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Don Burnstick

Don Burnstick is a Cree from the Alexander First Nation located outside of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Being the youngest of 15 children and growing up on the reserve taught Don a variety of coping mechanisms, most notably his sense of humour. His early life was steeped in violence and addiction. "I lived on the streets of Edmonton as an alcoholic and drug addict. In 1985, when I sobered up at 21, there were not too many 21 year old males that were alcohol and drug free so I was asked to share my story." Don attended post secondary education at the University of San Diego in Holistic Urban Youth Development. He also has obtained certification as an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor and graduated from the Native Trainers Development program at the Nechi Institute in Edmonton. He has now been involved with the healing/personal wellness movement for over 30 years and has utilized humour and performance to provide a holistic approach to healing. His message speaks to a proud heritage, the importance of healing through laughter and his continuing desire to leave a better world for future generations. Don wrote and performs a one man play: "I Am Alcohol - Healing the Wounded Warrior". In this production, free of preaching or moralizing, Don presents a gripping dramatization of the addictive power of alcohol and drugs, and the connections to other destructive forces that have plagued the Indigenous communities. In addition to his healing work, Don has established himself as one of Canada’s most sought after comedians.

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