Today, on Treaty 6 Recognition Day, I want to share a story on my own personal leadership journey. For those with a keen eye on detail, you may have noticed that I use the word, tribe, less and less. In fact, I’ve been trying to avoid using it for almost 2 years now. That means, not using it on social media and referring to NP cities and NP communities.
Why have I been avoiding the word?
2 years ago, someone asked why we used the word at NP. Back then, and still today, I think that NP is a great reflection of something good in the community, and that it is a positive example of a tribe. I also had read Seth Godin’s book, Tribes, and believed that it is such a great example of how we can lead in our community. I even had it printed on a few versions of the NP Buffs! It has been used at NP for so long. I’m an optimist and think that NP has the power to change the world, and with that, even change the negative connotations associated with the term, tribe.
I decided that I needed to know more. I felt that it was important to get a better understanding of the perspectives. So, I’ve been asking around, speaking with members of the Indigenous community, speaking to Elders and Knowledge Keepers, listening, asking questions, understanding the culture, taking part in ceremony, listening, asking more questions, and listening more. I’d like to think I’ve been “doing the work” as they say. The more I learn, the more curious I am. But also, the more curious I am, the more complex this all gets. And while there is no straight forward solution to all of this, I can feel more confident because I have a small amount of knowledge in the conscious choice I have made. Have I learned enough on the whole thing? Definitely not. It’s an ongoing process. To me, all of this is an important step in my personal development and how I lead in all facets of my life.
Should you stop using the word, tribe? I don’t know. That’s up to you. Do I think it’s wrong to use it? At the moment, I’d say depends. Would I think less of you for using it? No. What I think is important, is that we be conscious and purposeful with the words we choose. If you’re going to use a word, such as tribe, then go learn. If you love the term, do the work. And if you’re still good with using the term after you’ve done the work, that’s great too. Be open, gather perspectives and seek to understand. From there, make your own choices.
If you’re wondering what I’ve learned, how I feel about it, or why I think I have made the choices I have, I’d encourage you to do your own research. I have a lot of thoughts on the whole topic and still don’t know what’s right and not right. There are better perspectives on the topic than mine that you can get when you’re doing the work.
So, what does it all mean for NP? I don’t have an answer for you on that one at the moment, but know that it has been an ongoing conversation among leaders for some time. Again, there’s no straightforward solution to it, but know that many of us are doing the work.
Find the Good,
Monday – Meet in the parking lot of the Kinsmen Club of Edmonton. But, don’t park in that lot. Read that twice because it may seem confusing, but really, it’s not.
Wednesday – Old 96er and The Gristle. We’re opening up the stadium at 5:30am and 6am. So if you want to challenge the Old 96er or The Gristle, show up early. If you want to do the regular workout, we’ll see you at 6am.
Sept 2 – Sunrise 6k!