Since it's inception in 1999, Turtle Concepts has visited hundreds of communities, schools, and organizations with the message "everyone has a right to feel good about themselves". The company was founded as a social enterprise by Dave Jones, an Objibwe Native, from Garden River First Nation near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Years of observation and experience working with youth as a teacher, combined with witnessing bullying first hand in children of all age groups, compelled Dave to take his passion for teaching, inspiring and motivating from the classroom to a larger audience.
Dave had noticed that many of the people who had '"begun the journey to feeling good about themselves' were getting opposite responses from some of the people in their families, schools, communities, and world at large. Despite being encouraged by people in their circle to succeed, be inspired, be confident, get an education, change your history, move ahead... The majority of people were being challenged when they embraced more positive, healthier choice and lifestyles.
Dave wanted to research and operate a business that would address the behaviours that often lead to low self esteem, low confidence, drop outs, criminal activity, suicidal tendencies, gang behaviours, teenage pregnancy, and, drug & alcohol abuse. He would try to teach to teach skills/ideas that he knew would assist & empower people to continue their journey to wellness.
Turtle Concepts started as a one-man show with Dave at the helm, booking, scheduling, planning, delivering workshops & sessions to communities throughout the James Bay area. Through word-of-mouth his business quickly grew to include communities all over Canada, The US, and Europe. He further reinforced his methodologies by recruiting and hiring past participants to work with him at Turtle Concepts. Using their new-found confidence to help run the business as well as share their stories of learning and inspiration with others.
Today, Turtle Concepts continues to thrive bringing it's upbeat, engaging and fun sessions to communities around the world. Teaching people of all ages the value of love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility, truth, wisdom, and most of all confidence.
Born and raised by two amazing parents on the Garden River First Nation near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Dave Jones, the second of four children, is of Ojibwe ancestry.
As a child who was who was often labelled as the "teacher's pet", Dave has had a life long love of school and learning. He actively promotes education, has served on many committees, and continues to advocate for the benefits of education among youth. Dave's love for learning continues to advocate for the benefits of education among youth.
Dave's love of learning drove him to obtain a Bachelor in Sociology as well as a Bachelor of Education with a concentration in the Primary/Junior level. He taught Senior Kindergarden, High School, and in the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario, Canada. In 1999, Dave formally left teaching to open Turtle Concepts so he could teach confidence in all it's facets, and inspire changes to last a lifetime.
Dave's deep knowledge of his Indigenous culture coupled with contemporary skills, and methodologies combine to create modern, fun, yet culturally relevant sessions to address suicide prevention, gang awareness, drug and alcohol awareness, confidence building strategies, anti-bullying prevention, pre-natal engagement, life skills, employment readiness, career skills and professional development for staff in daycares, schools, boards, and more
Although teased as a child for his choice of living a “positive and healthy lifestyle”, as an adult, Dave has been able to touch numerous lives of people of all ages for promoting the same thing.
He is an award-winning motivational speaker, author, professional photographer who has launched several major poster campaigns, a musician, storyteller, emcee, consultant, designer, fashion director, choreographer, makeup artist, stylist, counsellor, teacher and most of all, a strong advocate for promoting healthy lifestyles who currently serves as a councillor on the Garden River First Nation Council.
Turtle Concepts’ approach looks at how personal lifestyle choices (either positive or negative), family history, community dynamics, school history, media and so many other external factors can influence a person’s willingness to become a healthier, more positive individual. In 18 years of facilitating workshops that promote healthy lifestyles, Dave has noticed that all of these experiences may have a major impact in a person’s decision to be positive or negative. This is the reason why Dave has found it so important to look at the issue of confidence, how confidence looks and how it is responded to.
Turtle Concepts is a leader in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities for their unique delivery of motivational workshops to children, youth, adults, elders and a wide variety of professionals. Dave’s ability to captivate, educate, inspire, identify and provide solutions and strategies are just some of the reasons as to why he is such a dynamic presenter. As he reveals parts of his story, most clients leave his workshops saying, “Wow, your story is my story!”