Winnipeg’s Local Racial Inclusion Summit

Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Centre of Canada and the heart of the prairies.
Thriving and bustling with multiculturalism, diversity, economic gain and industry progress. A meeting place of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. However . . . Winnipeg, Manitoba was also given the title of the most racist city in all of Canada while segregation and division among our ethnical communities still linger after the founding of the city.

After this public acquisition by Maclean’s magazine and after realizing the unfortunate truth that we are in fact a divided city, most of us realized that work had to be done. Our new elected Metis mayor Brian Bowman took the essential steps forward during this time of crisis by formulating the Indigenous advisory committee and creating/supporting community driven work and organizations.

Recently, a handful of youth leaders organized the “Local Racial Inclusion Summit” utilizing the hashtag #OurSummit. It was held at the same time of the mayor’s national summit on racial inclusion but the group felt some important local grassroots voices were missing from the conversation. The event invited and gave all local community members  from various ethnicities and nationalities the opportunity to join in various discussions about the division within our city, race relations, how to become better neighbours, how to enhance the relationship between non-Indigenous and Indigenous people’s and possible effective solutions moving forward.

The summit included a diverse range of speakers and the chance for community members to voice their thoughts on multiple topics including,

  1. Child and Family Services.
  2. Using dialogue to improve relations.
  3. Employment Income Assistance.
  4. Indigenous/Newcomer youth relations.
  5. Jobs and employment.
  6. Kids growing up in a corrupt world.
  7. Media.
  8. Missing and murdered men and women.
  9. Nutrition and food security.
  10. Moving past our racial mistakes.
  11. Systemic racism.
  12. Uniting humanity harmoniously.
  13. Water (Shoal Lake 40).

It was a beautiful and successful event and instilled the hope that it is possible to move forward as a city and work towards our relationships with one another. I personally wished to see much more in attendance but I understand that this is only the beginning. I hope that all of this momentum and hard work toward ways of reconciling and healing our communities continues and I hope that everyone in Winnipeg will someday be able to truly feel like a community instead of many divided smaller communities keeping to themselves. I only wish to see everyone intermingling together without borders, racism, discrimination or exclusion. Back in June of 2014 I co-organized an event called the “All Nation’s Youth Grand Entry” where my wish was to see youth of diverse backgrounds coming together as one, dancing and uniting and working together. Although that event went very well I was saddened back then to see such a lack of support from the various multicultural organizations that I had invited. Perhaps one day, sooner than later, we’ll see this happen. But for now, there is much work to be done and this racial inclusion summit made ways forward in a very positive way by encouraging dialogue, interaction between community members and brainstorming of solutions.

Question time!
Are there any important topics you think should have been brought up?
What are some ways we could move forward as a city and diminish the division that exists?
Any other thoughts on this matter?
Please leave your answers in the comments below, I encourage open conversation between everyone but please keep it respectful. Thank you.

I managed to capture some action shots from the event, hope you enjoy.
If you would like to learn more or would like more resources please visit www.groundworkforchange.org

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At the beginning of the event all community members in attendance were invited to partake in a group activity which challenged them to walk around the circle, introducing themselves. The activity then progressed to the next section where they were asked to partner with someone and each share their individual story.
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Community Members onlooking and supporting the various invited and local speakers, one specifically holding a sign with the word “love” written across. A common theme and attitude throughout the event.

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Rosanna Deerchild, A strong and empowering leader in our community, host of CBC radio’s “Unreserved” as she discusses the Maclean’s article, acknowledging the large challenging issue and ways to confront it and move forward positively.
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Breakout session on the topic of “Missing and Murdered Men & Women, We All Matter”.
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Topic “Uniting Humanity Harmoniously”. Conversation included the importance that we all live here on this one earth and must utilize and work together as one. One man also mentioned that he often felt excluded from important conversations due to targeted race demographics, he suggested the usage of calling on all of humanity rather than certain racial groups.
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Photo speaks for itself.
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The beginning of the march to the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.
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The event concluded at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights with a leader of each breakout group reporting on some important points made in relation to their topic.

 

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Music Festival Season

Music Festival season is upon us and it’s glorious.
The summer heat mixed with the satisfying sounds of music flowing into our ears.
Giving us that sense that every little thing is going to be fine, reality forgotten.
The exhilarating feeling of unity as every individual around you embodies the same vibes,
flowing into their bodies creating electric movements and exposing their soul.
Time ceases to exist, living in that moment, for that moment.
The excitement of greeting old and new friends,
acceptance and love felt from all.

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IMG_7796 (1)One of my all time favorite music festivals is our local festival here known as the “Winnipeg Folk Festival”. However, I must admit this is the only one I have been too but I have a wishlist of others I’d love to attend in the future including Coachella, SummerFest, Lollapalooza, etc. This was my 3rd year camping at Folk Fest and it was the best one yet. From the moment you  lineup to even enter the parking lot you are greeted with constant cheers, happy vibes, friendly volunteers/workers and many unique things that put a smile on your face. Once you’re in and have scoped out the perfect camping spot equipped with trees (a.k.a morning shade so you don’t wake up in a sauna at 8am), a fire pit for late night shenanigans and jam sessions and being somewhat close to the campground amenities (but not too close, you don’t want to be smelling everyone’s discretion’s) you can finally enjoy the rest of the festival.

IMG_7813Some of my personal highlights of folk fest was the discovery of new artists such as Bobby Bizini from Quebec with a soothing indie voice and adorable timid presentation, Birds of Chicago and their impressive blended harmonies and playing of instruments, Nahko and the Medicine of the People with his empowering lyrical performances and thrilling engagement with the crowd and of course the many other beautiful and unique artists that graced the stages of folk fest. I also enjoyed the artists I knew such as Jose Gonzales with his calming voice and indie vibes and of course Leonard Sumner who kicked ass from main stage to solo concerts to group workshops, his insightful words and lyrics enlightening us all and representing our indigenous communities with such pride, grace and style. Each new day was full of wanders through the festival, naps in the shade, friends by my side, incredible artistry, music heard from every direction, delicious food and being surrounded by wonderful, friendly, loving, accepting, like-minded people (except the one young woman who had the courage and the nerve to wear a headdress and face full of tribal print paint – like, really?).

 

IMG_7786Now, the festival campground – that’s a whole other story!
That’s when us true folkies come to life, that’s when the music festival doesn’t end! It goes on all night until dawn and continues and repeats again. That’s when we all mingle, meet each other, make friends with our neighbors and our neighbors neighbors. That’s when you experience the oddity yet fascinating side to the festival such as the many animation stations operating 24/7 like the wardrobe closet with parades of people coming in and out in outrageous costumes or the Vinyl Village with endless quirky instruments and jam sessions happening non-stop. You also experience sunsets and sunrises from atop pope’s hill or campsites you can see a mile away because they are pouring gasoline into their fire and you go to check it out and join in their song..“gasoliiiiine I loooooove yooouuu, I love you gasoooooline”. The festival campground and the festival itself is always so hard to explain and there is always something going on and too many things happen in the duration of the 5 day festival that you can’t recount every single adventure to those who ask. I simply say that it’s something people need to experience for themselves to really see and feel what folk fest is like. It’s truly a wonderful event and I imagine that other music festivals must feel this way. It has it’s own specific music festival feeling.

I hope that many of you festival goers understand that feeling I’m talking about and those who haven’t experienced one yet, I only hope you’ll get the chance to attend one in your lifetime. I feel like a lot of people have presumptions of music festivals to the point where it prohibits them from attending and their judgments get the best of them. They assume it’s just a wild hippy world of naked people mixed with drugs and alcohol and I won’t lie, there are the few that do represent that stereotype but it’s not all that way, not everyone participates in that lifestyle. Music festivals, specifically Folk Fest are inviting to all and that’s the beauty of it. Anyone, not matter your age, race, sex, gender, background, etc can feel comfortable and accepted and come together with a common cause to enjoy the music and to be themselves. I remember thinking after my first festival experience that if everyone in the world participated in this festival, the world would be a better place.

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One of the many reasons why I fell in love with Folk Fest
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Birds of Chicago performing in Shady Grove
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Beautiful lady singer from Birds of Chicago
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Nahko and the Medicine of the People rocking main stage
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Leonard Sumner impressing the crowds and representing our Indigenous communities with pride

 

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Jose Gonzales soothing our hearts on main stage
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Winnipeg thunderstorm cancelling the grand finale of Folk Fest

24 Hours In Dryden Ontario

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7:00 AM up bright and early, essential Tim Hortons coffee stop and then we were ready for the approximate 4 hour road trip down to the small town of Dryden, Ontario, Canada.

24 hours later my travelling partner (a.k.a my wonderful mother) and I were heading home with great vibes, stories to tell, new connections, people we had met and a collection of significant photographs to reminisce over our wonderful 24 hour getaway.

My mother and I were invited to Dryden to participate in their annual honouring youth powwow at their local high school. It was very lovely to see so many youth, young women and the whole school up and dancing during intertribal’s along with their teachers.

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ShorIMG_7634tly after the regular powwow protocols of the grand entry, flag song, veteran song, prayer, intertribal and honour songs it was time for my mother and I to showcase our dances. The MC handed me the mic and I proceeded to introduce myself and share my teachings of the Indigenous traditional hoop dance. I then began to dance to the sound of the drum, making sure to use up as much space as I could, to practice some new formations and moves I had been eager to try in front of an audience and to try my best to keep the room engaged with my performance. When I was finished I was greeted with a large applause.

Then it was my IMG_7636mother’s turn. They proceeded to drum a song for her as the young women were asked to watch because they would be trying after. My mother looked beautiful as she kept in time with the beat, her golden jingles creating that comforting familiar sound and her feathered fan raised high in the air at every check beat. After, as promised, the young women came up to dance alongside of her. They all had such enthusiasm in their eyes and watched my mother closely again as they tried to mimic her fancy contemporary jingle dress style foot work.

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IMG_7653The powwow had been held annually for over 20 years and the man who had started it all was still teaching and hosting the powwow at the school. His name was Leonard Skye. He was a gentle, loving and incredibly respected man in the community and was honoured while we there for his years of dedication to the school, the youth and his community.

He will be retiring this year so they held a special honour song for him, as students came up giving him hugs and words of thanks. They then proceeded to honour him with awards such as the prestigious one shown in the photograph which was to be hung in the city hall. He is originally from Eagle Lake, 15 minutes west of Dryden and was a residential school survivor. He spoke with so much passion and pride and you could feel the love and respect everyone had for him.

The next day after the powwow, we decided to take a detour before heading home to check out the round dance that Eagle Lake was hosting to honour the missing and murdered Indigenous women. It was a gorgeous warm day with a slight breeze and when we arrived they had hung symbolic red dresses throughout the community to signify those they had lost and to honour them as they are still loved, valued and remembered. After a beautiful round dance of women, men, youth, elders and the whole Eagle Lake community, everyone was given a pouch of tobacco to offer to one of the sacred fires that were set up in each sacred direction. Everyone then proceeded to walk down the road to choose a specific sacred fire to offer their tobacco.

I was so glad that we were able to come and witness such a resilient and strong community and to partake in the round dance and offering of tobacco. After that we had to hit the highway to make it back to city but we made sure to make some time to pull over and create an inukshuk along the way since the highway between Winnipeg and Dryden are full of them and we had always wished to do  that one day and then we had the chance!

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Overall it was a very nice 24 hour trip and I was incredibly appreciative and thankful for our invite to their community to dance. I hope to continue to travel to a variety of communities to showcase my dancing and share the teachings I was given.

Thank you for reading if you’ve made it this far. Please feel free to like, share or comment below. If there is anything I discussed in this post that you would like an extended explanation/post on let me know and I can definitely do that! Also feel free to leave any other suggestions of future posts you may like to see. Please stay tuned and subscribe to this blog to keep updated with my adventures. I hope to start posting one every week or to get on some sort of blogging schedule.

Take care everyone.

FlashBack Friday: Cancun, Mexico!

38314_410435867129_8361007_nBack in 2010, my graduating class and I took a trip down to Cancun, Mexico for a week of adventure. I remember it being my second time travelling alone without family so I was incredibly nervous but also extremely excited for what plans we had ahead. The idea that I was travelling with my fellow peers did put some of my nerves to ease though.

We stayed in the beautiful Gran 37492_410437117129_1068305_nCaribe Real Hotel right on the shores of the blue watered ocean and right in the heart of the touristy side of Cancun. The staff were incredibly friendly and the atmosphere of the place felt very comfortable and safe. There were many amenities to keep us busy, unique restaurants in each direction, private balconies and two large lavish swimming pools to bask in and enjoy the Mexican sunshine.

34940_410442627129_6780428_nThere were many highlights about this trip that I can remember and will probably remember for a very long time. I have shared some of my favourite photographs I snapped while on this graduation trip and I hope you enjoy them. Starting at the hotel, besides the beautiful scenery, lavish pools, wonderful staff and unique restaurants there was also many exciting activities that they offered such as the parasailing which myself and a high school friend went on.

34607_410436857129_3771729_nAfter they drove us out to a boat on a water sea doo, they buckled us into the seat and launched us into the sky.The view I seen from up there will always remain in my mind, it was beautiful, you could see the entire coast and the ocean stretching as far out as you could see, fading into depths of blue and meeting with the skies. If you ever get the chance to parasail, please do it because you won’t regret it one bit and you’ll experience a feeling never felt before.

37492_410433327129_3516729_nAnother exciting unforgettable experience was the excursions we had the chance to go on including the trip to a natural swimming pool, I remember feeling envious of those who were smart enough to bring their bathing suits or brave enough to jump in with their clothes on. It looked like a fun time and cool experience that I wish I did. Another place we were fortunate enough to visit was the famous wonder of the world, the Chichen Itza ruins. I remember it being a hot, muggy day but I was in awe of all of the manmade structures and pyramids that had survived after so many years and the intricate carvings of stone and special placement of stones. We weren’t aloud to climb any because they were trying to preserve the sites as long as they can. It’s amazing to think about how on earth Mayans and their communities had the ability to create this structures so far in the past. It was amazing to witness and walk around these sacred lands.

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On ano37890_410440372129_5972108_nther day we ventured off as a group to the local markets and escaped a little of the touristy side we were used too. It was exciting to go out and witness the local community and see more of Mexico. I remember this one fellow who had his guitar and was singing aloud for the whole bus to hear and his voice was amazing. He was singing songs that we knew including, “All My Loving'” by the Beatles.

34608_410441177129_2651194_nThis young man inspired me and surprised me since we aren’t used to singing on busses in Winnipeg due to it being banned which I think is stupid haha! Another highlight was the day we spent out on the ocean on a boat. It was a gorgeous day with blue skies and high temperatures. We sailed along the waters enjoying music, activities and relaxing in the sunshine.  They even stopped at a shallow point along the coast for a chance to swim in the calm blue waters.

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After that day in the sun we concluded our night at a fun unforgettable foam party just down the street from our hotel. I’ve never experienced that type of party before and I thoroughly enjoyed the night, dancing in waist high foam and foam constantly pouring over everyone.

There is probably much more moments that I’ve left out and many more photographs I’ve left out but I think those were the most memorable parts of my trip. Someday I hope to travel back to a destination such as Cancun and experience that relaxing, vacation like vibe again and to marvel among the gorgeous scenery and wide open ocean. S-Trip made it possible for my graduating class and I to take this trip and book all of the exciting excursions we were able to join. I truly recommend it if you are looking for a student deal for your next trip or class trip.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing more “Flashback Friday’s” of my trips I’ve taken in the past.

Hope you enjoyed!

Do you have any memorable trips? 🙂

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3 6 5 Days Later . . .

1yearblogI can’t believe it’s already been a whole 365 days since the start of this little creative space!

I also can’t believe how much it has grown and how you guys are actually enjoying the content I put out there to the point where I receive such long sweet messages from readers. I only hope that this is the beginning and that it will continue to grow for another good handful of years.

Blogging is something that I really enjoy doing and hope to do for quite some time! I just want to take the time to thank each and every one of you who have either been here since the birth of ani[shan]aabe or even if your just discovering this blog and post right now! I also thank you if you’ve read, commented or shared these little posts. I appreciate all the love and support and I offer a huge cyber group hug to all of you! I only hope you’ll stick with me on my journey’s as  we move forward.

I have a lot of plans for year 2 in this space which include a lot of exciting things. I don’t want to give too much away because I rather not spoil the surprise for future posts but it does include some exciting travel and life changes but please stay tuned, I guarantee you’ll enjoy it very much!

I also get asked a lot for any tips or advice from individuals who have either started up a  new blog or if they are simply thinking about it. Below I will share some of my blogging wisdom :p and things I’ve learned throughout this year!

1) D E B A T I N G ?
If you are thinking about doing it . . .  DO IT! It’s a lot of fun.

2) P A S S I O N 
Make sure to share and write about things that you are passionate about, it shows in how you write. So if your not passionate about it or if it’s boring to you, most likely readers can tell.

3) V I S U A L S
Make sure to make it visually appealing. Readers always love a unique style blog and photographs to compliment your words.

4) C O N N E C T 
 Connect your blog with all of your social media outlets which could include, tumblr, twitter, facebook, etc. and once you publish a post you have the option to share with any or all of these outlets which can increase a great following and more potential readers.

5) W O R K  H A R D
Even if you only have 1 or no followers at all, still create the best content that you can because you never know who will drop by and read your stuff plus those few followers you have will appreciate your hard work.

6) C O M M U N I C A T I O N
Communication is key. If someone comments, its always nice to receive a reply or simply ask those who read what kind of posts they would like to see.

7) P E R F E C T I O N ? 
Your blog doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s taken a long time for me to develop this space into something I personally enjoy. You’ll probably go through multiple themes and changes and that’s totally okay! In fact, who knows what kind of future changes my blog may have,

8) C O N F I D E N C E
Don’t be so hard on yourself! I should take my own advice because I still have those moments where I feel low. Sometimes you see or read other blogs and you start comparing yours to theirs and that’s not cool. Be confident in your space and own it.

9) P R O M O T E 
Don’t be afraid to promote your blog! Share it with your family and friends, on social media or even comment on other similar blogs, its a great way to network with other like minded people and gain a few more readers as well!

10) B E   Y O U 
It’s okay to not do what everyone else is doing! Be unique, Be Weird, Be yourself. 🙂

Again, thank you so much for reading guys! I hope these few tips may help and that you continue to follow along in my adventures and I’m excited to share that with all of you!

In friendship,
– S H A N

H A P P Y 2 0 1 5

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I understand that I am a little late to the game of wishing everyone a happy new year but it is better late than never! Right?

I hope that all of you had a great 2014 and wishing that you all to have an even greater 2015! As for myself, during times of transition, I tend to get in major reflective mode (as does everyone I assume). I learned so much and feel as though I grew a great deal over the past year which came with its ups and downs.

At the beginning of each new year I despise creating “resolutions” for myself because in the past I’ve known to never stick to them so instead I like to set goals (probably the same thing) Things I feel I could do realistically and projects that I’d love to get a start on. I usually try to also take these in baby steps and creating monthly or weekly goals instead of for the whole year – if that makes sense. I’ll share some below for you and I would also like to hear your goals for the year, or maybe even the month or just for today. I’m sure it would inspire both myself and others.

Other than that this will be a short entry but get ready for some more frequent killer posts . . . over selling it? maybe a little but I’m excited to start dedicating some more time to this little blog and see where it grows.

Goals/Projects 4 The Year:

– Continue to dedicate more time & effort into this site & its content

– Dedicate more time & effort into hoop dancing, lots of exciting opportunities for this year already

– Do more of what makes me happy (e.g, filming, singing, travelling, meeting new people, etc.)

– Travel, Travel, Travel! 

– Learn to not worry what others think & try to stop comparing myself to others

– Move out on my own

– Start the process toward publishing my own book

– Find balance 

– Keep healthy in all aspects of my life 

– Spend more time with friends, family & meet new people

– Learn to love myself 

– Tackle some of the items on my bucket list (e.g, learn to tap dance, skydive, para glide, etc.) 

– Continue to not bite my nails (Yes I was a nail biter for most of my life) 

There are probably many others but that is all that I can think of at the moment, I’m sure throughout the year many more will be added to this list as well. Many of them are also very vague so I apologize for that. I’m just excited to tackle everything and to experience everything headed my way with exciting opportunities and wonderful ambitions that have been flooding into my mind over the past year. Thanks for reading, you are all wonderful. Leave a comment?

5 Reasons To Have More Live Music In Your Life.

IMG_7237 IMG_7226 IMG_7225IMG_7229 IMG_7234          I recently had the pleasure to take a break from studying and clear my mind to go witness beautiful live music with the smokey, flawless voice of Shakey Graves himself along with his musical buddies and opening artists, Esme Patterson and Rayland Baxter.  Shakey is an amazing singer/songwriter from Texas and embarked on a tour with two evenings in Winnipeg at the Park Theater. It was a quickly sold out show but on the morning of his performance they released a handful of tickets which I was able to pounce on and grab. I was so entirely grateful and I couldn’t contain my excitement as I had to finish my day of university classes. Even though it was a cold blustery evening and I was exhausted from my busy day I knew that I definitely did not want to miss this. Sure enough, I was not disappointed. I had entered into a theater full of like-minded individuals who were excited to see this one man and his guitar on stage. This particular night of music instilled the deeper love I have for live music and here are some reasons why:

The Energy Is Contagious
When you enter the room of raw emotion full of excitement and with groups of friends reuniting or the meeting of new friends, the sounds of laughter, cheers and hilarious outbursts from those witty tipsy people in attendance it can be rather contagious. The entire vibe of the room can envelope you into it’s world. Sounds incredibly cheezy; but it’s true. Those of you who have witnessed this know what I mean.

It Can Transform Your Mindset In An Instant.
I remember at one point during the show I just simply looked around the room and saw how the music was just flowing through everyone. It put an instant smile on my face to see so many people just letting loose, letting go and dancing like nobody was watching, it put an instant smile on face to see the pure joy plastered on everyone’s faces, to physically see how the music was just transforming their mindsets and everyone was just living in that moment and for that moment.

You, Yourself Can Get Lost In The Moment.
When you are surrounded by the sweet sounds of the artist on stage and surrounded by people who are letting all their worries go and fully enjoying that moment, you can’t help but get lost with them. All your worries seem to dissipate, reality is nothing but a blur for a while and your just there, in the moment, simply enjoying every bit of that universe and everything there.

Simple Pleasure Of Exploration And Discovery.
There’s something beautiful about going out, exploring, to find those hidden theaters or venues in an area of town you haven’t been to. There’s also something pleasurable about discovering a new band or artist such as the various opening acts or one that the artist themselves recommends. There can also be the discovery and meeting of new friends along the way.

Inspiration.
I don’t know if this is just me or if anyone can relate but in most cases when I go watch live music, I become instantly inspired and leave with that inspiration that lingers in my mind after for quite awhile. It can inspire and motivate many things such as pursuing that deep passion to create music yourself or to let out that singing voice just a little more into the world or to simply be yourself and not be ashamed of it. To enjoy the music you enjoy, to wear what you want to wear and do whatever your little heart desires because it what makes yourself happy that’s the most important.

If you have read this far, I thank you so much and I hope you agree with what I have wrote, what are other things you enjoy about live music? Leave them in the comments below! 🙂 Also I’m always up for suggestions for future posts so you can do that as well through contacting me or leaving some in the comments. One more thing to add, I’m always looking for new blogs to check out and follow so you can send me a link and I will for sure check them all out! Thanks!

Hope all of you are doing great! Take care for now!

World Indigenous Business Forum 2014!

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The Indigenous Leadership Development Institute Inc (ILDII) in Winnipeg helps organize the World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF) with a community host in different parts of the world every year. This year it was hosted in Guatemala City at the West Camino Real Hotel in the heart of Guatemala and took place from October 28th – 30th.

The forum’s website states that the forum is a platform that engages Indigenous communities and their leaders in global discussion on economic development issues such as community, industry, academic and government and the varying challenges/successes. The forum operates on the seven generational thinking that provides sustainable prosperity for children and the children seven generations on. The first portion was connecting and networking of indigenous communities and their leaders. The second portion was sharing knowledge and strategies for community development and the third included inspiring diverse speakers from around the globe to motivate future endeavors of economic success.

I had the privilege to participate and listen to the various speakers and it was interesting to see similarities between all nations in attendance such as the hope to alleviate poverty through focuses on investment and financial strategies and the importance to maintain cultural practice to sustain their heritage for future generations. It was very inspiring to see Indigenous leadership participating in this forum through networking, learning and being able to relate to one another. I also believe it was very appropriate and important to have different levels of Indigenous individuals involved in the forum such as individuals at the grassroots level, local Indigenous communities, individuals who owned their own companies and leaders such as the president of Guatemala. It is important to include and engage all members of a community in the dialogue towards economic development for the success of communities in the future and to participate in the learning process toward a better economy with the use of efficiency, effectiveness, self-reliance and sustainability.

I also had the opportunity to showcase the Indigenous hoop dance to everyone in attendance which left me with a sense of pride to showcase and represent my home community and my brother, Jesse Spence, was also able to showcase the grass dance. Youth from Fisher River Cree Nation were also able to showcase their unique styles of powwow dance. I believe we all finished feeling proud to be able to educate all of these different communities in attendance of our culture, dance, songs and ultimately ourselves as individual, unique, proud indigenous youth.

Overall, it was an amazing experience and it truly inspired me and embedded a deep hope that it is possible for nations to come together in peace to learn from each other, grow and help each other toward positive, sustainable economic development. Next year, the forum will be held in the beautiful land of Hawaii. If you have any further questions or would like to become involved in such a wonderful event please visit their website at http://www.wibf.ca. Also feel free to search #WIBF2014 to see a glimpse of this years forum.

Thanks for reading!

A P O E M

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The Performance of the World

For strength. To embrace me,
I can recognize its brevity,
Surviving among impulsive disasters.
For evolution, revolution,
And time. To withhold
Dreams, imploding at the seams, inspire,
Open our minds. To maintain
And protect damage – of land
From populations pollutants, of toxicity
From each nation. To thrive.
To pry open our eyes from
padlocked visions. To enhance the reflections.
To be reminiscent of the true power.
To arouse cultures and states,
And trick our minds of divine beauty’s meaning,
Bringing us closer to the light. To be
Connected, picturesque, state of mind.
To provoke change, commence humanity, like a game
of chance I’m constantly playing
But was informed of no victor.
Write antiquities, evolve.

Hey guys! Sometimes I like to unleash the inner creative poet within me and it helps to be taking a creative writing class in university at the moment to suck out all of my creative juices and plaster them on to paper. There are much more poems and short fictions I wrote so if any of you are interested in reading more I can start posting some? Let me know in the comments. I may surprise all of you with a poem here or there anyway in the future. I also thought that the images I captured on a sunset on a spontaneous beautiful evening complimented this poem very well. Hope you enjoyed. Thanks for reading. 🙂

Self Doubt, Insecurities, Etc.

332Self doubt. we all have it from time to time. some more than others. In fact, I’ve had major self doubt about this post. I haven’t written anything in awhile because I’ve been over thinking on what kind of content to write. Should I write about serious personal stories? perhaps a comedic piece? or how about just some photography? maybe a story about an upcoming event? so many things crossed my mind and then I would scratch them out because I would think that it wasn’t interesting enough. Then I got to the point where I was questioning my previous posts. After way too much thinking about what to write next I realized how ridiculous I was being.

I started questioning myself, why do I always worry about what others think? why do I always compare myself to other people or other blogs? I can write about whatever the hell my little heart desires! Then I got to thinking that I’m not the only one who does this. Just by reading this post so far you can imagine how deeply I think into things and how my train of thought can be crazy sometimes. Anyways, after all of this wondering I starting thinking, why do so many of us doubt ourselves? maybe it’s the messages and images put out by the media or the way society raised us or maybe it’s just all simply a part of human nature. I guess no one really knows. This is starting to turn into a ramble which is alright and I’m glad that I warned you about ramblings in my blog title and my first post entitled, “New Beginnings”. So don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

Anyways, after all this thinking of self doubt, insecurities and things related to this I started wondering about how it would be if more of us started to not worry about what others thought, if we lived in a world without self doubt. Sure, there must be a balance of consciousness obviously, we don’t necessarily want murderers to be running around our neighborhoods confidently. But what if that boy down the street wasn’t afraid to go after his dreams, what if that woman went beyond her self doubt and created a masterpiece of art, what if YOU moved beyond all that self doubt, all those insecurities and purely did what you loved without worrying about what the outcome would be. Sure, they may be individuals out there who have come to this epiphany way earlier that I did and they are doing this as we speak but my point is, we all have the potential to do great things, we all have the potential to create wondrous things! It may sound incredibly cliche but it’s true. We may fall down sometimes and we may fail but with hard work, passion and moving beyond those fears we can all bring great things.

There is so much things I would love to do and things I’ve been wanting to do or try for a very long time. I also find that I compare myself to other people  who are doing all these cool things which lead to me saying, you know what..I can do that! Instead of holding back in fear of being judged, envying others who are doing them and forever being to afraid to try, I should just get off my lazy ass, shut up my loud insecure mind and do it!  I’m taking it upon myself to move past my comfort zone and finally do all the things I’ve been wanting to try or do and I challenge all of you who are reading this right now to do the same! Life is all about experiences and learning from them, I know that far off in the future I don’t want to regret not trying something just because of fear of being judged or fear of failing. But please take into account, I am not advising that we all go try the new drugs or that new cocktail at the bar. Everyone has their limits, everyone has their choices so please move past your comfort zones responsibly.

Let me know in the comments below what you’ll do next!