For all the N8V empowerment, through court cases, assertion of rights and title, education, treaties and much more, BC has been paving the way for all N8V people in Canada to follow. But there is still much work to do in our N8V communities, and we need to continue this empowerment 'tradition'.
- We need to recognize and utilize peoples strengths, and not limit leadership to an Indian Act 'Chief' position. Teachers, sports players, youth, youth workers, artists, mothers, grandparents, everyone needs a venue to express the leadership they possess. We need to redefine 'Leadership'. Traditionally, everyone in our society had a 'place and a role'. All contributed and were recognized. We all have a place, lets accept who we are and where we come from.
- Education is to be redefined and recognized to include oral teachings, attendance at community meetings where decisions are discussed and made, social interaction is a form of learning (as I learn most when I interact with others, and not sitting in a classroom).
- Knowledge of colonization, understanding why we are the way we are.
- Current people in leadership positions need to be 'held up' by us commoners. I want to make U a better leader in whatever way I can. We can no longer afford to act as though our elected chiefs and hereditary chiefs possess all the answers and hold a magic wand to make things better. Community development takes a community. I understand that we need a strategy do this and it may take many years to achieve. I can do it. I'm young. Just teach me and others how to do this. I don't want to reinvent the wheel. Tell me your 20 year plan, and I'll implement it. I'll hold you up.
- Young people need infastructure, a positive place in the community to interact with each other and the adults and elders. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Just make sure to have good food and water available. Food brings people together, and is a good icebreaker. Youth participation cannot be a bare bones strategy. It will take investment. I suggest food because its a good place to start.
- Why is it that we don't gather more provincially? Is it because of treaties taking up most of our time? We need venues to gather and interact more!
- We need to put people before gov't. I know right now everyone is talking about building relationships with gov't because they will 'save us and give us money'. I believe that gov't will always be there, but we are still losing our young people. Who deserves our time the most? Communication saves. Accept it as being that simple. Then we can move on to building a strong collective. If the gumsywaas taught me anything about their power, its that we have power in numbers. Lets build communication as a strategy to play their game and win it.