This is VIBE Spotlight: a weekly series that celebrates and shines a light on VIBE Arts’ roster of talented artists. Each Monday, our Instagram and website feature a different VIBE Artist and provide a look into their craft. Stay tuned and get to know the diverse talent that makes up our organization and community with #VIBESpotlight.
On this VIBE Spotlight, we’re shining a light on Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone, an Indigenous performing artist, facilitator, and activist.
VIBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that you would like to share?
AQUA: I am sharing videos through The Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council (TASSC) and my facebook page, which include traditional teachings, original medicine music, and self-defence for women. I have also been fortunate enough to lead two weekly hand drum circles in the community and perform live on facebook with The Association for Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts (ANDPVA) and TASSC.
VIBE: What has been one of your greatest accomplishments to date?
AQUA: Beginning to teach Women’s Self-Defence based off of the Traditional Indigenous Martial Arts system, Okichitaw, which I’ve been learning for the past four years. My dream has always been to empower women through music, art, and now self-defence.
VIBE: What has been one of your favourite moments while being on the VIBE roster?
AQUA: Drum Feasting Ceremony with the staff at VIBE, getting to connect with them and be in a circle with the drums to honour the hard work we do as a community throughout the year.
VIBE: What are some of your future goals?
AQUA: I would like to like to receive grants to provide funding for work that I am passionate about in the community. I’d like to be able to offer healing drum circles, workshops, and performances free of cost.
VIBE: What is one of the greatest lessons you have learned thus far?
AQUA: I’ve learned to slow down and appreciate the life creator gave me, even when it’s hard.
VIBE: What changes would you like to see in Toronto’s Art community?
AQUA: I would love to see free programming for Indigenous, Black, Queer, underprivileged and racialized groups. The arts heal – I wish that money didn’t create barriers for our peoples’ healing.
Stay tuned for more VIBE Artists on VIBE Spotlight