Raised in both Wiikwemkoong and Toronto, Leland later graduated from Laurentian University in Sudbury where he majored in Native Studies. His spirit name is Bebaminojmat, he is of the Loon Clan, and is a second degree member of the Three Fires Midewiwin Society. An Ojibway-Odawa, Leland prefers to identify himself as an Anishinaabe, an Ojibway word for North America meaning literally “from whence man was lowered.” Leland “firmly believes in the notion that Anishinaabe culture contains all the necessary paradigms of knowledge to nurture the survival of the Anishinaabe people.” As an artist, he believes that the way that “colours, lines, shapes and compositions are perceived” can be understood in the context of that culture. Leland’s wonderful paintings frequently use stylized human figures sharing the affinity of family or friends, often depicting imagery of nurturing, sharing, learning, peace and serenity. He was influenced in his youth through teachings, ceremonies and art instruction at Cultural Arts Camps on Manitoulin Island, and it was there that his distinctive style first emerged. Leland has been painting professionally since 1976 and in addition to his painting, he devotes much of his creative energy to writing and music. He has collaborated often with Shirley Cheechoo and her husband Blake Debassige on writing music for Shirley’s film projects. Leland has been part of Group Exhibitions in Ontario, British Columbia and Switzerland. He has had literally dozens of commissions, chiefly from organizations in Ontario. Leland Bell Leland Bell was born in 1953 in Wiikwemkoong Unceded First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Ontario.