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Museum Talk

In Conversation with Elder Duke Redbird and Former Mayor David Crombie

A conversation between Duke Redbird & former Mayor David Crombie that reflected on Toronto’s history & Indigenous/Settler relations.

Elder Duke Redbird and former Toronto Mayor David Crombie have a long history together through their many contributions to the City of Toronto.

We asked individuals to join us for an intimate conversation between these two iconic figures who discussed the history of Toronto and its waterfront from pre-contact (12,000 years ago) until today; they took us on a historical journey that included personal observations, anecdotes, and their wealth of knowledge when it comes to Indigenous-Settler relations.

This event was part of an ongoing event series presented in partnership with Elder Duke Redbird; which included Wigwam Chi-Chemung Indigenous Interpretive Learning Centre and Wigwam Chi-Chemung: Ask an Elder program.

This conversation between Elder Redbird and former Mayor David Crombie was followed by an audience Q&A.


Elder Dr. Duke Redbird is an established Indigenous intellectual, poet, painter, broadcaster, filmmaker and keynote speaker, he brings his breadth of cultural knowledge and artistic practice to the benefit of a global audience.

He works as a multifaceted artist, practicing across a number of disciplines including literature, painting, theatre, cinema and most recently rap poetry. A well-known Canadian broadcaster and television personality, he is in demand as a keynote speaker in corporate, industry, and educational settings. As a poet, essayist and screenwriter, Dr. Redbird has published and performed poetry readings, theatrical productions, video and film, both locally and internationally.

David Crombie has served as Mayor of Toronto (1972-1978), Member of Parliament (1978-1988), and federal cabinet minister. He has also served as President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, Chair of Ontario Place, founding Chair of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, Chancellor of Ryerson University and Chair of the Toronto Lands Corporation. He is currently Chair of the Greenbelt Council, and recently chaired the Advisory Panel for the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. He is a Member of the Order of Ontario and an Officer of the Order of Canada.


Audra Santa is a creative communicator who acts as a bridge between worlds, allowing for stories to unveil truths and conversations to create connection.
A skilled presenter, facilitator and moderator, Audra is passionate about elevating Indigenous voices. She has hosted and produced interviews, podcasts, and videos to help tell Indigenous stories, and believes many answers can be found in honouring Indigenous wisdom.
Audra comes from layers of study in psychology, spirituality and Indigenous health, supporting the self-determination and healing of communities worldwide. With experience in partnership development, community services, and policy and advocacy, Audra continues to bridge connections through her work as a musician, facilitator, and spiritual guide. Instagram: @audrasanta

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