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Don Burnstick is a Cree from the Alexander First Nation located outside of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The youngest of 15 children and growing up on the reserve, Don learned to use humour to defend himself.
Don's young life was very violent. "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 just started asking to go and tell my story."
Burnstick obtained post secondary training 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.
Don has been involved within the healing/personal wellness movement for the past 20 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 humor and his continuing desire to leave a better world for our future generations. He wrote and individually performs the play I Am Alcohol – Healing the Wounded Warrior. Without 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 Aboriginal community.
In addition to his healing work, Don has established himself as one of Canada's best comedians. His highly acclaimed comedy show You Might be a Redskin - Healing Through Native Humour humorously portrays First Nations people, their habits, likes and dislikes.
Charlie was recently featured in the 2009 Showtime Special, The Indian Comedy Slam, No Reservations Needed, and is the featured performer on PBS' On and Off the Res from Native American Public Telecommunications. He has appeared with such comedy stalwarts as David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, and Roseanne. He appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman as part of the show's 13th anniversary episode.
Charlie is an accomplished actor, appearing in Moesha, Roseanne, North of 60, Naturally Native, Harold of Orange and Impure Thoughts. He also has written for the sitcom Roseanne and NPR's Club Red with Charlie Hill. Much of Charlie's humor focuses on his experiences as a Native American performer in the national spotlight, but his funny, relevant stories and observations cross cultural lines to lighten and enlighten audiences with healing laughter.