About my business 

I have a Masters of Education, and I am a published writer. A huge part of my work is around education and the TRC and to help support the process around having these conversations and help to create change and create spaces to have these heartfelt conversations.  I am an Indigenous mom and I have three sons and my connections are to Pic River First Nation, Biigtigong Anishnaabeg.

beSuperior is located in the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario and offers services that are rooted in Indigenous perspectives based in Decolonizing Methodologies  building upon strengths and knowledge, using self reflection and reflective practice, and eventually impacting policy or building further approaches to help build capacity, areas, or programming.

beSuperior is about recognizing  the Lake: a place of imagination, connection and inspiration, and courageous. being Superior, is about existing in courageous ways. My identity matters because it connects me to who I am, and how I work. I see, myself as being strongly influenced by the work ethics of my grandfathers, who were also both entrepreneurs: both though, working on the Land.  beSuperior is a sole proprietorship and I am Indigenous/Anishinabek and Newfoundlander woman from Biigtigong Anishnabeg formerly Pic River though residing in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada.

learning

Learning as a transformative act. When we invest in our learning, we are investing in ourselves, to be better leaders, that speak to the demographics and the people around us.   Learning is also about the spaces we provide. We have to chose this carefully and with great detail and thought. Learning is about changing how we deliver. Learning is about inquiry including paying attention to those details, the ones that bother us.  Learning is a way to be; on the Land, with community, together.

nurturing a connection to where we live

Drawing on the beauty and power of the Big Lake we live by and gain our sustenance from, has always been an inspiration for me. beSuperior was hoped to instil this inner beauty and belief in connection.

beSuperior strives to ignite a light within all those who participate in programming or consulting with beSuperior.

beSuperior is about recognizing the ability to believe the sky is the limit, and that at the same time we are grounded by the knowledge of our roots.

Nurturing a connection with the place we live, and making this a possibility is a testimony of our strength and creativity. beSuperior utilizes an Indigenous Methodology approach and is guided by respectful work, reciprocal work, relevant work, and lastly relationally which translates to the importance of the circle and how we are all related. These are the basics of Indigenous Research Methodologies. (Shawn Wilson, Margaret Kovach)

beSuperior believes that its cultural component, creative edge and unique vision of strength centred approaches including decolonizing which is essentially building upon our strengths.  Using Reggio methods as a base, which is based on multiple intelligences, in recognition too of the environment as the third teacher. So the environment we learn in is just as important as what we are learning. Encouraging inquiry is also important and critical thinking, as well as opening up spaces to do this whether it be on the Land or in a conference.

building relevant spaces that speak to the ones we are working with and for

I believe in infusing as many spaces with Indigenous Knowledge and in being culturally appropriate, and supportive in the best ways possible, and importantly, asking ourselves, how does our location or space, reflect the quality of what we offer? Does it? I really believe as Dr. Emily Fairies, a Cree Scholar shared, in her work around how schools need to be a site of both decolonizing and healing.

Building a place for sharing and learning, especially in light of the TRC and our responsibility as even citizens, for me, I do it for my  family, some of whom I did not meet. I do it for my children. I do it because I too have needed that support, and hopefully the transfer of knowledge will lead to a different understanding, and not only build resilience but a shared vision of a better now.

 


 

On Mother’s Day,

Dear Moms, Mothers, Mammas,

Today I write my wish to you from Thunder Bay, Ontario. Anemki Wajiw, where the lookout of the mountain can see over the city, and Lake Superior including the vast colours of blue. The land and sky meet, in an interchange. Where you can find moss and put your face right into it and smell the Land. A truly spiritual experience. From the heart of Anishinabek territory.

 A relationship here, that we notice is of skies and water. The two seem interconnected at times, and only separable by the sunsets and sunrises. Our relationships with one another are strong and resilient.

As I write this story for you, I remember the lines of struggles and the determination that make us who we are.

I remember the sorrow.

I remember the pain.

I remember the love.

I remember the joy.

I remember the confusion.

I remember the numb.

I remember the breath of a new beginning and commitment to change.

 It is ok.

We are learning.

We are leading, a revolution,

with love.

Know that I was there, when you were giving birth too. And you were there for me.

Birth is a place of power. Of sheer growth. Of innate ancestral wisdom. Of a time when we called out to our grandmothers for help in this place, or power, and fear.

I remember my birth stories like a map of my life.

Your birth story, of  strength, and trust.

Trust the moment.

Hear the cry.

Hold your new baby who has come from within you. You have been having a relationship with your little one for nine months and now you get to meet him or for the very fit time. When you realize how beautiful and precious she is, you are overcome with peace.

Like a beautiful vibrant turquoise stone you know truth and there is no way anyone can away  your beauty.

Each day another journey of self love and love that you can carry for yourself, yet it is tiring, I know. It can be replenished when we remember to help one another.

I remember the stories you tell of making friends for the first time in the city,  trying to fit in and stuff. I remember when you went back home and they ignored you. I remember you in line at the food bank. I remember you at emerge, with your injury you lied about for fear about your children being taken. I remember the time the police showed up and signed you in for observation because they were worried you’d hurt yourself. I remember the time your neighbour called Children’s Aid on you. I remember the way they looked at your children like that. I remember her asking if the dad of your children was the same. I remember that year you lost your grandmother. I remember the  way we came together at her ceremony, where we all told a story or a poem.  I remember them ignoring you. I remember them forgetting you. I remember. I remember.

I remember the time we sat at your child’s birthday all together with the company of other mothers, around the fire pit.

I remember the strength of you when you shared your knowledge on language and cultural ways back home in Treaty 9 & 5 territory.

I remember the strength of you when you shared your knowledge on the Land and about your research from the shores of Lake Superior and the stories of Elders and youth.

I remember the strength of you when you shared your knowledge on the spirit of song and how you carry that gift of drumming. Each time you sing, you make our hearts stronger, like one heart beat.

I remember the gift you share of wild rice. Manoomin. I remember how you tell about gathering from your home territory along the shores where three places meet: Manitoba, Ontario and Minnesota in Treaty 3. You carry that wisdom to us, in your spiritual sharing. Then bringing wild rice each and every full moon ceremony for each 13 ceremonies that year. We would feast our creative spirit as we sat together in my home territory of the Robinson Superior.

I remember when you told me the sacrifice of doing a PhD downtown Toronto and how you just literally went in and left, with the end prize in sight, then continually advocating for a fair education for all children and learners. Everyone still turning to you for your knowledge and brilliance.

I remember that time we went shopping in Rosedale and took a subway together, and then to the fifth floor of the Eaton’s Centre in Toronto. That same time we went out for pad thai on Bloor.  I remember your tireless hard work. Your endless commitment.

I remember wandering around by the Ocean with you and then having gelato later on around Commercial. Then us laying in a park in the city, looking for the stars, to feel that land connection.

I remember us dancing to the Tribe Called Red at the Old Fort. We lost each other in the shuffle. I found you later wearing a glow in the dark crown, you looked the Queen you are. The sun never seems to set in the summer, and there you were in your happy moment. We could hardly hear each when I said “see you later”, the music so loud.

I remember that time you were downtown Toronto, wearing glittery dresses above your knee, riding the subways. Before you had children you loved to go out, wear heels, and lipstick and how it all sits in your closet still. You love those memories so much you never want to toss that memory away so it sits, and you remember each time you open your closet. You are a poet.

I remember you lost at that rave. You were thinking you were a true Coachella princess wearing your hair in braids backwards looking beautiful in your long dress that hugged your body showing how gorgeous you are. I hope I remember to tell you that having children even made you more beautiful.

I remember you running for Chief and how you represented that lost female voice now coming back ever so strong. Your voice strong across the nations like a herd of buffalo, and wildflowers in the wind.  You in your infinite wisdom arms outstretched to Grandmother moon, wild white sage in hand, you in your medicine ribbon dress. Carrying that collective strength and story in your bones.

I remember that time you and I found literature that talked about us, and our experiences. And then we started to write because we were so inspired.  We’d read together and write together. We were an ear to each others stories. We never judged each other. How can a flower judge another flower. We’d write in the local university newspaper, poems and short stories. We’d publish our stories eventually. You’d eventually become a leader in your field.

I remember that time we watched a movie together on Bloor. It was Frieda. After that I’d hold a fashion show and share with you all the dresses I bought from FairWeather and some designer stores. Your aqua blue heart, strong.

You are loved.

You are remembered.

Happy Mother’s Day.

 

 

 

Resources by Topic Area in Alphabetical Order


Approaching Decolonization 

http://fpse.ca/sites/default/files/news_files/Decolonization%20Handbook.pdf


About Decolonizing Methodologies and Projects

https://nycstandswithstandingrock.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/linda-tuhiwai-smith-decolonizing-methodologies-research-and-indigenous-peoples.pdf


Anishinabe Links

The Culture-Based Arts Integration (CBAI) Curriculum website is the ongoing product of the work of many K-8 public school teachers in northern Minnesota.

The lessons and activities provided here were developed as part of two projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement, Arts in Education Model Demonstration and Dissemination Programs beginning in 2006. These projects address specific gaps and weaknesses in educational service, infrastructure, and opportunities for American Indian and non-Indian students.

From Minnesota


Anishinabemowin

Welcome to Anishinaabemowin where our overriding goal is to make available the opportunity to learn the Anishinaabe language no matter what school you attend, program you are a part of, or city or country you live in. We hope this website will serve as the official resource for the Ojibwe language creating a unique and reputable location that people throughout the world can access for learning the language, and the various dialects spoken throughout our region. This revitalization project will serve as a library of resources, including the archiving of not only our language, but also our elders through the audio and video segments throughout the site.

Ojibway Langauge


Human Rights/Social Justice

Human Rights Ontario for Learners


Public Legal Education Information on many topic areas:

https://www.cleo.on.ca/en


 

Learning

“There are times when personal experience keeps us from reaching the mountain top and so we let it go because the weight of it is too heavy. And sometimes the mountain top is difficult to reach with all our resources, factual and confessional, so we are just there, collectively grasping, feeling the limitations of knowledge, longing together, yearning for a way to reach that highest point. Even this yearning is a way to know.”
bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom

Thinking about how we build those better futures for ourselves, our families, #tipi #foundation #selfactualization #first

via Maslow’s hierarchy connected to Blackfoot beliefs

Justice For Colton – Calgary and Vancouver

Go Fund Me:

https://www.gofundme.com/justice4colten

 

Events for Colton and family,

Vancouver and Area:

https://www.facebook.com/events/145891392744215/

Calgary and Area:

https://www.facebook.com/events/143312106363874/?notif_t=plan_user_invited&notif_id=1518235976554651

According to Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If you are surrounded by toxic, negative people it will surely bring you down. When you have people in your life with similar values and dreams it will drive you to better yourself. The energy within the group will bring everyone up and everyone will thrive.

read more at:

https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/16494-how-to-thrive-when-most-people-are-trying-to-survive

 

painting for all seasons

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/105yearold-nyikina-artist-loongkoonan-steals-the-show-at-adelaide-biennial-of-art-20160226-gn4iyh.html


 

Sen. Murray Sinclair: Our children do not set out in life to fail

http://www.macleans.ca/opinion/sen-murray-sinclair-our-children-do-not-set-out-in-life-to-fail/

 

Ontario hub for community-based Indigenous health training launched at Western University – Media Relations

Western University has become the hub of a provincial network of Indigenous health training that is both culturally relevant and scientifically rigorous. The Indigenous Mentorship Network Program of Ontario launches…

Source: Ontario hub for community-based Indigenous health training launched at Western University – Media Relations

Indigenous Knowledge Conference in Thunder Bay – November 14 -16, 2017

Welcome to Thunder Bay’s 1st Indigenous Knowledge Conference on November 15, 16, 2017 to be held in the Robinson Superior territory in the sacred Lands of Anemki Wajiw hosted by beSuperior Consulting. 

beSuperior is honoured to have renowned legendary educator, and leader in Indigenous thought and academics, Dr. LeRoy Little Bear as the Keynote Speaker.

rsz_11rsz_leroylittlebearDr. Little Bear is a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy.  He is the founder of the Native American Studies Department at the University of Lethbridge – where he served as Chair for 21 years – also went on to become the founding Director of Harvard University’s Native American Program. He has made contributions in justice, land claims, treaties, and hunting and fishing rights. He is a leader in Indigenous philosophy.

CONFERENCE DETAILS

The aim is to examine what and how Indigenous Knowledge is expressed, and how we can facilitate this in our practice and our work, so that, we are best meeting the needs of our clients, learners, and for better understanding and good relations.

November 14 Evening – Coffeehouse & Connecting – 6-9 p.m.

November 15 Conference Day 1 – 9-4 p.m.

November 16 Conference Day 2 – 9- 4 p.m. with a panel discussion in the afternoon

PRESENTERS

  • Dr. Little Bear – Keynote Speaker
  • Dr. Cynthia Wesley- Esquimaux – Panelist, for Day 2,  https://www.lakeheadu.ca/users/W/cwesley2
  • Kelvin Redsky – Early Years & Culture, Shkoday Abinojiiwak Obimiwedoon – Thunder Bay Headstart
  • Lorna McCue – Kitchen Conversations for Action on Inclusion – Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition. For more information, see http://www.ohcc-ccso.ca
  • Peter Moses –  Experiences and Stories of the North, Economies and Indigenous Knowledge, Biigtigong Anishinaabe
  • Jana Rae Yerxa – Gii-kaapizigemin manoomin Neyaashing: A resurgence of Anishinaabeg nationhood
  • Stephanie McLaurin – Ft. William First Nation, Indigenous Governance –                  The (Im)Possible Task of Translating Leadership in the Sugar Bush
  • Aleksa Sherman – PARO Centre – Entrepreneurship
  • Michelle Richmond-Saravia – Designing an Approach To Learning on the Land & An arts based learning activity – hands on.

 

 

 

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The Eclipse

Today a time of transformation. The sun and moon will pass by. Say hello I suppose. Have a moment of peace.  A story about the sacred union.  Ill be watching on the ground in the trees.  I will chose some trees, and experience this mystery   with my sons.  A time for renewal.  Make some new intentions. Hit reset. Believe in change. Its happening all around. It was that easy.

Learning Resources from the AFN

 

ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS

About AFN Tool Kit

The Assembly of First Nations has developed the It’s Our Time First Nations Tool Kit as the basis of a comprehensive strategy to reach out to First Nations students, teachers, schools, communities and the Canadian public at large. The resource is designed to bring together First Nations and non-First Nations people and foster a spirit of cooperation, understanding, and action.

 

 

http://education.afn.ca/toolkit/