offer it to those around us, we can change the world.

It’s a very simple song to play and to sing. On guitar use regular tuning.

(ooh part 2x) Am / C / G / Am

Am             C       G                        Am

Dark is the night when the stars are hidden

Am             C         G                       Am

Charting a course with no point of direction

F                   C               G                       Am

I’ll light the fires on the shore to guide you home

F                   C                         G

I’ll sing our songs through the night…hear my voice

(ooh part 2x) Am / C / G / Am


Dark is the life, when the stars are hidden

Charting a course, with no point of connection

I’ll light the fires on the shore to guide you home

I’ll sing our songs through the night…hear my voice

For Instrumental Break – strum Am chord and then all open strings

Tour Stories Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:29:12 +0000
Student Filmmaking Projects

I teach a variety of workshops in schools. For a recent multi media video project, I asked two classes with 25 kids in each, to tell the story of their school through visual storytelling.

They brainstormed and came up with different elements that make up the life of their school. The mascot, band, breakfast program, recycling, etc.


They spent two days creating storyboards and shot lists for a lip dub video. Then they matched their individual skill sets, gifts and interests with the skills required to complete the project. They decided who would be actors, directors, camera operators, etc.


We had one 45 minute class each day over the week to produce these video. On the Friday afternoon at the end of the week, the school organized an assembly for all the students, and we had an official screening of the films the students made. This allowed the other students to see themselves on the screen, and for the whole school to celebrate their creativity.

Movie Trailers

I spent the following week in a middle school working with 4 different classes ranging from grade 7-9. I divided each class of 30 students into 5 separate film crews. Each group had to decide what type of film trailer they wanted to make. (horror, comedy, adventure, etc)

After deciding on the type of story, they worked out a storyboard and shot list. Then it was their turn to match their individual skill set with the skills needed to complete the project. One person may like to be in front of the camera, but the next person would hate it. But that person might like to operate the camera. Together they figured out who would write the script, who would direct and edit.

We didn't have a lot of time. We spent the first two 45 minute classes (Mon & Tue) in pre production, getting the story, the script and shot list, and the following two days, (Wed & Thur) filming and editing. On Thursday night, we had a free community concert that featured the 8 trailers and a collection of slam poets I had also worked with through the week.

Abandoned - Trailer

These projects develop media literacy and the fundamentals of storytelling and composition. They require students to identify their unique talents and abilities and then match those to the project. They learn to recognize how their strengths and weaknesses provide opportunities to work with others who are skilled differently.

One of the main strengths of this project is that we create an environment where every student can play to their strengths so that the entire group can have a 'win'. It's great for team building and setting a tone for creative exploration and development. I offer this workshop to teachers and adults in other professional settings as well.


Contact or 250 896 2572 to book a residency in your school or community.

Tour Stories Wed, 05 Nov 2014 03:53:33 +0000
Empowering Youth Empowering Youth


For 15 years Tribe of One has been working with teachers, administrators and countless organizations to empower and inspire students in communities across North America. Our multi cultural performance workshops allow students to see and hear how First Nations, Metis, French/English and South American indigenous cultures compliment and inspire each other. It's one thing to talk about multi's another to see it in action!

Tribe of One features musicians, dancers, painters and slam poets, providing schools and communities with the highest levels of professional arts and culture instruction and opportunities. Immediately following our presentation students get to choose from a variety of break out sessions where they have the opportunity for hands on instruction in, hoop dancing and capoeira, painting, slam poetry, multi media storytelling, photography, filmmaking, songwriting and textile arts.

If you work in schools, community development, youth programming or know someone who does, please pass our information on to them and encourage them to contact us. Tribe of One is a national artist collective and represents the combined passion, energy and excitement of Canada's leading cultural innovators.

Contact: - 250 896 2572


Tour Stories Wed, 04 Sep 2013 16:08:35 +0000

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESC0) is one of 18 specialized agencies within the United Nations System. It was established on November 16, 1945, as much of the world was emerging from the devastation of the Second World War.

UNESCO was formed to embody a culture of peace by promoting collaboration among nations through education, the sciences, culture, and communication and information. With an incredible 68 year history, it's sometimes surprising how many people have never heard of the organization and don't really know what they do.

As a national artist collective who fuse the rich heritage of indigenous cultures through modern forms of artistic expression to educate, empower audiences while they are entertained, Tribe of One is perfectly suited to appreciate the value of UNESCOs goals and objectives. It is those shared values that makes our partnership so dynamic.

"Humanity's most valuable assets have been the non-conformists. Were it not for the nonconformists, he who refuses to be satisfied to go along with the continuance of things as they are, and insists upon attempting to find new ways of bettering things, the world would have known little progress indeed." Josiah Gitt.

In today's globalized new world culture, recognizing the value of our diversity and differences, and finding creative and innovative ways to build our future together has never been more important. This was Tribe of One's initial point of connection with UNESCO and one we are very proud to celebrate in this video.


By Rik Leaf - Recording Artist, TV Host/Producer, Slam Poet & Published Author, Rik is the founder of Tribe of One, a national artist collective that fuses the rich heritage of indigenous cultures with modern forms of artistic expression. Featuring First Nations, Metis, French, English and Brazilian musicians, dancers, painters and poets.

Tour Stories Thu, 16 May 2013 16:47:52 +0000
The Other The Other

A lot of people look at life through an, ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ lens. For these people, the first and most important step is determining who are the good guys, (that would be Us) and who are the bad guys, (that would be Them) Over the years I’ve discovered this is why I never really felt like I fit anywhere…cause I felt like I fit everywhere.

This way of looking at the world transcends every political distinction, religious conviction and sexual orientation. The Right do it, the Left do it, Christians do it, the LGTB do, so do Muslims, Eastern mystics and hedonists…everyone does it.

I grew up in a small conservative prairie town that was kind of like a hydroponic grow op for the Religious Right. Religion has spawned more ‘Us’s’ & ‘Them’s’ than you could swing a scepter of frankincense at. Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglicans, Calvinists, Anabaptists, Brethren, Methodists, Pentecostals, Baptists, United, Presbyterians. Wikipedia says there are 41,000 Christian denominations, which is fascinating when you know that these 41,000 different beliefs come from people reading the same book.

Of course a country like Canada has a history steeped in this sort of thing. We’ve been fed a steady diet of Anglophones vs. Francophones, British vs. French, Immigrants vs. Indigenous, Protestant vs. Catholic and East vs. West since our inception.

Anyway…one day I grew up and ran from the Right and threw my lot in with the Left. Only to find the exact same thing in a diametrically opposed juxtaposition where ‘Us’ was now ‘Them’ and ‘Them’ were now ‘Us.’ But fundamentally…nothing had changed; it was still good guys and bad guys. If this isn’t the problem, it sure isn’t the answer.

A few years later my professional and personal life were entwined with the LGTB community. Oh the sweet naiveté of my youth when I thought gays were immune to this sort of thing! Until I tried to navigate the world of Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Transvestite, Two-Spirit, Pansexual, Polyamorous, Asexual, Omnisexual, and in case by some act of god you still didn’t feel represented there were the catch all categories, Other and Ally. Certainly a far cry from 41,000 distinct sexual orientations…but give it time and who knows!

These experiences can leave you feeling like you’re a first year student at Hogwarts and the Sorting Hat is determining whose side you’re on and where you fit in the grand scheme of the grand scheme. Everything is a fight and everyone’s flailing about and it’s just a matter of time until you hit or get hit.

My whole life I’ve been searching for a different way of looking at the world…one that acknowledges the Other. The Other who believes differently than me. The Other whose sexual identity or culture or experience is different than my own. The Other who holds an integral piece to the puzzle without whom, I can never see the whole picture. When we lose our connection to the Other, we start to fear them and eventually act on those fears. We lose our connection to how closely we’re tied together.

I initially found what I was looking for when Tribe of One grew into a multi-cultural melting pot of inter disciplinary awesomeness and artistry. The First Nations and Métis cultures inherently acknowledge and welcome Other ways of knowing, Other ways of living, Other ways of believing and behaving. Every sacred ceremony, pow wow, rally or feast I’ve been to all start by acknowledging, honoring and welcoming the Other.

To be honest, the part of the Idle No More that’s struck me as most colonial has been the ‘US’ and ‘Them’ mindset that’s framed the conversations with Colonist, Colonizer, Squatter, Settler, Canadian, Guest, Newcomer and Ally vs. Indigenous, Aboriginal, Indian, Native, Métis, Inuit and First Nations. Let’s face it, the way we describe ourselves usually defines what we believe we are capable of.

When we lose our ability to see and feel our connection to the Other, we become detached and believe their struggle and suffering has nothing to do with ‘US.’ The biggest challenges we face right now are man made; we got ourselves into this mess, we can get ourselves out, but only by all of ‘US’ working together.

Tour Stories Wed, 27 Mar 2013 17:39:58 +0000