May 21st, 2020 – Wisdom Stories: Finding a Moment of Peace with Melanie Rivers and Leah Walker

We at the UBC Learning Circle invite you to feel re-energized and restored through a workshop of expressive arts exploration with Leah Walker and Melanie Rivers. Through active participation, we hope you will find community, connection and access inner wisdom to reduce burnout and awaken aliveness during this time of social distancing. If you have it available, we would ask that you bring the following with you:

  • A piece of the natural world, from outside or inside your home, that brings you joy and comfort
  • Paper and something to write/create with (pens, paints, crayons, etc.)

* Please note, this special Learning Circle is a workshop and therefore everyone participating (attendees and facilitators alike) be invited to share with the group over video and audio channels.


  • Strategies to increase mindfulness and compassion through guided meditative exercises
  • Creativity tools to bring to any place you find yourself
  • Tools to encourage self-efficacy, enhanced social support, and improved listening and communication skills
  • Expressive arts activities in the areas of meditation, poetry, writing, and visual arts

Who is this for?

  • Any one interested in enhancing their creative potential; no art expertise or experience is required
  • Those looking to foster communication, connection and supportive networks with colleagues
  • Indigenous health professionals and healers
  • Allied health and wellbeing professionals interested in enhancing their ability to be in partnership with Indigenous peoples
  • Those seeking to enhance their sense of physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being

Thank you for your interest and participation!

This session’s video is now available for viewing.

Thank you to everyone for your continued interest in our events.

We would like to reiterate that everyone is welcome to our UBCLC sessions.

Our events aim to embody a safe space for everyone of all different backgrounds to have their opinions and voices equally heard.

Date: Thursday, May 21st, 2020 (PST)
Time: 10 a.m. to 11:30 am
Where: Videoconference OR internet webinar.

Listen to this session on the go!

To listen to or download audio please click on the link below, and hit the 3 vertical dots to download the mp3. Can’t download? Visit our audio help page

About the Presenters:


Melanie Rivers/Tiyaltwelwet, is an Indigenous mixed media artist, instructor, and Expressive Arts Therapist from the Squamish First Nation. She facilitates art and creativity sessions that include painting, collage, movement, poetry and writing for individuals, teams, and communities.

For the past 20 years, Melanie has worked in the Indigenous health field and she holds a Masters in Public Health and a Provincial Instructors Diploma. She has extensive experience with instruction, workshop design, evaluation, cross-cultural facilitation, and culturally relevant resource development. She has led the development of over 21 educational and policy resources and now teaches art and creativity classes to people around the world.

Melanie says; “Art is an incredibly powerful vehicle to express what can’t be said in words, a way to synthesize and capture an experience, transform stories, build bridges, heal, foster community and strengthen relationships”.

In the workshops she teaches, Melanie draws from her traditional ancestry and on her vast experience in the health and healing field. She creates safe space and offers art and creativity activities that all can engage with.

Visit Melanie’s Art page:



Leah Walker is of Danish, English, Nlaka’pamux ancestry and has strong kinship ties at Seabird Island. She is a mom of a beautiful 16-year old, wife, gardener, sailor, educator, and Expressive Art Therapist, living on the Coast Salish Territory of Nex̱wlélex̱m (Bowen Island).

Her life work includes her role as the Associate Director-Education of the UBC Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health. Leah grew up the small resource community of Burns Lake (Wet’suwet’en) and her experiences there heavily influenced her interest in education, social awareness, conflict resolution, equity and art making. She has been engaged in a variety of expressive modalities throughout her life including theatre, dance, writing and movement.

Her current enquiry includes exploring the relationship between embodiment and decolonization, or how do I decolonize my body and deepen my relationship with myself, others and this planet? Compassionate and playful, Leah offers workshops that support participants in expanding their sense of wellness and possibility.


Melanie Rivers/Tiyaltwelwet’s art website:

Poems shared in the workshop:

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