My fifteen leadership values and practices

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Author, Shelley Wiart (November 2020).


As a Métis woman and health researcher, I first must position myself in this pursuit before I share my Covid-19 Pandemic Self-Reflections on Success and Leadership. As an Indigenous researcher, my positioning honours the “Indigenous ideological understanding of the world predicated on relationality and agency” discussed by Martin (2017). I accept the responsibility to respectfully locate myself within the process of writing and research, and relational to the communities and women that I worked with co-creating Indigenous health research. I am Métis and a board member of the North Slave Métis Alliance, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (NT). …

Our Canadian Science Policy Panel Takeaways & Actions

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Moderator: Shelley Wiart, Founder, Women Warriors.

Speakers: Jennifer Leason, Canada Research Chair, University of Calgary; Michael Lickers, Indigenous Scholar in Residence — School of Leadership, Royal Roads University; Carrie Bourassa, Director of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Lillian Dyck, Retired Senator, Senate of Canada.

Context: The panel explored the theme of global health in a pandemic by addressing the multifaceted health inequities experienced by Indigenous peoples. Each scholar addressed the health inequity experienced by Indigenous peoples in the spectrum of their life cycle from childhood to Elders. …

Canadian Science Policy Conference (CSPC) 2020

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“Teepee teachings” artwork by Dr. Jennifer Leason.

Teepee teachings: The 15 poles represent 15 values including respect, guidance, humility, happiness, love, trust, kinship, cleanliness, thankfulness, sharing, strength, good child rearing, hope, responsibility and interconnectedness. This painting depicts the teepee and how we can lean on and support one another. A single pole left to stand on its own, would fall down. But when we lean on and support each other, we are better as a collective. These pole or values are needed to create a safe, and ethical space of engagement. If we do not live by our values, then we are not living in a true ethical space. Teaching credit: Willie Ermine. …

Teachings from Native American Psychologist, Dr. Eduardo Duran

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Photo by Ashkan Forouzanion Unsplash.

We are living in a time of prophecy. The Elders from many different tribes across Turtle Island have passed down stories about a time when Indigenous peoples would be called upon to share their wisdom. A time of being called back to the land. A time of great healing for Mother Earth. A call for unity. A call for Indigenous peoples to share their cultural teachings of interconnectedness, humility, harmony, and balance with all of humankind.

Dr. Duran’s book, Healing the Soul Wound: Trauma-Informed Counseling for Indigenous Communities (2019) opens with a prophecy from Ta Shunka Witco (aka Crazy Horse) which was delivered in 1877 during a pipe ceremony with Sitting Bull, near Standing Rock. …

In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day June 21st

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Photo by Dulcey Lima on Unsplash.

I love watching Indigenous womxn leaders perform a fireworks display of advocacy on a public platform. Unapologetic in their power, in their strongest Aunty-voice, they lay bare the truth. They are determined to tell our stories to obtain justice. They give life to Indigenous peoples stories of inequality, systemic racism, and injustice through a lens of survivance and healing. They share strength-based stories of our land, language, and culture, and remind us that our resilience resides in our spiritual connection to our land and our Indigenous knowledge systems.

Who better to be in charge of pandemic rebirth than womxn who have been targeted by systems of oppression — patriarchy, colonialism, sexism, and racism — and emerged with their fist high in the air. It is the power of Indigenous womxn’s words that shake the foundations of colonialism. Their leadership is a collective rally cry for inclusivity, equality, and systems change. Their leadership is transparent and based on relational accountability to their communities. They understand our interconnectedness; either all of us come together or none of us survive. They put their power and privilege to good use — for the betterment of all society — not just for a few. Indigenous womxn will lead us forward during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. The following are four Indigenous womxn leaders that are enacting Covid-19 pandemic systems change. …

Reflections on our Covid-19 pandemic spiritual journey

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Mother Earth (June 2020). Photos from my daily morning runs in Bud Miller Park and my backyard, Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada.

I knew I was in need of a break and spiritual maintenance in mid-May when my trauma rash reappeared on my legs. It is an invisible rash that causes me to itch uncontrollably at night. I lay in bed with tingling skin, mostly concentrated on my legs, and I itch until my skin bleeds.

The last time it appeared was May 2017 after visiting my brother in Calgary’s Peter Lougheed Hospital in the intensive care unit. The disease of alcoholism — a disease of disappointment and despair — was threatening to claim him. I sat at the foot of his bed, my hand gently placed on his leg, unable to hold his hand, because both of his arms were in restraints due to a previous incident of him ripping out his IV’s during a seizure. With my back to the watchful eyes of his dedicated ICU nurse, I wept, and whispered promises. …


Shelley Wiart

Métis. Founder of Women Warriors. Indigenous women’s holistic health. Mother of 3 daughters. (She/her). Lloydminster, AB Canada.

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