Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie was a graduating college senior in 1962 and hit the ground running in the early Sixties, touring North America’s colleges, reservations and concert halls and bringing most educators and audiences their initial dose of Native American reality in the first person. By age 24, Buffy Sainte-Marie had been voted Billboard’s Best New Artist, and had appeared all over the world. Her 1962 electronic album Illuminations was thirty years ahead of its time, and that same year she founded the Nihewan Foundation of Native American Education, two of whose early scholarship recipients went on to become tribal college presidents. In her film debut at age 28 she successfully insisted that Native American actors play all the Native American person roles. In 1983 became the only Native American person ever to win an Academy Award Oscar, for her melody to the song Up Where We Belong.

A pioneer in digital art and music, and a multiple JUNO Award winner, Buffy Sainte-Marie’s songs have been recorded by Elvis, Barbra, Kanye, Janis, Celine, Cher and hundreds of others, and her Universal Soldier continues to be an anthem of the peace movement. She is an Officer in the Order of Canada, holds a teaching degree, a degree in Oriental Philosophy, and fifteen honorary doctorates.



Directed by Dr. Lila Pine, a New Media artist and Indigenous thinker, Saagajiwe is Ryerson’s Indigenous Communication and Design network. Its mission is to facilitate the creation and dissemination of Indigenous thought and ways of knowing and doing at Ryerson University and in the larger Indigenous community in Toronto. Its aim is to foster an understanding of Indigenous worldview(s) among future communications and creative innovators and to provide mentorship for Indigenous students and researchers. Saagajiwe is an Anishinaabemowin word that loosely means the very first ray of light.

Saagajiwe is hosted within the Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University.


Painted Corn Collective

The mandate of The Painted Corn Collective is to support Indigenous cultural renewal and healing while centring the protocols of place in on-the-land learning.  It is a non-profit organization situated on 200 acres of rolling hills, fields and forest in Anishnaabe Algonquin territory near Bancroft Ontario. Painted Corn Collective has worked to nurture biotic and human relationships, to build infrastructure for large-event hosting, and to provide healthy food from organic gardens maintained over the seasons. This space lends itself to unique and rich learning opportunities. Members of The Painted Corn Collective have a wide cross section of skills and qualifications, including Indigenous Environmental Studies, healing and psychotherapy with Aboriginal trauma survivors, traditional Indigenous and contemporary music, visual art, permaculture,natural building, sustainable farming, and Indigenous dance. Members of SDEC are inspired by the aesthetics of Indigenous Knowledge, including Anishinaabe teachings about Mino Bimaadizwin (the good life) and Haudenosaunee teachings about the Good Mind. In learning about the protocols of place, on Anishinaabe Algonquin land and about relationship building.


The Faculty of Communication and Design

FCAD, the Faculty of Communication and Design is the cultural and creative hub at Ryerson University. With its nine prestigious schools in media and creative industries, FCAD’s interdisciplinary innovation and education are shaping the future of the creative industries.

FCAD is at the distinctive crossroads of creative and scholarly disciplines. Committed to excellence, the Schools within the Faculty provide unique experiential programs in undergraduate and graduate study as well as learning zone opportunities.  These unique learning environments broaden and deepen as they shape themselves to meet the ever-changing needs of our cultural industries and professional communities. 


Paquin Entertainment Group

Paquin Entertainment Group is one of Canada's leading entertainment companies, with offices in Winnipeg, Toronto, and Vancouver. From its roots in artist representation, the Company is currently home to three divisions: Artist Management, Artists Agency, and Theatrical. Paquin’s roster covers a wide spectrum of art forms, spanning from music to theatre to dance, and the Company moves seamlessly between these genres. The Artist Management division proudly supports, oversees, and directs the creative endeavours of iconic performers Buffy Sainte-Marie, Randy Bachman, Bachman & Turner, and Saul Williams, as well as emerging talents such as JUNO-nominated singer-songwriter Donovan Woods, CCMA-nominated artist Lindi Ortega, Wild Rivers, and Junia-T. Led by CEO and industry veteran Gilles Paquin, the division focuses on maximizing opportunities to market and distribute the creative efforts of each artist on a global scale, contributing to their respective career potential. The Artists Agency division proudly represents world-class artists on a national and international level, including The Strumbellas, William Prince, Serena Ryder, and The Sheepdogs to name a few. With over thirty years as an entertainment industry leader, Paquin Entertainment Group's core vision remains unchanged: respect the creative process while maximizing earnings and fiscal responsibility.