As 2018 comes to an end, we are reflecting on the busy year we had and what a pleasure it has been to work with organizations across the country who are committed to truth and reconciliation. We have written about some of the previous projects we’ve worked on in 2018, you can find them here and here.
First Nations Self-Government Summit
As part of our ongoing work with the AFN regional office for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, we helped organize the First Nations Self-Government Summit held in Halifax in November. The summit featured presentations from national leaders including National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Regional Chief Morley Googoo, Regional Chief Roger Augustine, Former AFN National Chiefs Ovide Mercredi, Georges Erasmus, Matthew Coon Come, as well as many others. There are many opportunities for First Nations to consider with respect to self-government. The summit provided an opportunity for First Nations in Mi’kma’ki to learn from the experiences of nations in BC, Yukon, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, and Quebec. The summit was designed to inspire a new narrative, and opened up many new ideas and possibilities for self-government.
Indigenous Circle Approach to Cultural Confidence™
We had many wonderful participants from across the country enrolled in our Indigenous Circle Approach to Cultural Confidence™ online course this past year. Along with our curated resources and videos featuring amazing panelists, we invited additional Elders, Knowledge Keepers, activists, teachers, and artists to share their experiences with students during some of our weekly sessions. Their stories were powerful reminders of the breadth of knowledge that First Nations, Métis and Inuit people hold and the everyday acts of reclamation, resurgence, and revitalization happening in communities across Turtle Island. Chi migwech and Wela’lin to all of our course participants for learning together and sharing your hearts, minds, and spirits with us.
Apple training at the Art Gallery of Ontario
We began the year hosting a special cultural confidence training session. As part of a long-standing relationship with Apple Canada, that began with partnering on the digital version of the It’s Our Time First Nations Education Tool Kit, the Sakatay Global team held a training session with the Apple Executive Leadership team at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Norval Morrisseau’s Man Changing into Thunderbird (pictured below) provided the perfect backdrop for the Executive Leadership team to learn about the history and contemporary realities of Indigenous peoples here in Canada. For those you don’t know, Morrisseau was one of the founding members of the Native Group of Seven, creator of the Woodlands style of art, and an internationally recognized Anishinaabe artist.
It was so humbling and inspiring to have Apple CEO Tim Cook and his team walk through the exercise with us and for their commitment to increasing their knowledge and cultural competency. To create change within organizations, it is so important to have leadership on board. It was amazing to see someone of Tim Cook’s calibre acting as a role model for Apple employees to walk in a good way and begin their reconciliation journeys by furthering their understanding of the past and exploring how to move forward.
We are looking ahead to 2019 with inspiration and motivation and have already begun working on an exciting project, in collaboration with Three Things Consulting and AFN Regional Office of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, that will bring First Nations youth from across the country to Ottawa to help shape First Nations education. Stay tuned!