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Women: Hang on to your nerves, and hold onto your breaking hearts, the healing power of the Matriarchy is rising.
- Malala Yousafzai
I think it necessary to start 2013 with a reconfirmation of the power of of women, this is motivated by a number of things:
Before any of us can claim the nobility of the soul, we must first recognize that each of us has an equal vital role to play in the preservation and sustainability of humanity and Mother Earth. As former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan said, "the role of women in decision-making is central to the advancement of women around the world, and to the progress of humankind as a whole." Thus, does the continuity of peace continue for ALL nations.
Marginalization is no longer an option as we square our shoulders and stride forward into our powerful matriarchal futures. Our salvation lies in our return to the drum, to the water, sacred fire and stories that WE created and told, and that sustained our world for a millenia. Salvation is not difficult, it is women embracing the family of women; to rest in the feminine community. We will always be the best healers of women. And so, as my one hundred year old mother, Elder, Gandoox once said to me, "Hang onto your nerves, m'girl, and hold onto your breaking heart."
And so, I do, standing in the truth of who I am as a proud, strong, intelligent Indigenous woman, secure in the knowledge that the healing power of the matriarchy continues to rise. After all, Di gyiwul gyits'iipta'niit (I had it yesterday), Di sgüü gya'wn'niit (I have it now), Di sgüü dzigyits'iip'niit (I have it tomorrow). Wilwilaask, All My Relations
IN HONOUR OF WOMEN: WORLD WOMEN ANTHEM
RIVERS TO THE OCEANS
From the Rivers to the oceans Global Women on the rise
From the rivers to the oceans we are speaking with one voice
We place our canvas on the shore and paint a different scene
From the rivers to the oceans we survive the stormy seas
From the rivers to the oceans, float on hearts of ages past
No more cries falling on deaf ears, we're fresh water streams
From the rivers to the oceans, we listen for the hum
From the rivers to the oceans we are sweeping clean the beach
There is beauty and serenity in the clouds of misty rain
From the rivers to the oceans global women on the rise
Freedom, Freedom, Freedom
From the rivers to the oceans global women on the rise....
2012 - A YEAR OF HEALING AND SELF-CONFIDENCE
I've often found it curious and sad that humans tend to lean toward the "worst case" scenario first. Perhaps, it is because we love to feel that profound sense of relief when the worst case does not come to fruition. Having said that, there are those, myself included who would counter with the idea that if we keep moving to the negative side first, then can self-fulfilling prophecies be far behind?
2012 is NOT about,
2012 IS about,
"Always among the highest expression of every culture, the arts teach us much about every historical period through its literature, visual arts, music, dance, and drama. Today it is recognized that to be truly well educated one must not only learn to appreciate the arts, but must have rich opportunities to actively participate in creative work. The arts are languages that most people speak, cutting through individual differences in culture, educational background, and ability. They can bring every subject to life and turn abstractions into concrete reality. Learning through the arts often results in greater academic achievement and higher test scores." (www.newhorizons.org)
No one can participate in human conversation/experience or have a true understanding of human history without engaging in the study of the arts. They are as integral to an enlightened citizenship as the understanding of numbers, science, words, technology and history. Through my work with organizations that include: Prologue to the Performing Arts, Arts for Children and Youth (AFCY), ArtsSmarts, Aboriginal Education Centre (TDSB) and my own production company, I have brought Aboriginal arts education that includes culture, history and spirituality to thousands of students across Canada. Such education is vital to quell misunderstandings, deliberate or otherwise, of the First People that undermines us and underestimates our immense contributions to the common good.
As Canada's Original People, our voices must be heard and understood. Canadian youth are the primary stakeholders in the future of our world, and the health of the environment. There is an urgency for the Aboriginal voice to be heard as learning about the richness of Indigenous cultures, helps to strengthen the resolve for ALL people to create strong cultural, social and economic connections. That is why we are being called back to the Drum to share what we know.
That is also why I resist situations where Indigenous people are viewed as "legally permissible and barely tolerated" as long as we remain behind closed doors. My shows and presentations are formulated for good minds open to reason, hearts open to love, and to those who value our true identity as valuable contributors to Canada's rich cultural mosaic. Like all good people Native people do not exist for ourselves alone, but for the sake of humanity. Our fundamental motivations have always been to be in service to others by proclaiming the truth of our existence in a way that teaches and elevates. What better way to celebrate this than to offer presentations that educate, entertain and inspire. My Relations.
....REMINDER - My programmes support the Canadian Native Studies Curriculum for Grades 4-12....
INDIGENOUS WORK AND THE WORKPLACE
I spent over thirty years working in an institution with a culturally-diverse student body. The staff? Not so much. For twenty of those years, I was the only First Nations employee and sadly, it took me three times as long to move up the so-called "corporate ladder". I was naive enough in the early days to think that post-secondary educational institutions were enlightened places, unfortunately not so much. Still aren't in some cases.
The racial slurs that were said to my face, or implied, prior to rules and equity policies would curl your hair. I have never thought in terms of race, so each time it happened, it came as a surprise, and I found myself looking around before realizing that the slurs were directed at me. Even now, in my relatively advanced years, I still carry that element of surprise when it happens. I hope I never get over it, as I refuse to become hardened and prefer to educate rather than blame. In my early years? Not so much!
I was angry that my prodigious skills in leadership, administrative policy and decision-making, creative and independent thinking, ability to get the best out of people, and sheer efficiency were not recognized. Skin colour had a way of blocking the light. I eventually made it to senior management, and vowed the day I got the job, that I would never do to others what was done to me. It was time to stop the cycle of systemic abuse.
I remembered a quote from former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, odd I would think of an old-monied white guy on the most important day of my life, but there it was. By this time, I'd learned to hear the teachings however they were delivered.
"We are not here merely to make a living. We are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with finer spirit of hope and achievement. We are here to enrich the world. We impoverish ourselves if we forget our errand."
Over the years, I had wished desperately that someone, anyone would recognize the fullness of my talents and liberate me from racial stereotyping. It took awhile, but eventually I realized I had to find the courage to do it myself.
The last straw came in an interview for a management position. One of the faculty members, stated quite baldly that "my kind" were not hired in their department (Science). That, I should know better than to try to rise above my station (the year was 1980). I stood up, stopped the interview and went directly to the President. All hell broke loose after that and I never again allowed myself, in the words of the great Holy Man, Hin-Mah-Too-Lah-Yahk-Kekt (Chief Joseph), "to bow my head before any conqueror."
The offending department head tried to wiggle out of what happened, but there were five other people in the room, so with great reluctance, he was forced to offer a half-assed apologize on behalf of his errant faculty member. He was typical of the academic breed who lacked the courage to face up to "not right" action, typical at my place of work.
Ironically, it took that debacle to finally move me to the level of management. In the end it still wasn't my skills or education, but the fear of a public scandal that motivated the promotion. (Sigh!) Nonetheless, I was able to forge some solid relationships (the President at the time, included) and my stellar work record spoke for itself. I was a valuable member of the team, but not so naive by this point, that it couldn't be ripped away at a moment's notice.
Years, later, I made it to Senior Management, a lone Indigenous woman on a battlefield of non-Native sharks. They thought nothing of finding funny phrases like, "reserve Rita", "noble savage", "two tall totem" (a nickname I discovered when someone inadvertently copied me on an email), . I tried to laugh it off because I was afraid to rock my hard fought management boat. The fear didn't last long, however, I was, indeed just too tall to think that small.
I brought my thirty staff together, and told them right up front that if the Medicine Wheel Teachings were true, then:
I introduced policies and practices that allowed for effective team-building and support. The buddy system really works! Without hesitation, I hired people with high degrees of skill, and surprise, surprise knew more than I did on some things! Employees were given some measure of control on a day-to-day basis, after all, they did the work, they knew best on a variety of issues. Motivation eventually became a non-issue.
In other words, I refocused attention back on the staff and created a situation where they could choose to be a viable team member in a place of safety, knowing that if they chose not to there would be no hard feelings and I would endeavour to find them a position elsewhere. It happened only once.
It was not perfect, it never can be when a disparate group of humans get together. A state of symbiosis takes hard work, trust and commitment on both sides. Generally speaking, the situation where both management and staff had a pretty-much equal say in how things were run worked superbly.
The staff were pretty over-whelmed in the beginning that there was a manager who actually gave a damn about their lives, their work and their future goals. Interesting that no one commented or judged the fact that I was Indigenous. Such things were left to the university executive to do!
Too much work, too little time, lack of validation by managers adds up to high absentee rates and general ennui in performing daily tasks. Company loyalty by employees is a dream only to be wished for and is more and more a thing of the past. All the pats on the back will not heal a stressed heart. If an employee is suffering from family strife; lack of a solid economic base; single parents with kids; divorces, deaths, etc., s/he will lack focused attention and commitment. Companies would probably save millions of dollars in lost productivity due to high absenteeism if they:
It seems to me that we often spend more time in the workplace than we do with our own families. It behooves us, therefore, to try to create connections with one another and find mutual rhythm, balance and harmony in order to achieve personal and company goals. Duh! I'm not sure why this seems to be so revelatory to many companies. If we all co-operated we could save the damn world!
My skills as a Medicine Wheel teacher worked seamlessly with my skills as a senior manager in a culturally diverse, unionized situation. Achieving this level of management did not mean I forgot where I came from. Neither group should have to sell their souls to get the job done and it is no secret that contented humans encourages relationships that cross cultural, political, social and professional boundaries. Just get it done, people!
Finally, in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent."
Serenity can always be found within the Storm. Wilwilaaysk, All my Relations
TO HEAL OR NOT TO HEAL, THAT IS THE QUESTION
First Nations people are at a point in history where a decision to move forward, or not, must be made.
We can no longer sit on the sidelines of our own cultures spinning our spiritual tires waiting for someone else to solve our problems. We can no longer remain static with our hands held out to the power brokers for more and more funding. We must stop creating toxicity within our own organizations with infighting, intimidation, power-mongering, in other words, politicking of the lowest forms.
Moreover, we can no longer continue along the path of reliving the suffering of our Ancestors over and over again. It keeps their spirits resteless.
The Oppressed have become the Oppressors as we continue to fight and gossip among ourselves, about losing our "traditional values". Do we, as Native people, really even know what we are talking about when we expound on 'traditional’ things? Have we raised several generations of Native people on a diet of generalities and trite phrases? We were not put here to be ploughed under by the miscreant ambitions of spiritually and morally bankrupt people both inside and outside Native country.
Each First Nations person born in the generations succeeding the first cultural genocide attempts are living with the fallout of continued pressure to assimilate into so-called mainstream Canadian culture. As a result, Native children are growing up in families bereft of the traditional teachings that sustained the tribes for thousands of years. They are grappling with the substance abuse of their grandparents and parents, often falling into the same patterns themselves because they feel helpless in the face of such despair, lack of mentorship and loving families.
Subsequent generations not only carry the strain of individual anguish and attempts to heal, but as difficult as it is, we also carry the responsibility of healing entire Native Nations. The despair is great and trying to find a cohesive way to heal is next to impossible – too much infighting, too much politicking on reserves as well as within urban native organizations. I
nto the mix comes stereotypical attitudes from the wider world that Native people are either saintly/spiritual souls or drug-addicted alcoholics. There seems to be no middle ground, and somehow out of all of this Native people have to heal – and NOW, according to an impatient Canadian populace.!" As a sad Chippewa songs laments:
"The Sound is Fading Away - It is of Five Sounds - Freedom -
The Sound is Fading Away - It is of Five Sounds"
I believe it to be possible to combine what we have left of our Native cultures, honour our memories and allow our histories to meet and thrive with the good things that come from the interaction with other cultural histories and relationships. Firstly, however, we must take a good hard look at who we are, and, more importantly who is telling us who we are both inside and outside our communities
Never in the history of the world has a race of people been so exposed to so many people who know so little, but think they do. Never has a race of people had their culture purloined in so many ways by so many misguided souls who end up becoming more native than the Indigenous people themselves! And then to add insult upon injury, many of these same people say, “We give you money, why won't you heal?”
To make matters worse, within our own people there are those who choose to elevate themselves to Leadership/Elder status having not done much in the way of spiritual work - read a few books, talked to a few people - BINGO! I am a carrier of sacred knowledge. Huh? How did that happen? Teachings can be easily skewed according to the mind set of the person giving them.
Native people have been on sensory overload for seven hundred years trying to come to grips with the new religions, while still trying to hold on to whatever traditional values and spirituality we have left. This has been a bit of a losing battle as we now only have partial understanding of our cultures having lost so many generations of Native People to the horrors of Christian residential schools, Indian wars and racist laws, among other things. Therefore, it is very easy to set oneself up as a teacher of all "things native" because who is going to know if you are right or wrong?
To pass on traditional knowledge requires dedication to a life filled with a large dose of listening, listening, listening, mixed with another healthy dose of integrity, mixed with a healthy dollop of Ethic #1, Non-interference, topped off with huge amounts of compassion, integrity and humour. In other words, to know where I am going, requires that I know where I came from. If I am going to "talk it", then I'd better be "walking it." Wilwilaaysk, All My Relations.
WHEN NATIVE IDENTITY IS A POSTCARD
In the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries it is becoming increasingly difficult being a member of a First Nations because so many others who are not First Nations also want to join the party. Not only are we trying to sort ourselves out, but we are also having to deal with what I call "spiritual cherry pickers", those folks unhappy in their own skins, and see greener pastures in Native spirituality.
"Are you telling me you spent a weekend with an Elder, and now you are a pipe carrier for a tribe? Are you Native? No? How does that work? You mean to tell me that I didn't have to spend forty years learning and living my Native culture? Damn!"
Let us talk about the identity and healing process of Native people for a bit. Fortunately, it is in our DNA to adapt to our surroundings. We have done it for thousands of years. Sheer survival depended on our willingness to adapt to change. In present day realities, perhaps we have not acted as quickly as others would like, but it certainly has not stopped others from being attracted to "things native".
First Nations traditional culture and spiritual practices are routinely bought and sold for profit. In my frequent travels across Canada, one of my favourite pastimes is to drop into souvenir shops, and see the white-featured "Made in Japan" Native dolls standing forlornly on dusty glass shelves beside "Made in Japan" Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) dolls. The R.C.M.P. are still standing guard, even on glass shelves in cheesy souvenir shops! If ever there was a metaphor for why we are struggling with our healing, this is it.
May I remind you that we are intelligent flesh and blood people with dreams, feelings, hopes for a wondrous future and economically viable business. Yet more often than not we are depicted as romantic images on postcards and calendars, to be sold as prime examples of Canada's tolerance for racial and cultural diversity. People flock from other countries looking for the noble beast. The closest you will come in Toronto, will be to find life-sized statues of fibreglass moose on every Toronto street corner, a gift from a previous quirky Major in the late 1990s!!
How many times have I been stopped on the street, and asked, "Are you a Real Indian?" My usual response is, "Why not ask the question you really want to know, am I a fake Indian?" The response is usually a blush, a stammer and a slinking down the street leaving me gnashing my teeth. Do not confuse me with the "wannabe Native", "I wannbe part of your culture, because mine sucks!"
Although these misguided yet sometimes earnest souls are a source of much amusement, particularly to Elders such as myself, many of them are very sincere and to them I tip my moccasins. However, there are others who tend to become self-proclaimed 'Native’experts after a weekend of Native culture, who then proceed to offer their own sweat lodges, and other sacred ceremonies for a price. I lament again, never has a culture had to put up with so much from so many for so little gain.
A Story: I was on a speaking engagement in Germany some years ago. The audience was more than a little disappointment that my keynote was not peppered with romantic references and rhetoric. They absolutely did not want to hear about reserves, residential school, or the 1876 Indian Act, which of course, is exactly what I gave them. I do not believe in sugar-coating that which is made of bile in order to create a fantasy world of romantic dreams and illusions for others to bask in. We are talking about repeated attempts at ethnic cleansing, and one would think, of all people, the Germans would have a little empathy and understanding.
In retrospect, perhaps this is why they prefer to buy into the romance of Native culture, because the rest of it hits a little too close to home! Nonetheless, it will not be me who paints a distorted picture in order to save the delicate sensibilities of those who choose to believe another story.
I leave that to the Carl May's of the world. Carl May was a German Writer who, in the 1920's, wrote fanciful tales about North American Indians. Generations of European children grew up on these stories. In his entire life Carl May never left Germany, and those of us on the other side of the big water have had to live with the fall out of his romantics meanderings ever since. There is even a theme park now.
Whose idea was it to think that the lives of Native people living in a harsh, untamed land should be so fictionally idealized? (See "When Indigenous is Rewritten: The Musical" below)
In reality, the so-called "Indian Wars" were dirty, vicious and, for the most part one-sided. In the United States, for example, the victories at the Rosebud and Little Big Horn Rivers in 1876 may have won the battles for some of the Plains Indians such as the Cheyenne, Lakhota, but ultimately, and very soon after these victories, the overall war was lost. The tribes were never again able to muster that much Native fighting power. People were just too hungry and too divided eventually succumbing to the inevitability of being forced onto reserves far from their ancestral homes.
These stereotypical images endure however, as Native people are a saleable commodity. We make for really swell photographs. But in the cold light of day, when the lights from the cameras are off, and the tourists have gone home clutching fistfuls of postcards, and other memorabilia, Native People remain behind not quite good enough to be acknowledged as culturally valuable except for that which can be sold for profit, or which can be exploited in the name of ‘humanity’ by an indifferent government to make them look good on the world stage. The United Nations had other opinions however having condemned Canada on several occasions for its sorry record in the treatment of First Nations people.
Little of the monies gained from all this exploitation finds its way back to Native communities. We are not, overall wealthy people, so it is often difficult for us to keep our history in the forefront. We are not in a financial position to build monuments and museums showing the abuses of the last seven hundred years. All we know is, as a friend of mine once said, "You gotta be hip to history, or be doomed to repeat it." Amen.
For my Mother
sakes, I do not want what happened to them to rise
again. We must learn from it, acknowledge it, and then move on.
Wilwilaaysk, All My Relations.
WHEN INDIGENOUS HISTORY IS REWRITTEN: THE MUSICAL
Scene One: Grandfather Sun is just beginning his leisurely walk across Father Sky; another day of peaceful co-existence begins for the tribes. Grandfather Sun pauses to gaze benevolently upon this pastoral world. Warrior males, looking remarkably like bronzed Fabio's stand nobly by, arms folded across oiled, well-muscled chests that are glistening in the aforementioned morning sun (spotlight). They are festooned in fringe, got to have the fringe. Their women adorned in buckskin (and yet more fringe) serenely tend the fires while on their backs secured snugly into brightly decorated cradle boards chubby babies (wearing fringe of course) coo happily.
Drums throb a steady beat, the voices of the Elders can be heard singing sacred songs as offstage the audience hears the whoops of young men, galloping wildly and freely across the Plains, braids and feathers flying in the wind with not a care in the world. A truly bucolic landscape (like the Ancestors had time!!). There is a collective sigh from the audience as they yearn for days gone by.
Scene Two British soldiers, dashing and gallant stroll about the stage singing drinking songs. There is a call to arms, and they roar with glee, victory pounding in their hearts. Another song, "Red Devil Boogie" is sung.
Scene Three The men are adorned in bright red coats, white breeches and shiny black boots striding in conspicuous fashion through the woods (what were they thinking?), secure in the knowledge that their devotion to God, Queen, Country and a really good musket would secure their victory and vanquish the "red devils". Again a resounding chorus of the "Red Devil Boogie".
Scene Four: Insistent pounding of the big drum, as there is a call to arms, this time, the "noble savage" rises at dawn, as good old Grandfather Sun, once again does his thing. He steps from his tipi (even though we are in Canada, historical accuracy is set aside in favour of romantic stereotypes), barechested, wearing buckskin pants with fringe. He places on his head a thirty-five pound, full ceremonial white-feathered eagle headdress. The feathers flow down his back. He sings in a thready tenor voice, sounding suspiciously non-Native, "I am pretty, oh so pretty, I am pretty, and witty and wise...."
I video flashes on at the back of the stage. Said, Noble Savage, leaps aboard his already galloping pony, as he smoothly fits an arrow into his bow, letting them fly with amazing accuracy, all the while controlling a galloping horse, 35 pounds of headdress, and whooping his steadfast belief that he can defend his way of life as he sings, "I'm gonna wash those Brits right oughta my hair." Oh yes, and he is also spitting feathers out of his mouth and eyes, along with slapping at flying fringe which is getting in the away of shooting his arrow.
A SHOT RINGS OUT! - "Oh no," the audience moans. Noble Savage, after all that effort, flies off his pony....splat....dead. The soldiers sing a tune from Oklahoma,
"Poor Red is dead, Poor red man is dead, we took him down with a musket shot to the head. We were down upon our knees, but the shot was a breeze, 'cuz Hollywood rewrote it instead."
One final voice rings out, "How much I get for that headdress?"
ABOUT THE INDIGENOUS ORAL NARRATIVE: AN OVERVIEW
Father Sky continued to turn (meaning as the years went by) more and more technology has entered the lives of humans, and my role as a keeper of sacred knowledge began to fade.
It all started "back in the day" with the invention of the printing press which started the erosion of the oral narrative. The stories became words in books, but the subtle nuances, understandings and knowledge were lost. They became "stand alone" narratives and the connections to the culture from which they originated was irretrievably severed.
Moreover, the Internet has shrunk the planet even more and people can move around wherever they desire even to the most remote places with the simple click of a mouse. It seems that this encroachment into unfamiliar territory includes collecting and retelling cultural histories without a real understanding of the culture from which the narratives come. And....we no longer have the patience to sit quietly and listen to the truth.
Unfortunately, today the modern teller is seen merely as an entertainer primarily for children, who works for very little (expectation usually being no payment) and simply recites words. A far cry from the once important person who had professional status in the community.
As a chronicler of Indigenous culture, I am reclaiming the honour and professionalism as a cultural guardian charged with the responsibility of being a powerful voice of change within the modern world. This vital aspect risks being lost in the mists of time as the world speeds up and our attention spans wane.
The true role of the Narrator is to teach about our cultures cultures, morals, spirituality, laws, and social values, that govern a community. Using the Oral Narrative as the forum, knowledge, values and beliefs are passed to future generations. Wilwilaaysk, All My Relations.
ON LEADERSHIP FOR ALL
The Covenant and Power
of Matriarchy Lies in Our Humanity
WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER
There is much responsibility associated with Leadership; It is a dynamic process and involves many interactions. It is not simply about leading other people. It has everything to do with how a person leads herself. Thoughtful self-assessment requires equal amounts of wisdom and courage. If she does not feel confident and hides behind a facade of timidity and passive aggressive manipulation, OR if he does not believe in himself, and hides behind a facade of bullying behaviour, then effective leadership cannot exist. One's own mental, emotional, spiritual and physical house must be in order to influence and effect positive change and healing in others.
There is no room for arrogance or self-serving attitudes when dealing with the bigger picture - refusing to get back in the trenches from whence one has emerged, suggests a reluctance to go back and revisit perhaps painful personal history; this reluctance translates to a lack of sincerity in really wanting to help others through shared experiences.
There is no such thing as a 'perfect' leader, one whose traits and attributes can be cut out of a common template and applied to all organizational situations. There are many different types of leaders who are equally effective in getting things done. Generally speaking, good leaders do have some similarities:
There is no freedom of speech when people are terrified of being wrong
YOURSELF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS,
GENERAL GOALS FOR ORGANIZATIONS
INDIGENOUS GAMING AND CASINOS: ETHICS VS REALITY
Gaming on Reserves is not new. Prior to European
contact, on social occasions Native people engaged in what was to the
Ancestors an innocent and fun leisure activity. The Mi'Kmaq, for example played
called for the flipping of boned dice into a bowl; the Huron also had
a derivative of the game in which they used fruit stones as dice; the Nuu-chal-nulth called it
lehal; in this case drummers tried to
confuse their opponents. The Plains Native People (i.e. Lakhota) also
had a variety of gambling games, and on and on. Gambling was
restricted to the winter months, for such activity was thought to make
the people lazy if engaged in during the spring and summer months when
everyone was busy with hunting, fishing, trapping - preparing for
winter in other words.
final thoughts and ironies:
Wilwilaaysk, All My Relations.
Luther Standing Bear, 1868-1937
"I am going to venture that the man who sat on the ground in his tipi meditating on life and its meaning, accepting the kinship of all creatures, and acknowledging unity with the universe of things was infusing into his being the true essence of civilization."
"Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a Supreme Power, and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations."
Definition of Shared Leadership for Native Cultures and ALL Organizations
Modern Native cultures are complex and difficult; it never used to be this way, but the imposition of European beliefs and values on well-established tribal societies forever changed The People. After The Change (basically 1491), how tribal cultures were treated became a patchwork quilt of racist, knee-jerk reactions by all-levels of Canada's new Government(s).
The bottom line was always divide and conquer, assimilationist policies which were founded on appalling intolerance and flat out aggressive, warrior attitudes, including the first acts of germ warfare perpetrated on a North American people. (See Facts and Fantasy). As a result tribal societies were and continue to be torn apart; over time the infighting among Native people escalated to a level that is now legendary amongst urban and reserve tribal units. The oppressed became the oppressors turning against themselves. Corruption in Native organizations is now almost commonplace.
A number of Native Organizations quite enjoy the patriarchal 'Power-Over', hierarchical mentality adopted from European attitudes, and have gotten away from the Matriarchal, shared leadership, consensual behaviour that ruled the tribes for thousands of years. In fact, most Band Councils are dominated by men reluctant to relinquish their power. In the time before The Change, Shared Leadership respected the gifts and talents of everyone, because it was felt as long as each person could use their special gifts, the tribe would hum for another day. Each person was valued, in other words, for what they could bring to the collective table of tribal civilizations.
Having said all that, it behooves all four main cultural groups (Red, Black, Yellow and White) as indicated by the photos above to get together in a manner that pleases their Ancestors in a spirit of peace, cooperation to create a better world for ourselves and future generations. There is not much time left, as the prophecies state we are in our final days. We must elevate ourselves above jealousy, hate, racial discord and disharmony. This is still time.
SHARED LEADERSHIP IS:
Note to Gentle Readers: Due to the almost mythical number of SPAM emails anti-spam software has been install - be patient and answer the question from IPermitmail. I look forward to hearing from you.