This carving is Transformation Man. He was created from the heart wood of a massive red cedar tree hundreds of years ago, prior to the arrival of the colonizers. He originally sat inside a big house on top of a carved human body. He represents a chief in the process of transforming into a killer whale. The Kwakwaka'wakw believe that all chiefs transform into maxinuk or killer whales when they die and go on to live another life in the sea. Belief in the possibility and benefits of transformation permeate Kwakwaka'wakw culture and are fundamental to our traditions and beliefs.
Transformation is essential to indigenous leadership. We need to be able to support change for ourselves and the communities that we serve. Without these skills, we will only be able to lead to where we already are. Indigneous leaders face enormous pressure to conform and fall into line with non-indigneous expectations. These forces can include monetary, professional, social, political and other inducements. However, if indigneous leaders are not able to see through and around these factors, they will end up re-creating the status quo instead of leading to new directions. Transformation from the heart, based on indigenous, cultural, social and spiritual rewards has the potential to support indigneous leaders in making the right choices for themselves, their cultures and their people.
The announcer at the the O'Chiese Pow Wow in July of 2016 demanded that all chiefs make decisions to protect the land, the people and the culture and that they stop thinking only about money.
I Discover that my Leadership Approach is Indigenous talks about my finding indigenous values within the works of writers like Margaret Wheatley, Brene Brown and others. I also discuss commonalities between indigneous approaches and feminist, servant, authoritarian, organic and multi-faceted modalities.
Wheatley: Leadership for Uncertain Times takes the position that "western cultural views of how best to organize and lead are contrary to what life teaches."
Brene Brown and Transformational Leadership says that we need to focus on improving our ability to encourage innovation and creativity if we want support positive change.
Leading Through Mutual Empowerment to support the Indigenous Peoples of West Yellowhead through my practicum.
Margaret Wheatly say that we should act as Midwives to the Ideas of Others Instead of Micro Managers.