I want to say first of all, thank you for always making the time for me, for sharing stories with me, for making that time meaningful.
I will always remember the story of you telling me that, when you came to find me in Scarborough Ontario where my first seven years were spent, in townhouse, where the Land and forest still met the, the backyards, where I, spent most of my days, running around in black boots and sundresses. We carry these stories from our childhood for life. I find this story for me, one that is of utmost importance.
You always told me the story of how you knew you found my neighbourhood because you found me: long bushy ponytails, sundress. boots. friends. I was always busy with the other children, and at the same time, a child of the sun, like you were.
Today Auntie, I thank you for my cousins.
They have been my best friends all these years. I have spent many hours with them, well more so as a child, and these days, more so with Jamie. I promise, to always check in with them, and with your granddaughters. I promise to share books, to share stories, to share, all I can. I remember my cousins, as children.
I think of you my Auntie, those days you gave me, beauty.
You were there at my wedding day to read a poem on Love. I asked you to, and you were happy to do so. You wore lavender to match. You also made special jam for my wedding, which we gave away as gifts. Everything touched with a bit of sweetness and love, your ways.
I will remember the foods you made.
The jam jam shortbread. The jam jam tarts of jam sweetness. The shortbread cookies. Other deserts other foods – trifle, pizzas, macaroni soup and bannock, moose meat and dumplings. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Where we all ate so much we slept, together, feet touching on couches. Bush tea. Weiner bannock. Fried pickerel. More bannock.
I will remember the art you made.
And your beautiful art, the beautiful beadwork you made. The framed pictures I seen, of beaded flowers on black velvet. Barettes beaded with Anishinabe style flowers. Pinks. Blues. Purples. Oranges.
I will remember you as a strong mother of boys, of sons.
I see your wisdom over all these years. Of kindness, always outpouring. Offering me gentle guidances, usually over Facebook. I’d pose questions, and you were always there to answer. I learned from watching your ways as well. Menus up on the fridge. Coffee cups
I will remember, the importance of sisters, and how you loved yours with your heart, always using words like, sissy.
I will remember the love you had for your brothers. I will remember the love you had for everyone in each and everything thing you did.
You designed life with details of love. With order. With care.
As days go, as they will. I will remember, the soft lavender hills, that to me, look like
women. Like us. I will remember you in the moon, when she is a quarter, a half, full, then not there. I will remember you in the star closest to the moon. I will remember you by all shorelines, and blues of skies touching blues of water.
I will remember your commitment to Language, Anishinabae Mowin. Mother tongue.
I will most importantly remember how you have shared the language with the children. How you have maintained that fire within, and passed on, to children, to families.
You truly have done a lot Auntie, and we should all be so honoured by all you have taught us, all the hugs, all the laughter, all the time, and all the kindness.
Perhaps the most important message from you to me, is, Are we keeping well on the inside and the outside? Does our life serve us, well, or are we merely serving life? What keeps that fire alive? How can we keep poetry in our lives? How can we keep our stories strong? How can we learn about desire and freedom? Where have I travelled that makes me feel well? What stories has my life created? How has our quiet helped us, in our path? When we are alone, with, the stars, what story do they tell?
Your giving, was a huge part of who you are, and who I am too. Miigwetch. Gezagayin. Noshay, Tia Carolina.
Books are so important. They inform us, they include us, they heal us. Stories are who we are. We need to read more and more stories about and with our story included.
When I see the significant work done by Indigenous publishers, and some I have had the fortune of meeting along the way, I’m continually impressed by what they do. They are my role models. My mentors.
Writing is a lot like shining light. Telling a story. Sharing a narrative. Healing really. I will be adding to the list. Here are two publishers and one learning resources.
Follow this link too other resources from a webpage
About my business
I am a certified teacher, with the Ontario Teachers Certification. 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 difficult 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 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.
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.
Giving back is part of what I do, because I think we need to create more spaces for us to come together in our expertise and field. 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.
The Event was a great success. Lots of amazing people came through the doors of the Baggage Arts Building that afternoon and night. This was Thunder Bay’s First Indigenous Knowledge Market. There was a lot of laughter, talking, networking and sharing of stories. It was a good vibe.
-Two Feathers/Cocomis Crafts
– Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Centre
-Francis Family Crafts
-McKay Maple Syrup & Gift Products
-D & R Dreamcatcher’s
-Injunuity Gifts & Supplies
-Tamarac’s Crafts Moccasins & Housewares
-Sacred Elements Tea & Gift Products
-Thunder Bay Art Gallery
-beSuperior Consulting & stella & dot
-Gubber’s Creation, Art & Mayberry Leggings
-Walking with our Sisters
-The City of Thunder Bay
-The Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Ctr. &
-The Centre for Indigenous Theatre (CIT)
Epistemology and the way we learn and how and where Indigenous Knowledges fit into mainstream is a very important concept. How can we facilitate this? Is it possible? Additionally how do we talk with our children about decolonization? What does this look like? How do we even decolonize?
I’m interested in stories and how they help to shape our histories. I believe that stories can help us in understanding so much. We need to share stories and to listen to the stories we tell, as well as understand how our own stories inform us about ourselves, our lives and about our strengths.
I have advised, visioned, planned, advocated, researched and prepared. I’ve been involved in art, justice, education, health and worked directly with both Elders and youth.
I’ve worked with most political territorial organizations in northern Ontario including Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Robinson Superior & Treaty 3 areas, and the Grand Council of Treaty Three through my work in other fields. I’ve worked with Lakehead University, Broland Tree planting, Outward Bound, and Rediscovery International and in the field of Outdoor education including with Outward Bound(Black Sturgeon, ON) for three summers, attended Rediscovery International’s Training in Victoria BC, and tree planted for one summer. (One forest planted by me in and around Manitouwadge ON with BroLand- traditional territories of Bigtigong Anishnawbe).
I am a qualified teacher, with an Honours degree from Trent University in Indigenous Studies, a Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University, and a Masters Degree from Lakehead University. I have over 15 years of experience in Indigenous Research, facilitation, policy, curriculum writing, and program development.
I have contributed in the education, health, justice, & art sectors. Richmond-Saravia is a committed advocate in anti violence and in creating spaces for healthy activities, especially with Land at heart.
In my teen years, I became a National Lifeguard, a Red Cross Swim Instructor and coached swimming for about 5 years. I worked at the Port Hole Pool in Marathon, ON for since the age of 14, where I started out as an assistant Swim Coach. Being trained in the fields of lifeguarding is and has always meant I see a lot of the world through, well the lifeguard never leaves you, that’s for sure.