Biography 

Art Napoleon, a former Chief of the Saulteau First Nation in Treaty 8 BC, is a conservationist, faith-keeper and educator who interprets life through the holistic lens of Cree worldview. Walking in “two worlds” Art is as comfortable on a big city stage or boardroom as he is skinning a moose in a hailstorm with a pocketknife. Ancestral knowledge and the desire to create sustainable and ethical alternatives are the foundations that guide him in the many projects he is involved with. Art is also a budding TV personality with a growing resume in the Film industry and is known as an on-stage humorist with an uncanny ability to improvise and engage audiences of all ages. Art remains connected to his home territory and his Cree and Dane Zaa roots. He tours regularly as a performer and speaker and also serves as a juror on many organizations across Canada. 

 

Consulting Services

With proven writing, facilitation, problem-solving & presentation skills, Art has over 16 years of hands-on experience in cultural revitalization, training program design, curriculum development, community-based research, policy development, & culturally relevant capacity building of Indigenous communities & organizations. 

 

In his early 20s Art led the way in protecting a lakeshore forest in his home community from being commercially logged. It was eventually designated as a protected area. From this young age, Art served in various leadership positions in his home territory in north-eastern BC including chief of the Saulteau First Nation. Despite some small victories, he quickly learned about the limitations of the Indian Act and the realities of sovereignty, jurisdiction, colonial-victim mentality, crisis management, and the frustrations of dealing with encroachment from resource industries and oppressive government policies. He has since come to believe that the political restructuring of Indigenous communities has to be based on the revitalization of Indigenous principles, institutions, laws, values and languages.

 

With access to a variety of indigenous knowledge keepers and academic professionals, Art is a rational idealist who believes in practical results & meaningful community engagement. 

Workshops & Presentations

Art holds an MA degree from the University of Victoria in Indigenous Language Revitalization, where one of his goals is to help communities revitalize endangered languages and in the wisdom imbedded in these ancient languages. He has spent much of his life learning to interpret traditional Indigenous tribal principles and philosophies and translate these holistic worldviews and paradigms for practical applications to modern realities. In doing so, he shares the podium with some high profile public figures. Unlike motivational speakers who advise people to follow their dreams and work harder, Napoleon uses his wry, self-deprecating wit and folksy wisdom to invite people to find their individual callings, work smarter, and tap into holistic worldviews to face the realities of a rapidly changing world. With a reputation for being able to bring diverse people together, Art is available for keynotes, workshops, moderation, conference emceeing and youth mentorship. 

 

Presentation Topics:

  • Indigenous Governance: Nation Building & Solidarity 

  • Dances with Cosmology: The Spiritual Nature of Cree Language

  • An Indigenous Approach to Economics & Value-based Business

  • Freedom from Victim-hood & the Colonial Mind-set

  • Cultural Maintenance for the Urban Tribe

  • Cree Proverbs & Life-way Teachings 

  • Leadership Strategies from the Smokehouse

  • Miyopimâtisowin: Ancient Steps for Personal Transformation

  • Rewriting the History Curriculum & 

  • What Indigenous People Gave to the World

  • Indigenous Hunting, Foraging & Food

  • Moose Nose Soup & Comfort Foods from Mother Earth