Yesterday in our Sapsik’ʷałá Seminar, Yakama Elder and “Super Auntie” Tux̱ámshish Dr. Virginia Beavert reminded us about the importance of welcoming students to our classrooms and welcoming guests to our meetings. She encouraged us to make sure people have water to drink and a little snack–something low in sugar, as so many people struggle with diabetes and managing blood sugar.
It was such a simple comment; yet, I see so many wise teachings in her instruction. These teachings reflect the strong tradition of love and leadership in our Indigenous cultural ways. I’ll name just a few:
Leaders are responsible for caring about the environment they prepare for students and guests.
Kindness, generosity, and inclusiveness are important parts of welcoming people appropriately.
Model the importance of nurturing individuals and the group–so that our best thinking, sharing, and work can happen.
Yakama cultural teachings affirm that Chúush (Water) is sacred. Having this blessed relation present in our classrooms and meeting spaces will help nourish and sustain us.
All of these teachings encourage us to see the power of the collective and how, as individuals, we all have the ability to step forward as leaders who care for the people around us.
In all of your classes and meetings, I hope you find warm welcomes, deep wisdom, and rewarding work.
Join the celebration launch of Fox Doesn’t Wear a Watch at the Power of Indigenous Stories and Art event with Michelle Jacob and Crystal Buck! This event is Free! Friday, April 9 at 2:00pm Pacific time (5pm Eastern). More info and register here.