Decolonizing my Practice Starts with Understanding an Indigenous Worldview
Brander McDonaldHSS - Room 27
This workshop will provide a working toolbox to better engage Indigenous peoples through an insider's look into the worldview, beliefs, values, and working cosmology that frames protocols, language, communication, and lifestyle all leading to better working relationships and the journey of reconciliation.
Brander McDonald is a Cree First Nation’s elder, cross-cultural consultant, facilitator, performer and recording artist. He is a Indigenous man who sees names as being very important and having meaning. Translated his name is “Strong Raven” as being “one who stirs the fires to keep things going”. After many decades serving his people on the west coast of British Columbia, Brander was also honored with the privilege and responsibility to carry the name “Standing Bear”. He was given the “the responsibility to stand for our First Nations people – to make things safe for all – to stand in pride”. He is described as uniquely quietly powerful and talented First Nations leader. He is a deep thinker and a great listener whose intuitiveness is valued by all who have worked with him and to those touched through his talents and abilities. He is a much sought after elder for speaking and for counsel. He claims that he has always felt a powerful personal connection to the Creator, which has sustained him given him a true sense of belonging. He carries a comfortable spirit and is very approachable.
Brander is gifted in facilitating cross-cultural forums concerning First Nations cultures by the initiation of a presentation and discussion over core values, beliefs, and worldviews. His discussions extend beyond theory to looking at practical ways for building mutual understanding and reconciliation.
Mr. McDonald holds a BA in psychology, fine arts and music and has worked as an Indigenous social worker, counselor and therapist, coordinator for the survivors of Indian residential schools, youth coordinator and cultural liaison. He has Masters level training in spiritual counseling. He is also a gifted First Nations singer-songwriter, recording artist and engineer and performing artist with university and college training in music education, recording arts and experience in the Los Angeles music industry.
As a Cree First Nations individual himself, Brander has years of experience working directly with Aboriginal peoples and understands the issues and struggles they face in living in a dominantly non-native society. He has a keen interest in providing others with the basic tools in understanding First Nations people and bridging the gap between native and non-native culture and brings his own education and experience to his presentations. This is a valuable and unique opportunity to understand the framework from which First Nations view the world and the values they hold. It is a great resource for those who may or wish to provide services to First Nations peoples.
Mr. McDonald enjoys communicating his understanding of the unique values that Native people hold. This takes advantage of first hand understanding of the nuances to the native mindset. Other companies and organizations work outside the culture in the hopes of understanding the culture from within. Mr. McDonald can share the unique “insider’s” view of the aboriginal mindset. Having first hand knowledge of the culture makes for a distinct advantage in facilitations and consulting. It becomes first hand not second hand information.
Brander McDonald is also a keen Aboriginal public speaker, singer songwriter, recording artist and performer whose knows how to awaken the native worldview understanding in various conferences, seminars and gatherings. McDonald offers performances that speak about various aspects of the Aboriginal experience and mindset. His original songs, recordings and artwork are also a powerful means of communication and sharing and encouragement designed for those that wish to supplement this training or facilitation. His experience in Los Angeles music business and his many years of music and the arts, along with his deep understanding of the First Nations philosophy of life, make for a remarkably powerful and effective presentation. He is a deep thinker and thought-provoking artist. His presentations will surely challenge your mindset and cultural con.