Connection Spirits – Strengthening Roots

Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation is proud to introduce you to a fantastic line up of facilitators!

Todd Genno, Keynote Speaker –  Resiliency through Reconnecting with Culture, Community and Laughter  – Todd will speak to his early years growing up separated from his parents and siblings and being raised in the child welfare system. Todd will touch on the stigmas of children in care and how he broke those stigmas to become a kind loving father he is today. Todd attributes his resiliency as a result of a positive identity and belonging which was restored when his leaders from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg fought to bring Todd and his siblings from CAS in Toronto to repatriate them back to the community of Biigtigong where Todd had connections with elders and ceremonies. Todd’s story will take you on a roller coaster of emotions, but will leave you with laughter and feeling uplifted and assuring we are on the right track of breaking cycles and doing right by our children we work with.  

Todd Genno is an Anishinaabe man from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg (Pic River First Nation). Todd currently works as a band rep for child welfare for his community. Todd is a pow-wow singer, a woodland dancer and can be heard MCing at the local pow-wows in the Thunder Bay area. Todd is a proud father of 4 children and has worked hard to break the intergenerational traumas to give his children a better life. Todd is also a stand-up comedian and uses his gift of storytelling and humour in hopes to make people feel good about their life. 


Joseph Pitawanakwat is Ojibway from Wiikwemkoong, married with one daughter. The Founder & Director of Creators Garden, an Indigenous outdoor, and now online, education-based business, focused on plant identification, beyond-sustainable harvesting, and teaching every one of their linguistic, historical, cultural, edible, ecological and medicinal significance through experiences. His lectures and intensive programming is easily adaptable to make appropriate and successfully delivered to a variety of organizations. Including over 150 First Nations communities and Hundreds of institutions throughout Anishinaabe territory and beyond. He has learned from hundreds of traditional knowledge holders and uniquely blends this knowledge with and reinforces it with and array of western sciences.

Onkwehonwe Games with Dallas Squire aims to build relationships and inspire respect for all indigenous peoples by sharing baseline history and culture of the Six Nations people through traditional games. We understand that everything is interconnected and use games to teach and discuss geography and land, our creation story, language and traditional understandings of health, lifestyle and connection to nature.

All of our programs begin with basic history where participants learn about who the Six Nations are, traditional territories, migrations, about the Law of Peace and the beginning of a meaningful partnership between the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora in the formation of the Six Nations Confederacy. Participants will also learn about family and social structure, as well as some traditional teachings and stories

She:kon, I am Shelley Squire, Mohawk, Turtle Clan. On my journey of self healing and growth I found a passion in creating jewelry pieces using resin and the four sacred medicines – tobacco, sage, cedar and sweetgrass. As well as other medicines, semi-precious gemstones and pieces. My hope is that all who acquire a ‘peace’ of my jewelry/pieces will find comfort in the spiritual properties of the medicines while on their own journey. It is an honour to share the medicines from Mother Earth as it is for all of us to benefit from and to honour her gifts.

Nikki Shawana is Odawa and Potawotomi from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory. She is a mother, learner and teacher of Anishinaabemowin, craftsperson and powwow singer/dancer. Nikki is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others in a way that is respectful, fun, inclusive and informative. She loves to travel to different communities to share and meet new people.

“Aanii! Haiandegwas n’dizhnikaaz. Mkwa doodem. Michi Saagiig Mesinige n’doonjibaa, Michi Saagiig Anishinaabe miinwaa Naadwe n’daaw. Greetings! My name is Haiandegwas (which means Gathering Wood in the Cayuga language), my government name is Tyrell King. I am bear clan from Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and I am Mississauga Anishinaabe as well as Haudenosaunee from the Mohawk, Cayuga, and Onondaga nations. I am the Cultural Coordinator for the department of Lifelong Learning, and I mainly work at Lloyd S. King elementary school. I enjoy working with our youth to inspire, guide, and empower them as they grow and find their way in this world, and I am grateful for the opportunities my role within our school has provided me with. Nahaaw, chi-miigwetch/nia:wen kowa”