James Taylor’s Bio

James Taylor is Otter Clan from Curve Lake First Nation Indian Reserve No. 35; he grew up in Michi Saagi Anishinaabe territory in the Kawartha Lakes Region of Southern Ontario. His Anishanaabe name roughly translates to Kind/Gentle Lighting. This name was gifted to him after he survived his first lightning strike at a young age by his paternal grandparents – shortly after this, he was adopted by them.

Although James has received a post secondary education from Trent University, in Peterborough Ontario, he views his formal education as the traditional Ojibwe knowledge gifted to him by his grandparents and other close relatives, as well as the responsibilities that are attached to them. From his grandfather and other Michi Saagi Nation relatives, James carries knowledge of Medicine Bundle and Midewiwin teachings and is also a Drumkeeper who holds the histories of numerous stories and songs.

James has walked across Turtle Island three times, each time to bring healing and awareness for topics that include: the burials of children on the grounds of Indian Residential Schools (IRS), Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirit Peoples, Men, and Boys, and cancer research for Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.

By using and sharing his gifts and knowledge passed down to him, James continues to have a profound impact on community as he takes on roles teaching, providing cultural supports, working with children and youth, leading ceremony, and facilitating healing workshops focusing on IRS and the impacts of colonialism.