" We are a non-colonial institution and this means doing things in ways that run counter to the capitalist model of business "
David Flood, General Manager, Wahkohtowin Development -
..... I feel proud to be a good example for my son, for other youth, and anyone who is thinking to go back to school to complete this goal. .....
As the Cultural Revitalization Coordinator with Wahkohtowin, I am very grateful for the support I’ve received in accomplishing an academic goal that I’ve tried many times to get to over the years, I finally completed and received my grade 12 diploma!
I found it very challenging to move through the school system as a troubled youth, not quite knowing how to advocate for myself within a system that I felt suppressed my indigenous roots at the time. Being on my own since I was 16 years old, I eventually chose to work 3 jobs to support myself instead of completing my grade 12. Through the years, I’ve had many opportunities that Creator had put in my path – learning through ceremonies, traditional teachers, fasting ceremonies, Sundances, ghost dances, being guided by visions and dreams which has led me to where I am today. This path however, came with its challenges and limitations as an adult without a grade 12 diploma.
I feel this was something I needed to close a chapter on, I went down many different roads in my life through this time, some good and some not so good. I needed that sense of accomplishment and to continue opening doors to my future. This is where Wahkohtowin was a huge support to my success. I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity. While working as a Cultural Revitalization Coordinator, Wahkohtowin supported me by giving paid time, every second week that allowed me to continue earning a salary while working on my education. I feel proud to be a good example for my son, for other youth, and anyone who is thinking to go back to school to complete this goal. I’m also proud to be a part of an Indigenous organization who supports the growth of our indigenous peoples! I feel I can now walk between 2 words, the spiritual/cultural and the working world we live in where having a grade 12 is a standard.
With the help of Wahkohtowin, the Wawa Adult Learning Center and Sault Ste. Marie Adult Learning Center, I’ve been able to finally close this chapter in my life and continue growing as an Anishinaabe kwe, mother, Cultural Revitalization Coordinator and artist with focus on a brighter future. I wish to see more organizations support our Indigenous peoples in this way,
I hope this is an inspiration to show the importance of supporting and helping our people to accomplish goals.
With hard work, dedication and good support, we can all continue to challenge ourselves to accomplish goals that we set! I encourage anyone who is looking to go back and complete their grade 12 to just go for it, it feels good!
Author - Christina Bekintis - Cultural Revitalization Coordinator