Thunder Bay

Cree rapper Shibastik brings positive message to Thunder Bay elementary school

Rapper Shibastik visited Five Mile School in Thunder Bay, Ont. on Thursday, to perform some songs, and share inspiring messages about his culture, and life on the land.

Hip-hop artist crafts songs that reflect Indigenous culture, and life on the land

Musician, artist, and producer Shibastik says he writes music that he hopes will inspire positive change in the world. (Amy Hadley/CBC)

Hip-hop artist Shibastik visited Five Mile Public School in Thunder Bay, Ont. on Thursday, to perform some songs, and share inspiring messages about his culture, and life on the land. 

The musician, artist and producer, who is a member of the Moose Cree First Nation, and hails from Moosonee on the James Bay Coast, said engaging in cultural activities such as hunting played a huge role in shaping the man he is today, and influencing his music.  

 "Just the pride that comes from practicing your culture," he said. "I'm just sharing that pride."

Shibastik shared some of his art work, inspired by environmental concerns, with students at Five Mile School in Thunder Bay, Ont. on Thursday. (Amy Hadley/CBC)

During his presentation, Shibastik also shared messages about residential school, bullying, and protecting the environment. 

"Art and music is what I'm best at, so I'm using my gifts to do something about what I think is wrong with the world, and I'm trying to make a difference," he said. 

The message seemed to be getting through to students.  

Student Olivia Brown called his message "inspiring." 

Students Matt Leonard, Corissa Huntley, and Olivia Brown, of Five Mile Public School in Thunder Bay, Ont., said they found Shibastik's presentation inspiring. (Amy Hadley/CBC)

"He's trying to make it so people don't litter and people respect animals," said ten-year-old Corissa Huntley. 

Shibastik's musical chops also made an impression on some students — even prompting one to try his hand at a verse of his own. 

"He's rapping, he's rapping, and I know that, and that's a fact," rhymed Matt Leonard, 11. 

"I think I just rapped right there."

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