It’s my birthday on Saturday. Join me in donating to:
- Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee’s work on Decolonizing Practices
- Teara Fraser’s work to fly essential services and goods to indigenous communities during the pandemic
On Saturday it is my 52nd birthday. It seems to be a feature of getting older that birthdays and other gift-giving holidays become less about the stuff and more about the relationships.
For this birthday, I’d like to invite any of my readers, friends, and colleagues to join me in donating funds to two local indigenous women who are doing powerful work for others. We can gift to them and through them to support a better world. For my birthday this year, I’m donating $200 to each of their initiatives and I invite you to join me and give what you can. In these times, and perhaps always, the work of indigenous women is critical to support.
One of the gifts I receive all the time is the gift of living in Squamish territory on a little island called Nexwlélexwem (Bowen Island) in the Squamish language. I am grateful to live here and grateful to have so many friends and colleagues from the Squamish Nation who have schooled me on the cultural landscape that surrounds me.
The word “Chenchénstway” is a Squamish word meaning “to lift each other up” and it’s a key value in Squamish life. It is one of the values that permeate the landscape where I live and it’s the core of the work of one of my friends, Ta7talíya (Michelle Nahanee), who has assembled a powerful collection of teaching and practices in the service of decolonization. Her work is opening eyes and building capacity and she holds it with the energy of a matriarch. Donating to Michelle’s work helps her to develop new resources and grow the impact of her work. You can learn more about her work and offer a donation at the Decolonizing Practices website. You can also sign up for a 4-week online program there, so consider that too.
The other woman I’m donating to this year is Teara Fraser. Teara is a pilot and an entrepreneur who is single-mindedly focused on indigenous women’s leadership development, including her own. She created the first indigenous-women owned airline, Iskwew Air, which flies out of Vancouver. During the pandemic, along with the Indigenous LIFT Collective, she has been raising funds to fly essential goods and services to remote indigenous communities along our coast.
I’m grateful to be living and working on Squamish land, and deeply grateful for the work these two women do in the world.