I find it absolutely astounding that we leave for Kluane tomorrow! It seems just like yesterday when we all met for our first workshop back in November and now everything, we as a group have been working towards is here!
This journey has been nothing short of an absolute and ultimate learning experience of First Nations heritage, culture, and way of living back then and now. The history is rich with wisdom and is something we can all benefit from knowing. I feel like everyone in our group has.
The main theme I’ve picked up on through all the readings from our workshops and a quote I think really encapsulates this idea is from our first reading:
“… Yet, as much as we would like to believe ourselves the vanguard of a new age, there is really nothing new at all about the philosophy which will be necessary to our survival: We have always belonged to the earth. The earth does not belong to us.” – Rediscovery – Ancient Pathways – New Directions, Chapter 1
This quote really speaks to what our society is trying to accomplish; the reading continues on to talk about taking what Indigenous people have been teaching for generations and applying it now before it is too late.
My favourite part of this quote is the very last bit about the earth though. My field of study is in computer science and in this day and age where technology is on everyone’s minds, we forget that we are living on the most beautiful and mysterious planet in our solar system and we are so privileged to be apart of it.
Our subsequent readings covered topics such as privilege, leadership, communication, and education, all with an Indigenous perspective. We’ve learned that privilege is a mindset, leadership is servanthood , communication is not about listening but rather conversing, and there is more to education than what is taught through a textbook.
Overall, everyone in this program joined for a different reason and I think it’s absolutely amazing and inspiring that come the end, we will be taking what we’ve learned and each of us will be applying it to a different field of study. I’m not sure what our impact will be but I do hope that the impression we leave on the Kluane community is a positive one.
(editor’s note: the ucalgarycares – Indigenous Leadership & Engagement team leaves June 25 to work with the Kluane First Nation until July 5. More blog posts to follow as the students write about their experiences)