Dr. Duke Redbird

Dr. Duke Redbird is an elder, poet, activist, educator, and artist. With a legacy stretching back to the 1960s, he is a pillar of First Nations literature in Canada and has practiced a number of art disciplines including poetry, painting, theatre, and film. He was a trailblazer throughout the 60s & 70’s giving voice to Indigenous people at major institutions and folk festivals across the country. 

Dr Redbird’s most recent collection of poems is titled POETRY. Several of his poems from the anthology have been set to music by The Sultans of String for the albums Refuge and Sanctuary and the soon to be released Walking Through the Fire. His earlier anthology is called LOVE SHINE and RED WINE for which he was named Poet of the Year at the Valmiki World Poetry Festival.

In 2019, distressed by the lack of recognition of the historical presence of Indigenous people and their vibrant life along the Toronto waterfront, he decided to dock his houseboat Wigwam Chi-Chemung at Ontario Place. The boat is covered with Indigenous murals and has been visited by hundreds of tourists from across Canada, Ontario and Europe. 

He holds a master’s degree from York University and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law by York. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) University.