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Shane Patterson

Shane PattersonMy name is Shane Patterson.  I am a enrolled member of the great Ihanktowan Nation (Yankton Sioux Tribe). My ancestral lands hail in the southeastern corner in the state of South Dakota. I represent the Ocheti Sakowin-Seven Council Fires of the great Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota Nations. I was born and raised on my ancestral lands learning a plethora of ancestral and traditional knowledge under the guidance of my parents, extended family and relatives that took the opportunity to mentor me. There are numerous relatives that taught me, and I stand in gratitude for the transference and passing on of our ancestral knowledge. I have resided in Canada over the last 25 years, working in oppressive systems such as child welfare and health. In 2007, I graduated from the University of Manitoba with a double major in Native Studies and History. 

The challenges and adversities I have faced as an Indigenous person have been enduring to say the least, but I have found strength in my ancestral ways to help me cope and find resolution. I have made attempts to go back into post secondary studies but did not find programs that were of interest. As a result, this had made it challenging to find passion in returning to school. Over the last number of years, I have found passion in helping Indigenous communities in various initiatives such as lateral violence training, traditional wellness clinics, learning and administering Indigenous plant medicines, providing grief support, counseling, trauma informed support, mentoring, and a variety of initiatives linked to promoting wellness and recovery from the impacts of colonization. Using the philosophy of being a good relative to find innovative, creative, and authentic approaches rooted in strength-based practices have been the medicine for meeting relatives where there at.

After recently finishing a qualifying year for acceptance into the MDP program, I have begun to realize a lot of the activities, approaches, and practices I was delivering were not only development but flowed through strong Indigenous worldviews, culture, and knowledge. The MDP Program aligned with the values and practice of the work I am doing with Indigenous organizations and communities. The intent to understand liberation for Indigenous communities and to heal from the impacts of colonization will take generations to recover from. As we continue to make strides in cultural resurgence and reclaim practices that are rooted in healing and recovery, our communities will only be further strengthened to walk closer to Creator.