Creative Workshop Reviews
Slam poetry was a great opportunity for our students to approach creative writing in a new way. They loved the supportive environment of a poetry slam and snapped, clapped and cheered for one another as they performed throughout the week. I highly recommend Rik’s slam poetry material.
Debra Bridgman, Principal, Standing Stone School, Oneida Nation of the Thames, ON
NBCDES Distant Education just finished a one-week slam poetry series for our Grades 3-9 students. Each virtual online class was one hour in length and tailored to the writing level of the students involved. The sessions were fun, interactive and a unique opportunity for our students. I highly recommend Rik’s virtual slam poetry sessions.
Sharlene Kantz, Teacher, Northern B.C. Distance Education School, Fort St John, B.C.
Rik does an amazing job beyond teaching his content – he helps students become effective audience members and teaches them to be supportive and provide constructive feedback. He has been very responsive to teacher feedback adjusting his presentation to our needs. I encourage you to consider his programs if you are looking for opportunities for your school.
Dave Ritchie, Principal , Carmi Elementary School, Penticton, B.C.
Rik beamed into our classroom in Palmerston Senior College, in Darwin, Australia. My students were inspired by Rik’s themes from his own teenage and working experiences (this was key) and his ability to break down his work into elements makes poetry ‘visually’ accessible to students. My male students were particularly inspired by Rik’s frankness and openness, displaying his own emotions with strong links to family and country and this is particularly significant to our Indigenous students. There was a really powerful exchange of ideas as Rik reinforced some great poetry writing techniques to apply to their own writing. I highly recommended Rik to my teaching colleagues.
Margaret Syme, Senior Secondary Teacher, Literacy Consultant, Northern Territory, Australia
Rik’s slam poetry sessions are engaging, comprehensive, supportive right from the first steps of the writing process, to the final stage of doing a slam! The skills and lessons learned through slam poetry for kids and teens are invaluable. The program was especially valuable for my students who struggled with self-esteem, coping and communication. If you have the opportunity to work with Rik or use his program, I highly recommend it…for your students, your kids and yourself!
Ruth Stadelmayer, High School Teacher, Francine J Wesley Secondary School, Kashechewan First Nation, ON
Indigenous Performance Workshop Reviews
Your performances both moved and inspired us all. As performers, you connect with your audience in a way that is unique. You tease all our senses through your performance and what you leave behind is a warm memory and the desire to open the floodgates of our own creativity. Your workshops inspired our youth and helped feed their creative spirits and your performances left memories which will last a life time.
Brent Kaulback, Regional Director, South Slave District School District, NWT
Through your involvement with Aboriginal Music Program, you have joined an elite group of rising stars representing the best and brightest Aboriginal recording artists from across the country.
Eric Robinson, Minister of Culture, Heritage, Tourism, and Sport
Last Fall, the students at Heart Lake Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario, came together to experience Tribe of One, little did I know that the Tribe would take the school by storm! From the moment the group walked on to the stage, the students were entranced. It is one thing to follow the curriculum. It is another to teach its worth in our lives. Rik Leaf and Tribe of One did just that! I highly recommend them to other schools
Gretchen Day, Teacher, Heart Lake Secondary School, Brampton, ON
The workshops demanded risk-taking, courage, and creativity from the students and they stepped up! All the students showed courage and commitment to their part in the dance and they were proud and so were the parents. I had so many elders and community members saying what a fabulous concert it was and how much they enjoyed the time out from work to share this with their children.
Sheila Cavanagh, Principal, Lutsel K’e Dene School, NWT
On behalf of Sydney Academy, I would like to thank you for your presentation to our music, art and drama students today. Coming from a region of the country that is experiencing the full force, the downturn of the economy and collapse of all primary industries, the arts are providing hope, especially to students struggling to find their voice. Your presentation has been invaluable to them, as you have encouraged them to imagine, create and persevere.
Verne Lorway, Music Director, Sydney Academy, Cape Breton
The students, staff, and community here at Deninu School, in Fort Resolution, wish to send our gratitude for giving us an exceptionally memorable performance! Students and staff gained a clearer understanding and appreciation for individualism and the talents that each person may hold.
Dan Summers, Principal, Fort Resolution Deninu School, NWT
In their workshops and in concert, Tribe of One went far beyond entertaining our students (though they did that too.) Their high-impact visit gave a real boost to the fine and performing arts in our school, and I shudder to think that we might have missed an amazing opportunity had I been too quick to hit the delete button.
Geoff Bueger, Principal, Princess Alexandra School, Hay River, NWT
Last year Tribe of One performed at Sussex Regional High School. I found it to be a very enlightening and cultural experience. I thought it was awesome that students were exposed to this sort of experience. I considered it to be the best presentation I have ever seen throughout my entire High School career
Jon MacNeill, President, Sussex Regional High School, Sussex, NB
We were blessed to have Tribe of One in our territory. You brought music, art, and dance to those of us starved for this form of entertainment and all art forms were of the highest caliber. You are all living examples of the Dene principles of discovering your talent and sharing it with others. Without exception, I have fielded only positive comments from Principals, teachers, students, and parents.
Brent Kaulback, Regional Director, South Slave District School District, NWT
The energy, passion, talent, and commitment from all the performers in the group were remarkable. Each individual displayed such intense enthusiasm and knowledge for their specific contribution, that when together the effect was explosive. How four individuals could manage to keep our eyes, ears, and minds moving so intensely for such an extended period of time is unfathomable to me. The event far exceeded our expectations and hopes and the feedback we have received has been uniformly glowing.
Maura Broadhurst, Curator, Latcham Gallery, Stouffville, ON
After seeing videos of Tribe of One on YouTube, I was already sold… but I had no idea that these videos would pale in comparison to the live performance. I was actually moved to tears during your set, stricken with emotion at the beauty of not only of the music and the visuals but of the message they so effortlessly convey. I have never seen a group that could, at once, be both joyous and driving, yet dark and haunting. I heard nothing but rave reviews from the crowd. The most memorable performance of my weekend
Ken Jaworski, Artistic Director, Brandon Folk Festival, MB
What a unique show! Tribe of One will captivate you with music, dance and visual art which represent the love and pride these artists share for their country
Lynn Munilla, Artistic Director, Festival du Voyageur, Winnipeg, MB
Rik’s Music Reviews
A multi-layered slice of Canadiana – while others try to divide the country, Rik has captured the sound of Canadian unity
Broose Tulloch, DJ, 92.9 KICK FM
Rik Leaf has carefully positioned himself as a songwriter on the margins speaking hope to the disenfranchised and dispirited. This album represents a maturing of that voice and a musical presence that gives us ears to hear
Brent Nelson, Ph.D., English Department, University of Saskatchewan
Rik’s latest CD is an invaluable addition to Canada’s music scene with its beautifully written lyrics and instrumentals that create an honest depiction of our nation’s history and its peoples’ struggles, from our First Nations’ communities to our French/English duality, to our ethnocultural diversity. I don’t know of any other effort that has so completely captured the essence of Canada.
Judy Wasylycia-Leis, Member of Parliament, Winnipeg, MB
Rik Leaf is a category 4 hurricane slamming into the coast of Canadian Culture. Rik’s latest album is a wonderful, eclectic, adventurous stomp. The songs radiate a blended atmosphere and a unique multi-cultural experience…a modern Canadian anthem!” Karla Adolphe, Jacob & Lily
Rik Leaf has a new CD out!! It’s hard to imagine an album being more Canadian than this one….the music is top-notch. Folksy, bluesy, rootsy…and you can dance to it! Rik leaves you thinking, too…this is good music!!” Paula Spurr, Blue Grass Orphans
Buoyed by a swooping, elastic voice, Leaf dabbles in Celtic sounding folk-rock, piano-based acoustic gems, funky dance jams and straight-ahead guitar rockers, all with a level of gutsy aplomb and intensity that belies his background as an activist. His songwriting chops are finely honed, he knows his way around a hook, and the backup musicians he surrounds himself with all rise to meet his highly set standards. If this is winter to Rik Leaf, we can’t wait for the first signs of spring!”
**** David Schmeichel, Winnipeg Sun
Rik Leaf is most clearly a musical innovator. Musically this album twists and turns from track to explorative track. The result is not a pretentious and inharmonious melee of noises, but an intriguing 60-minute tapestry of true diversity/ingenuity.
Tom Lennie, Gold USA.com