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Women's Wisdom Ignited

The Voice of the Future challenged my writing to make a new reality. I basically exuded confidence about my place in the world. I was writing for screen in a production program taken on the island of Galliano in British Columbia. My vision and perspective started attaining higher value since most Coastal First Nations People have a unique perspective passed down generations. A differing value system and code of ethics is embedded in these teachings, not compromised by Capitalist, patriarchal or Colonial structure. A local Indigenous Artist and Mother stated, "if Indigenous mothers can forgive for what has been done to them in history. Anyone can. We are the mothers we have to now feed and nourish the world with understanding." I knew why the voice of women and youth were being silenced, for it was the same reasons I felt my expertise in leadership, sustainability and human resource management was being under- utilized. It’s threatening to challenge a framework that rewards criminality. There was no desire for upstanding individuals to participate within a community that functions on a criminal level. The western world allows for an underground trafficking of Indigenous women and children and the exploitation of land and resource. The state of our society was very sick and plagued by choice. I could be immobile, void, in state of destitute, debilitated. I could be deterred from moments of action because the social-economic, poverty enforced on individuals who did not conform was immense.

Writing can be terrifying when your perspective does not align with the majority culture. Perspective has the ability to transcend marginalization especially when multi-tasked with the highest priority, more important voices and perspectives - children. The bulk of our community are youth and women who are not given active important roles in the community. Luckily, a change is taking place. I was gifted with perspective, to incite prospect or change as well as seek out resources and opportunities. A luxury that was not afforded to the generations before me, it is offered to me through sustainability initiatives, digital media and technology. I was asked to speak at a local University on digital media capturing and sharing Indigenous perspectives. I first started my mini project about a year ago. I learned from my grand-aunts and mother about Potlatch and that we are all classy we just have to start acting like it. Our version of classy is valuing yourself which is much needed when young women and men are coming of age and finding their way in the world. My late grand aunt advised me to go and gather and fill up my basket with wisdom to bring this back to the community that was not ready to embrace change. I went gathered and saw I never thought it would happen this soon. I believe I am witnessing it in Web 2.0 and the Word Pulse forum for enabling social change and mobilizing unique perspectives by asking a very simple question are you Voice for the Future? Yes, I am very happy to participate with the many voices making beautiful futures possible by honouring children and all living entities.

Even with the support and encouragement of networks that recognize the importance of youth, women and community involvement change must come from within. I felt the doors were closed before me to enact my understanding, rights and passions. I had to find a way into a network dominated by outside perspectives and insights. A vision for a healthy, prosperous community that esteems the future and progress of our next generation seemed so logical, yet so far away. In the exhilarated pace of living and striving for material things we seemed to be defeating ourselves and our own identities. I felt offering a safe and welcoming environment for people to gather and share is a start. We had our first Spoken Word Collective in September, 2010 at our local community center. It fuelled creative energies, cooperative social understandings, and encouraged solution based discourse. It gives opportunity to have a voice and express concerns on important issues of sustainable structures, food security and human rights from all perspectives.

Where to next as the flame has been lit and we journey through the lands like giants connecting with one another... just keep writing!

Comments

Marti's picture

Hi Benita, Your voice is

Hi Benita,
Your voice is filled with confidence and a positive vision for change. Keep up your good works!

In partnership with you,
Marti

Marti's picture

PS

I'd love to hear more about the Spoken Word Collective

In partnership with you,
Marti

Christine.Dahl's picture

Dear Benita I have truly

Dear Benita
I have truly enjoyed reading your essay. Living with feet in two cultures has given you a gift of insight. It sounds like you have translated need into action. I hope that you have the chance to record and share the many voices of wisdom that surround you! Reading your essay, I was curious to learn more of why you would like to be a World Pulse correspondent? How would you use your voice here?
Warmly,
Christine

Benita's picture

Support and love

Good Question, I feel I have solutions. I validate perspective from all angles. I ask informed and insightful questions from those who surround me which usually draws out wisdom and understanding. I encourage others to accomplish their individual goals. I can not deliver what is needed. It is not within my means. I can however identify how something can be achieved with very little often it is recognizing we have the power to change policy or practices. If we take on the responsibility to be accountable and assert our rights through arrival and exercising a presence in society, classrooms or offices. There are many services simply not being provided or operated we simply must have to walk up to these vacant spaces and occupy them and people do require much needed service. I would like to use my voice to summon others bring youth, women to the forefront. I heard in a film Women's Voices of Uganda. A young girl said, we have all these children's programs, but no one asks what we want. We know what we need. I want to ask, what do we need?

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