About the speaker

“I think it’s important to acknowledge where you’re from,” Marek Tyler says.

Tyler wears many professional hats—or is a player of various drums. From his role as a key facilitator and senior contract manager, to his back beats in his band nêhiyawak ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐊᐧᐠ (neh-HEE-oh-wuk), Tyler brings his background as a Cree man to his community endeavours.

He recognizes that traditional knowledge plays a significant role in leadership and decision making. Through his work as Team Lead for WinWin, Tyler helps to provide an analysis of the existing organization practices and helps make recommendations for improvements within an Indigenous perspective. This practice informs his creative endeavours, specifically the much acclaimed nêhiyawak (translates to People of the Plains), an experimental indie rock trio.

It’s about bridging gaps. Whether it be between cultures, between genres or between sonic mediums, Tyler finds how creativity helps translation: “I can do whatever I want. I can take a traditional drum set and all the electronics … and find out what that sounds like together—make it sound dynamic.

How do we take care of the instruments that were gifted or loaned to us? How do we make decisions? We have teachings from our family that we have to honour and respect. That cultural process … that’s where the magic lies. You have to look for it.”

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