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Student Leadership Development Symposium Indigenous Teachings on Leadership Leadership is a Gift May 22, 2008 Alannah Earl Young First Nations House of.

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Presentation on theme: "Student Leadership Development Symposium Indigenous Teachings on Leadership Leadership is a Gift May 22, 2008 Alannah Earl Young First Nations House of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Student Leadership Development Symposium Indigenous Teachings on Leadership Leadership is a Gift May 22, 2008 Alannah Earl Young First Nations House of UBC

2 Transformative Indigenous Intergenerational Leadership: Indigenous Elders UBC Abstract While post-secondary institutions provide training for many future leaders, universities do not adequately provide relevant models of Aboriginal leadership training. Eight Elders and cultural educators who work with the First Nations Longhouse community who identify themselves as being grounded in cultural ways describe the role of culture in Indigenous leadership through sharing their values, knowledge, and stories. This qualitative study introduced a variety of considerations to help understand ways in which Indigenous Knowledges (cultures) and First Nations perspectives can transform the existing views of leadership.

3 Elders’ Teachings on Leadership Our individual responsibility is to become the best human beings possible, and to enhance that ability in others. Through this kind of development, true healthy leadership is possible. Chief Leonard George-Tsleil-Waututh 2000

4 Background University of British Columbia –student services(UBC) First Nations House of Learning (FNHL) Community Longhouse Leadership Program (LLP) Further develop the cultural components & collaborate with Elders.

5 Indigenous Leadership Learnings  Diverse cultures & lands Battiste, Benham, Johnson & VanAlstine,  Diverse expressions of interconnected, intergenerational & wholistic relationships Cajete, Ermine, Castellano  Diverse communal & ecological or sustainable ways of living, knowing & leading. MacIvor, Marker, Menzies  Orality, genealogy & places informs leadership praxis Archibald, Makokis, Webber-Pillwax

6 Indigenous Leadership Themes  Contextual historical curriculum inclusion Barman, Chrisjohn, Dickason  Promotion of Indigenous leadership that reflects cultural pedagogy Alfred, Johnson, Makokis  Decolonising & Self determined education Ahnee Benham, Napier, Razack  Focus on community service contexts Bagardo, Benham & Mann, VanAlstine

7 Landscape for Transformative Leadership Indigenous Knowledge  Inter-related  Wholistic  Oral history  Genealogies  Land interaction

8 Transformative Leadership framework  promote positive cultural leadership based on IK values,  provide decolonizing and self determined education,  include Aboriginal historical perspectives,  focus on community service,  respect,  reciprocity,  relationships,  relevance and  wholistic anti racism pedagogy

9 What the Elders’ said  Know the history of the land and educate others Grant, Hopokeltun  Reclaim culture and live the teachings Bear, Whitec Cloud  Culture supports individuals, families and communities Brown, Oleman  Leadership as a gift-step forward demonstrate community responsibilities Sahnbadis, N’kixws’tn, Point

10 Know the history of the land Reciprocal Relationships Experiential Learning for Leadership I think it’s really important that the FNHL LLP never ceases to do cultural ceremonies. Culture is really important [for leaders to know] because the university stands on Musqueam territory. Musqueam territory should always be honoured [as protocols for leadership training]. N’kixw’stn People need to be given an opportunity to learn to lead and need to start somewhere. Leaders need to make use as respectfully as they can the use of the language and the culture of the people whose territory they are in. I think that language like Echui’’ial shows the aspiring leaders that for thousands of years canoe societies have existed and are cultural part of the people here. Experiential learning about canoe societies could help further develop their leadership skills as well as practicing gender equity. Hopokeltun

11 Elders Teachings Relational Genealogy The role of culture is that it teaches how to be related. Related first to ourselves, related to the spiritual realm, related to the family, the community and the world around us the environments. So culture teaches, it holds our values and it holds our knowledge, it holds the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of our Ancestors Brown 2005

12 Elders Teachings -Wholistic pedagogy within anti racism framework We are a contributing factor in the formation of this country, which is denied by not having our culture recognized regardless of how diverse our cultures were and are. We played a major, major role in the structure of Canada. A systematic ignoring of the existence of Aboriginal culture and language because the culture brings about ceremonies, language, geography, history, medicines, on the West Coast we have marine engineers who built the canoes the structural engineers built the Big houses all of that. Culture identifies, the curriculum would identify how industrious, self sufficient and reliable and intelligent we were and are. Grant 2005

13 Elders Teachings- Responsible Relationships Positive Cultural leadership based on Indigenous knowledge. I was told that when we are connected to the Earth we become healthy. The Earth is seen as the mother of course the constant provider... Because the Earth represents love unending cycles of love from the Earth when you are connected to that you take of it. See then that when I talk about the power of love that they have for all systems of existence whether it be rock water plant life or animals there is a respect for that and a love for it. When you are disconnected with the Earth you become in love with power. We teach our values and our philosophies the way we think in regards to our connection to the Earth. Because in technology they are talking about forestry about technology I know used wrongly hurts the Earth... I work in institutions now in higher learning… I am there to teach what happened and educate students what we have to offer. Oleman 2005

14 Leadership as a Gift-step forward demonstrating community responsibilities I thought of leadership as having purpose in life and being able to make decisions. You have a plan of action and then you follow those plans. [Like providing] Safety for oneself and the environments around you, that your peers, the animals, what ever was put on earth you have to take of and I know that is part of the leadership training. Norma Rose Point 2005

15 Culture supports individuals, families and communities You know in my everyday work I see a lot of families wanting that they are craving culture. They are searching for their identity and they are reaching out and I even see some of the Elders doing that. They are acknowledging that I don’t have the cultural and spiritual knowledge as you have. I encourage them to learn, we have to start someplace. I encourage them that we owe it to our people, we owe it to ourselves we owe it to the continuity of our people. The teachings that we were given that we need to think seven generations in to the future and it has to start with us and so we all have to be responsible for that. In the Aboriginal helping field we need to recognize that to support and help to bring our people to that place. We need to be role models and leaders to learn and share. White Cloud 2005

16 Promote life stories, experiences and places as pedagogy for Indigenous leadership The Elders Teachings on Indigenous leadership  know the history of the land and educate others  reclaim culture and live the teachings  culture supports individuals, families and communities  leadership as a gift-step forward demonstrating community responsibilities  wholistic pedagogy within anti racism framework

17 Reclaim Transformative wholistic education In order for a person to become a leader, going through that gaining respect for themselves and what they are what they have to offer and I think that’s where spirituality comes in. Because I think spirituality supplies that our way of looking at things transcends boundaries of physical being and we start talking about things that don’t have a physical being. Four elements that we are, one of them is that we are beautiful. We have a sense of our blessings, belonging, balance and harmony. I find them useful and maybe could be basic elements for leadership training is recognition of these four things or six things to draw on. Sahnbadis 2005

18 Fragile Freedoms Fragile Freedoms are the delicate balance acts played by the indian act politicians and the canadian government bureaucrats in the plush carpeted offices of the inner governmental chambers. A game that affects the original men and women who have survived unrecognized from The games that continue to deny the original people the right to self determination. Fragile Freedoms is the backlash that further denied freedoms to the warriors at Wounded Knee and Kanasatake. Fragile Freedoms is the fragility of the paper made from the disappearing grasses of the rain forests of south america, the herb medicines of the amerikan continent, the air that we breathe, the water as it drips its final drops, our skin as it slowly blotches and disintegrates from the radiated pollutants in the air that affects this whole planet. Fragile Freedoms is the delicate hope for the possibility of making this time forward as the beginning of the healing SHIRLEYBEAR (1992)

19 Leadership from the Elders Teachings Place based knowledge & experiential

20 Transformative Indigenous leadership  Relevant cultural content  Place-space & people  Life-stories-intergenerational  Identity-genealogy-cultural competency guide  Cultural ceremonies-language, protocols  Diverse opportunities for leadership  Experiential learning-land & community interaction Indigenous Leadership  Promotes stories, experiences & places as pedagogy  Centralizes Indigenous Wholism within anti racism educational framework  Indigenous Leadership is process of making relatives

21 Leadership promotes a sense of our beauty, belonging, balance & harmony.

22 Leadership Considerations Respectful Learning: This program brings together First Nations traditional teachings and academe in respectful ways. The leadership program is interdisciplinary and builds upon the strengths, skills, and knowledge of the students making it learner-centered. It does not utilize a “deficit” approach but focuses on leadership and building upon one’s strengths. Working with existing student services, faculty and programs as well as community specialists provided successful networks for leadership devlopment. Retention: Through participation in this leadership program, participants work within a context of traditional teachings, academic and personal well-being and service. Such a context contributes to a positive university experience that increase retention. Community and Elders: Links to First Nations communities and Elders are established and maintained through the core seminars, elective workshops, and service learning opportunities. Collaboration: The FNHL works together with various faculties and other UBC student services to enhance the Longhouse Student Leadership program. Elective workshops are open to participants in the SLD Leadership Program and other interested students. This will maximize educational opportunities and create positive contexts for cross-cultural experiences.

23 Leadership Learnings Affordability: The student leadership program will benefit from integration in on- going activities and events at the Longhouse and within the University. This will provide students with access to a wide variety of resources for minimal cost. Evaluation Evaluations were completed for each of the workshops except the Sweat Lodge Teaching and cultural approaches to leadership workshops were not evaluated because of cultural protocol. The final core seminar, we requested comments and ideas for the consideration in program planning for the following year.For the most part, workshop evaluations were positive. However, a continuing theme was the need for more time to look at issues/topics. Occasionally, time constraints limited presenter’s abilities to fully develop their topic; incorporate interactive activities or to allow times for participants to process information or discuss the topics.

24 Student Leader Reflections The importance of an Elder’s presence continues to be a common response Participants were asked to identify the parts of the Leadership Training that were most useful. Specific comments are That everyone is a leader, the importance of knowing yourself and learning from peers was valuable Engaging with the Longhouse teachings inherent in the house posts and giving back to the community was essential Values inform our communication and to contribute to our own stories of leadership, mentorship and notions of building our home away from home The cultural components were identified as being important to the students

25 Longhouse Teachings Respect Relationship Reverence Relationships Longhouse Leadership Program Format: 1-2 years noncredit –3 Core seminars –4 electives –12 hours service learning UBC Equity Enhancement Grant

26 Leadership Electives –Leadership for Contemporary Contexts: Leadership in Action- Lee Brown Building Inclusive Relationships: Identity & belonging Values as a Foundation for Leadership UBC student development office Respectful Research Strategies- Union of BC Chiefs UBC Student Development Leadership Conference

27 LLP Elective workshops Human Rights and Values: Strengths in Leadership and Diversity - UBC Equity Action Storywork and Emotional Leadership - Chief Ian Campbell Foundations for Leadership, Values, Ecology and Creativity – Jeanie Paul Identity and Genealogy – Lyn Ross Longboat Leadership Teachings – Shane Pointe

28 LLP Electives Non-violent communication skills UBC counselling office Sweat lodge Teachings We can all dance & have fun. Puppet making workshop Ron Hamilton Land and Native Identity Bonita Lawrence Exploring Indigenous Identity Cathy Richardson How to work with the Media UBC Public relations


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