Aaniin, Indinawemaaganidog! Greetings my relatives!
Before I became Executive Director of Tiwahe Foundation, I was a board member, and before that, a donor. When I was first introduced to Tiwahe five years ago, I felt a connection rooted to my earliest memories as an Anishinaabekwe, Ojibwe woman, from Bois Forte (Minnesota) and Lac La Croix First Nation (Ontario). I was reminded of my grandmother, Phyllis Boshey, a survivor of the Vermillion Indian Residential School, who showed me, while ricing and processing animals together, how we are rich with all the medicines and traditions we need for healing and thriving. She served twenty years on Tribal Council building a future for our community and she spent her entire life celebrating the culture and values that the boarding school tried to take from her. Like my grandmother before me, I have devoted my life to uplifting Indigenous leadership and ways of being.
Fresh out of grad school, I spent ten years in community development finance, moving home to create a federal credit union to serve our tribal members, and examining policies that impeded, or intentionally excluded, Native people and communities of color. But access to resources alone is not a solution for reversing the disparities caused by the violent and systemic oppression of Native peoples. Indigenous people around the world view wealth as the quality of our relationships and the resources we give away. To generate this kind of wealth we must invest in rebuilding the relational pathways for living and sharing our cultural values that were disrupted by the boarding school era. This is our work at Tiwahe Foundation.
We must invest in rebuilding the relational pathways for living and sharing our cultural values that were disrupted by the boarding school era. This is our work at Tiwahe Foundation.
We are all conditioned by colonial systems to treat the symptoms of generational trauma versus investing in the traditional cultural knowledge that naturally addresses the root causes.Donating to Tiwahe directly invests in the people, practices, and networks that will determine how our ways of being will live and grow.
At Tiwahe, we empower our people with resources to chart their own path toward healing and self-determination. But we also know that community healing can not only happen at the individual level, which is why we connect and uplift networks of Native people working toward healing through a return to the medicines, knowledge, and languages of our peoples. The results we see are profound and are generating ripple effects through generations. In the Twin Cities alone, we have directly resourced thousands of Native leaders and our work is only growing.
But this work cannot happen without the Circle of Generosity that supports the staff, culture bearers, and community leaders who are vital to our work. Today I ask you to contribute what you can to help build a movement for redefining Indigenous leadership.
Miigwech! Thank you!