Addressing racial wealth gaps

Our Commitment

Report date
July 2021
Learning Log

What stands out to me the most in my leadership development is me overcoming my fear of failure. Tunkasiŋa (creator) put me on this Earth for a reason, to help mend the sacred hoop of the Očéti Šakówiŋ (seven sacred council fires) by advocating for future generations of indigenous youth in the education systems. I have nothing to be afraid of because my ancestors are behind me every step of the way and so are my indigenous people. I can lead and make an impact because others believe in me, and I feel that I have surmounted the imposter syndrome that once altered my self-confidence. When I first started working in higher education over five years ago as an indigenous person, I once was called the equal opportunity employee. I was told I was hired only because the higher education institution for which I was hired for needed diversity among their employees to comply with the Equal Opportunity Act. This statement fragmented my belief in myself, as this person asserted that I was not up to the task of my job. Until recently I still doubted my abilities. What changed? Healing is what changed me, and to not lead with my trauma is integral to my leadership. It took me a long time to get here, but I feel that my spirit is finally healed and that I am ready, ready to challenge others to lean into discomfort and to think about what education equity really means. What does education equity look like for all? To do this work, difficult conversations take place, as the root of education inequity is institutional racism, which several people try to avoid talking about. I can have these hard conversations with the assistance of my Bush Fellowship. My fellowship has allowed me to take care of myself by prioritizing self-care, particularly by participating in ceremonies and staying in prayer. I am my ancestors’ resiliency. I remember who I am and where I come from, with the help of my fellowship and my indigenous ways of life and being.