Smoke Signals Media is a collaboration between independent indigenous cannabis entrepreneurs and a team of freelance media creators living in Iroquoia (Southern Ontario and Quebec). The goal of Smoke Signals Media is to create and share news and knowledge from those on the front lines of the indigenous cannabis industry.
Specifically, Smoke Signals Media promotes all participants in the cannabis industry who support “traditional” (matrilineal clan based) forms of indigenous governance and who provide cannabis for medicinal purposes.
Smoke Signals Media upholds the inalienable right of all people to access cannabis for their personal medicinal use, and seeks to uphold the original indigenous systems of governance in this land – the Two Row Wampum, the Dish with one Spoon, and the Kayenerekowa or Great Peace.
Smoke Signals Media consults with, reports upon, and creates media relating to indigenous issues and matters of concern to the cannabis industry, but does not sell cannabis or cannabis products.
The Smoke Signals Advisory Board is made up of independent indigenous cannabis entrepreneurs who provide their advice and opinion to Smoke Signals Media creators. The Advisory Board consists of the following members, listed in alphabetical order.
Jeff Hawk of Green Health for 6, in Six Nations
Jamie Kunkel of Smoke Signals in Tyendinaga
Kanenhariyo Seth Lefort of Bear Medicine in Six Nations
Antoinette Cruz is an Indigenous activist, cannabis ambassador and passionate advocate for social change. Born in beautiful British Columbia, Antoinette is a Samahquam Member of the Stl’atl’imx Nation who now resides in Vancouver Coast Salish Territory. Antoinette was raised with an extensive knowledge of the uses and benefits of cannabis and hemp, and she is committed to health and wellness that is founded on ancient Indigenous culture and knowledge. As an Indigenous woman, granddaughter of Residential School Survivors, and daughter of a 60’s scoop survivor, Antoinette feels first hand the negative toll Canadian colonialism has taken on her people. Antoinette views cannabis as an umbrella solution to many of the crises Indigenous peoples are faced with. She trusts her visions that cannabis will bring unity, diversity and positive solutions for generations to come. Antoinette is the owner of Smoke Signals – Vancouver.
Ariwakehte Clifton Nicolas of Smoke Signals in Kanehsatake.
Clifton Nicolas is the owner and operator of Smoke Signals Kanehsatake and owner of Red Ochre Cannabis. His passion for cannabis comes from his experience using this medicine to heal from depression and digestive problems. He is ardent in his belief that cannabis will help his people and community break the cycle of addiction and poverty.
Rob Stevenson of Mukwa Botanicals and Medicine Wheel Natural Healing in Alderville First Nation
Rob Stevenson is the owner of Mukwa Botanicals and Medicine Wheel Natural Healing and is from Alderville First Nation.
The Media Team
The Smoke Signals Media team are the people who make the media that goes into Smoke Signals Magazine and what is consists of the following people (listed in alphabetical order).
Fernando Arce is a freelance journalist with a passion for environmental and indigenous issues around Turtle Island and the rest of the American Continent. Specifically, Fernando has focused a great deal of his energy in writing about and expanding knowledge of the Eagle and Condor prophecies and, more concretely, the political alliances between the Indigenous peoples of the North and South. Through this work, he has also come to explore and learn about the indigenous medicinal cannabis industry, including the history of the plant and its relationship to various Indigenous nations as well as its traditional and medicinal uses.
datejie cheko green
datejie cheko green is director of operations and media relations at Smoke Signals Media. Since reporting on Indigenous reclamations as a radio broadcaster in the early 1990s she has continued to engage with Indigenous, lgbtq and women’s liberation movements on Turtle Island, in Africa and the diaspora. datejie brings her strategic expertise as an interviewer, journalist, educator, digital specialist and organizer to bear on the new era of the cannabis plant, the Indigenous cannabis movement and the global socio-economic reorganization triggered by Canada’s Cannabis Act. She is founder of solidarityconscious.org. Follow @seeksolidarity.
Ariwakehte Clifton Nicolas
Ariwakehte Clifton Nicolas is a Kanienkehaka from Kanehsatake and is a documentary filmmaker and a videographer and photographer. He has a passion for creating visuals that inform and reflect his ideas about cannabis and the culture and people involved therein.
Eva M. Portillo
Eva M. Portillo is from Central America and is of Mayan, African and Spanish ancestry. She believes in the healing power of plants and people’s ability to know and heal themselves. She is an advocate for cannabis as a healing plant and believes that everybody can form a meaningful and rewarding relationship with this medicine. Her relationship with cannabis began as she turned to cannabis to manage chronic pain caused by a nerve injury. Through her healing journey she became aware of the potential for patient empowerment. She now works to make research and knowledge about cannabis accessible to everybody to support their personal healing.
Tom Keefer is the editor of Smoke Signals Media. Descending from United Empire Loyalists on his father’s side and Ukrainian peasants on his mother’s side, Tom has been active as a grassroots political activist, writer and media publisher in Ontario and Quebec since the mid 1990s. Tom began working with grassroots indigenous people in 2006 through the CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group, and now works closely with people from a number of different indigenous territories. Tom is a founder of the journal Upping the Anti and is founder and owner of the Two Row Times newspaper and he has been writing about and producing media on behalf of the indigenous cannabis industry since 2016 on the sites www.realpeoples.media and www.smokesignals.media. You can follow his occasional posts on Twitter @tomkeefer or find him on Facebook.
From residential school, police violence, alcoholism and drug addiction, to prison, to homelessness and life on the streets, Gary Wassaykeesic has survived and resisted all that the Canadian colonial system has thrown at him. An Ojibway from Mishkeegogamang First Nation, Gary is an activist for his people who began his efforts towards justice in investigating the murder of his mother Sophie Wassaykeesic. Active on the front lines, from pipeline protests to INAC occupations, Gary produces photo and video for Smoke Signals Media.
Mel Wilhelm @Melomomentz in an artist, epileptic, passionist and a medicinal cannabis primadonna. Local to the Quinte Region Mel has a strong background in health sciences and creative design. Driven by an incredible passion to help, Mel is working with Smoke Signals Media and High Canada Magazine to help organize the 2018 Smoke Signals Indigenous Cannabis Cup in Tyendinaga.