be “to exist”, Superior “courageously”
beSuperior incorporates a creative edge, strength centred approach to activities with a focus on decolonizing & Indigenous Methodologies. Based on respectful relations, reciprocity, being relevant, beSuperior is an Indigenous led consulting company, with one main consultant at the moment, Michelle Richmond-Saravia.
Multi talented in a variety of areas including evidence based research, technical support & writing, creative writing, curriculum writing, and other forms, Indigenous Research & Decolonizing Methodologies, facilitation, public speaking, sharing stories, adventures and more recently, using art to help facilitate more difficult discussions, Richmond-Saravia brings a wealth of experiences and knowledge.
Vision & Michano family
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. Having grown up along the north shore of Lake Superior, I understand many of the barriers and successes. I have a great love for the Big Lake and centre my work around the knowledge of the territories I have originated from. I am from the Michano family. We are a family of visionaries and leaders. We come from the north shore of Lake Superior. My uncle Roy, was on of the longest standing Chiefs in Canada. My grandfather Matt, an entrepreneur: for his time, that was a huge accomplishment. He always managed to trap, and provide for his family, as well as developed a network of relationships and business partners to help do better for the community and his family.
Telling stories to shape our futures & deep listening
beSuperior roots its work in life affirming activities & in bringing these ways into our everyday lives. Why would we not incorporate decolonization into our everyday acts? I feel stories are one thing that always connect us. Telling our stories and also revealing our truths, is a way of situating ourselves, as well as, making sure our voices are heard. Decolonizing Methodologies help to support dialogue and much needed conversations. Indigenous Ways of Knowing, are about, sharing our truths. They are valuable. There are many ways to learn.
Knowledge & Learning is a dynamic energy
Learning is not just about the teacher and the learner. It is about the location and the traditional territories we teach from, as well as those circles who support our work. It is about the Land. It is about our dreams. It is about our vision and where we see our journeys unfold. We all learn according to our strengths. There is not only one way that we learn. There are many. I’ve learned that many of my truths have not been uncovered in the classroom, and making space for all our stories is important to me.
Rooted in our strengths
I learned through Smith (1999) that Eurocentric positivist research has often looked into our communities to find a “problem”, then answered in paternalistic ways which have had real consequences and problematic outcomes for our communities. She also writes that individual stories are powerful and that the story of each person is a contribution “to a collective story, in which every indigenous person has a place” (p. 144).
I’ve also known all along that something wasn’t just right. I’ve gained a lot of my knowledge thru reading Indigenous Literature, going to ceremonies and listening to the Elders. I’ve talked a lot by fires, at kitchen tables, and sometimes in the basements where we hold our programming in the cities. I’ve followed your stories online. I’ve been inspired by the Land, by your voice, by your resistances, and most of by your open hand, acceptances, and recognition that the time is now, to be fearless, to think beyond, and to truly advocate for our children’s learning.
Land Connection & Sovereignty
Our ancestors have had a Land Connection and the collective energy shift is around regaining those relationships. We can’t get stuck on how. We certainly know why: the Land is sacred. The Land is our teacher. Without the Land, what would we be? For those of us in cities, they cannot become our barrier. We have to figure out ways to expedite those relationships. For those of us back home, where some of us dream of that mothership, we have to coordinate for our children, our selves, our Elders.I remember reading in university about the struggles those of us who don’t live back home in our communities face and the struggles we bear in rooting our children in our communities, even if it means travelling and getting there, sometimes too, starting new traditions, right where we are. Super important. All Land is Sacred.
Sacred Woman has a song, her Land and her Children. Dawn Martin-Hill