Section 1: Chetwood Black Bear

Chetwood (Black Bear)

Bear icon

FOR YOU TODAY, my friends, I raise sacred smoke. For you who are troubled confused, doubtful, lonely, afraid, addicted, unwell, bothered or alone, I raise sacred smoke. For those of you in sorrow, grief or pain, I raise sacred smoke. For those of you who work for people, for change, for spiritual evolution, for upward and onward growth of our common humanity and the well-being of our planet, I raise sacred smoke. For those of you in joy, in the glow of small or great triumphs, who live in love, faith, courage and respect, I raise sacred smoke. And, in the act of all this, I raise also for myself.
– Richard Wagamese (2016, p. 86)


Purpose of this section

Explore the importance of Indigenization for yourself and your institution.

On completing this section, you will be able to:

  • identify your personal values and beliefs.
  • explain why Indigenization is important for you and why you want to Indigenize your practice and/or your institution.
  • identify who else needs to be involved in Indigenization.

Estimated time to complete this section is four hours. The activities can be done either individually or as a group.

Chetwood represents the intentionality of our values as individuals and as educational leaders. In this section, you will begin to explore and identify your personal values along with those of your institution and consider what organizational policies and practices are in place with respect to Indigenization. As you begin to recognize your personal values and those of the institution, your intentions as a leader with respect to building relationships with Indigenous Peoples and community will be strengthened.

Chetwood represents two aspects of the Indigenization journey: Mamook kloshe, preparing for the journey, and Mahsh, the act of launching the journey or setting your canoe in the water. Preparation involves knowing yourself first, and understanding the why of Indigenization and territorial acknowledgement, while recognizing the emotional connections between what you know about Indigenous Peoples and what you have learned. Finally, the launch is implementing what you have learned by forming relationships with Indigenous Peoples and communities.