Kids & Family Programs

Native Bees & Indigenous Storytelling

A large bee collects nectar from bright pink flowers/

Although honeybees are fascinating and useful animals (see our honey bee hive in the the Hands-On Biodiversity Gallery), did you know that these bees are not native to North America?

Come out to the Patrick and Barbara Keenan Family Gallery of Hands-on Biodiversity to learn about native bees as part of the Pollinator Partnership events for Pollinator Appreciation Week across Canada.  Indigenous storytellers Lee Manacle, Meaghan Salisbury and Tania Carter will share their stories, and Lindy Kinoshameg will delight with his shadow-puppet shows.

Meet real bee scientists; Nadia Tsvetkow from the York University Packer Bee lab, Sheila Colla, At-risk Pollinator Project Leader at Wildlife Preservation Canada, Victoria McPhail, from Pollination Guelph, as well as a ROM technician. All will dazzle you with ‘bee’ facts, fun and activities. Come and bee crafty at our craft table too! 

Saturday, June 21st, 12 PM to 4 PM - Storytellers Lee Manacle, Meaghan Salisbury; Shadow pupetteer Lindy Kinoshameg; scientist Nadia Tsevtkow

Sunday, June 22nd, 12 PM to 4 PM - Storyteller Tania Carter; scientists Sheila Colla, Victoria McPhail & Erika Nardone

A bumblebee sits on the yellow centre of a purple daisy.

Tania Carter

A BA in World Literature and an MA in Indigenous Performance, she writes short story and plays and reads and listens to traditional story. She's published for CBC and Gatherings, an anthology done by Theytus Books. She's has the upbringing that has prepared her for studying performance, writing and the nature of Canada. All of which are one in her Indigenous way of thinking. She is an Indigenous women from the Salish tribe of British Columbia and chooses Toronto for her home.

Lee Maracle

Ms. Maracle is the author of a number of critically acclaimed literary works. Ms. Maracle was born in North Vancouver and is a member of the Sto: Loh nation. She is also the Traditional Teacher for First Nation’s House and instructor with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and the S.A.G.E. [Support for Aboriginal Graduate Education] as well as the Banff Centre for the Arts writing instructor. Maracle has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington. 

Meaghan Salisbury

Meaghan is an educator who works with young children in downtown Toronto. She is a graduate of Ryerson University and a student at the University of Toronto. As a woman from the Metis Nation, she works to honour her Anishnaabe, Cree and Haudesaunee ancestors through education. She learned to tell stories from her grandfather in his homeland on Georgian Bay.

Lindy Kinoshameg

Lindy is a proud member of the Odawa Nation from Wikwemikong Unceeded First Nation on Manitoulin Island. Lindy is currently living and working in Toronto where he is studying to complete a degree in Kinesiology at the University of Toronto. Lindy is also the Stage Manager for a world renowned dance production called The Honouring that will be touring around Canada this summer and is the Founder/Event Coordinator of Wikwemikong Winter Classic, an annual event that is designed to support the community, promote physical activity, and engage families while fostering the love of competitive hockey. Kinoshameg has been involved in the arts for most of his life as a Prairie Chicken dancer within the Pow Wow circuit, Stage Management in dance production, and as a Visual Artist. Lindy has delved into many mediums over the years with captivating colors and ideas that have been used and commissioned across Canada in multiple faucets for such venues as: The University of Toronto Faculty of Kinesiology, First Nations House, Seneca College, and local art galleries across Canada. 

Sheila Colla, Ph.D.

At-risk Pollinator Project Leader at Wildlife Preservation Canada. Dr. Colla has been studying bumble bees for 10 years and is one of the authors of "The Bumble bees of North America: An Identification Guide" published in 2014 by Princeton University Press. Her research has documented declines of native bumble bees and examines potential stressors such as pesticide use, climate change, pathogen spillover and habitat loss.

Nadia Tsvetkov

Is a masters in biology candidate at York university. She is interested in learning and memory in honey bees.

Wildlife Preservation Canada

Wildlife Preservation Canada is a charitable organization whose mission is to save animal species at risk from extinction in Canada. They are Canada's 'intensive care unit' for at-risk species and help these species through hands-on intervention work and by providing opportunities for Canadian conservation scientists to grow their expertise while adding to the overall body of knowledge on the subject. Highlights of their Pollinators at Risk Initiative include developing a captive breeding program for the Taylor Checkerspot Butterfly in British Columbia and the Rusty-patched and Yellow-banded Bumble bees in Central Canada, and evaluating habitat for the potential reintroduction of the Karner Blue butterfly to Ontario.

Sheila Colla, Project Lead, Victoria MacPhail, Project Biologist, and Erika Nardone, Project Intern will be with us on Sunday.'s Pollinator Week is taking place June 16-22, 2014.


Authored by: Aaron Phillips

Authored by: Aaron Phillips