The Four Sacred Medicines with Chef Johl Whiteduck

Presented by Art Gallery of Burlington

   Wednesday, October 6

   6:30 to 8:00 PM
   AGB Community Garden

Wednesday October 6 @ 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Onsite, AGB Community Garden at Lakeshore entrance

Chef Johl Whiteduck introduces teachings about the Sacred medicines: Asemaa (tobacco), Giizhik (cedar), Wiingashk, (Sweetgrass) and Mshkodewashk (Sage). These plants are some of our oldest ancestors and teachers of the Anishinawbe. Johl’s 16+ years journey of Indigenous Food Sovereignty has led him to the seeds, plants, and medicines and the reclaiming and relearning Indigenous knowledge about the planting ceremonies. Even the smallest of urban garden spaces can grow the plant medicines and demonstrate Indigenous AgroEcology practices. Through Miinikaan Innovation and Design, Johl has co-designed Indigenous teaching gardens that invite curiosity and cultivate the relationships between people and our plant ancestors. To accompany this talk, we will plant sacred medicines into raised garden beds at the AGB.


Chef Johl Whiteduck Ringuette is Anishnawbe and Algonquin. he was born in North Bay, Ontario and his grandmother is from Nippissing First Nation. His clan is Mink clan. Johl was raised on wild game, fishing and seasonal berry-picks and cooking over the fire. Chef Johl is the owner of NishDish Marketeria and Catering, which specializes in Anishnawbe cuisine since 2005. He is one of Tkaronto’s leading First Nations food sovereigntists and has dedicated his life to identifying, sourcing, relearning, and reclaiming what the traditional Anishnawbe diet is. His unwavering commitment to this vision has broadened his work beyond NishDish. He is a public speaker on many topics related to food sovereignty and social entrepreneurship and has taught countless food demos and traditional food skills workshops.

Johl is a teacher of one of the only Anishnawbe land-based culinary arts program, Ojibiikaan Indigenous Culinary Arts Program. This led to some of the first traditionally planted Three Sisters gardens in the GTA. The gifts to Johl of centuries-old ancestral seeds started the ongoing development of an extensive Indigenous seed bank. The expansion of NishDish’s Indigenous food gardens around the city laid the groundwork for the birth of a brand-new not-for-profit organization that Chef Johl founded in 2018, called Ojibiikaan Indigenous Cultural Network.

In 2012 Chef Johl co-founded RUN, Red Urban Nation, a grassroots project that envisioned a focused Indigenous community district in Toronto. In December 2017 he founded TIBA, the Toronto Indigenous Business Association, renewing the pursuit of an Anishnawbe district for Toronto and building a strong coalition of First Nations social entrepreneurs and business owners. Johl launched the Indigenous Harvesters and Artisans Market at the Bickford Centre in 2018 and 2019, with multiple partnerships, where he curated a series of murals painted by Indigenous artists.

Chef Johl received Aboriginal Businessman of the Year award in 2013. He is a featured cohost of MasterChef Canada for a special Indigenous food challenge episode in 2019.