As a Métis woman from Saskatchewan, my focus on reconciliation for Indigenous people has been shaped by my personal experiences and professional journey. Despite not growing up immersed in my cultural and spiritual heritage, my work with 134 Elders over a seven-year job provided me with invaluable teachings and insights, and in total 25 years in this field. Being Métis means recognizing and celebrating the unique blend of Indigenous and European traditions that form the foundation of our culture, with my settlement community being Duck Lake.  In this blog, I aim to shed light on my personal growth, the importance of bridging corporate and cultural worlds, and my initiatives aimed at fostering reconciliation.

Growing up, my cultural upbringing was limited, and my focus was primarily on my Ukrainian heritage. However, as I entered university, I embarked on a journey to learn more about my Métis roots. This newfound knowledge led me to pursue further studies in Métis culture and history. Despite my father’s lack of cultural connection, I embraced my identity and strived to bridge the gap between my heritage and the corporate world I was navigating.

With over 25 years of experience, I discovered that my unique skills and knowledge allowed me to excel at bridging culture and corporate or gender and corporate perspectives. I have always viewed policies through a gendered and cultural lens, aiming to dismantle barriers and better serve our population. An example of my work was when I advocated for fair compensation for Indigenous cultural performers at the national level, educating officials on the importance of budgeting for cultural events.

I am also a comedian and a writer for CBC radio.  I have a firm belief to never present more or less than you are in life and culture. So I never purposely Indigenize my work or pretend to have experiences I have not had. I do not claim to have suffered things I have not suffered.  I claim to be me, and as it turns out, in art, like business, my skill is bridging all portions of my life together for deeper understanding for other people.  So, instead of creating one woman show on being Indigenous, I create services that use my talents where they can best be utilized.  I wish I had more talent or experience in art, but this is who I am, and at age 48 fully embrace where I can have the biggest impact.  I also know the Elders would tell me to stop talking about me now, and carry on with the bigger message.

Motivated by a desire to create positive change, I have launched two initiatives. The first is a month-long reconciliation journey, where participants receive daily prompts, easy wins, and teachings via email. The early feedback has been inspiring, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to share these insights with others. The second initiative is a weekly email newsletter that spotlights Indigenous individuals, their work and lives, shares cultural and historical teachings, and provides actionable prompts for personal growth and reconciliation.

As a Métis woman focused on reconciliation, my journey has been shaped by my experiences and the teachings of Elders. Through bridging culture and corporate perspectives, I strive to create meaningful change and foster understanding. My initiatives aim to educate and engage others in the reconciliation process, promoting cultural awareness and advocating for a brighter future. Together, we can work towards healing the wrongs of the past and building a more inclusive and reconciled Canada.

Categories: Jenn

1 Comment

Fat · October 16, 2023 at 8:05 pm

Love the idea, and look forward to learning more.

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