The Story of Kolus and creating a mini Canoe Paddle

June is Indigenous peoples month in Canada and we are happy to have renown indigenous artist, storyteller and carver, Simon Winadzi James join us. Simon talked about how his art connects his culture and family and that he has been an artist for over 30 years and brought an old growth cedar Raven mask that he had been working on for the kids to see.

The kids were treated with a film screening of an episode of the animated series Raven Tales called ‘The Return of Kolus’. The Kolus is a mythological large bird that Simon believes his people related to the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. After the screening there was a short discussion and kids were able to Simon questions about the story.


Inspired by the Canoe adventure in the story the kids worked on their own mini paddle craft project added their own design and further customized it with wood burning.

Published by J Peachy

I am a contemporary outsider artist that believes in the healing properties of the natural environment. I paint landscapes in abstract as an expression of my connection with nature and its ability to provide me peaceful inspiration. As organisms on this earth I believe we are interconnected with nature and highly interdependent. But as the psycho-social environment we live in today gets ever increasingly complex its effects on us are becoming more pervasive, corroding and sophisticated. However the energy, peace and serenity of our natural surroundings can provide a way of grounding our senses and healing our minds. I try to capture the interrelationship between my mind and nature as I see and feel it; it’s an expression of my soul captured on a physical medium and in a point in time. Going through the process in itself contributes to balance. Driven by my own lived experience, I am a self proclaimed arts-based advocate for mental health and strive to demystify and eliminate stigma around these issues. My initiatives in this regard include being the Vancouver Caucus leader for the Artist Alliance for Mental Health, a collective member (2010) of the artist-run Gallery Gachet in Vancouver and the Producer and Host of Sound Therapy Radio a peer oriented mental wellness show on CJSF 90.1 FM. I have a true belief in human potential and in the statement; ‘art is a means for survival’.

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