Unearthing Indigenous Leadership Principles

The purpose of this project was to provide an opportunity for Elders to share the leadership concepts embedded in their language and have them written and integrated into a youth leadership framework.

Project Dates: February 2017 – February 2019
Funding Amount: $24,600
Students Hired: 1

We know we need to work together to save our language, to breathe breath back into our language in all of our communities.

Sara Child, Lead Researcher

Project Summary

The O’ma̱n’s ’Na̱m’a Project: Unearthing Indigenous Leadership Principles through Indigenous Language explores the knowledge surrounding Indigenous concepts of leadership.

Through the involvement of Kwakwaka’wakw Elders fluent in Kwak’wala, this project documents Kwakwaka’wakw leadership principles, values, knowledge systems, and connections to the land expressed through the lens of the local Indigenous language, Kwak’wala. The project will use the knowledge gathered to build a locally-relevant Indigenous leadership camp framework infused with the leadership principles found in Kwak’wala.

Project Outcomes

Knowledge Synthesis Grant Report

Research Team

Sara Child
Sara Child, Lead Researcher
Sara is also an instructor in NIC's Awi'nakola land-based ABE program being offered at the Mixalakwila campus in Port Hardy; this pilot ABE program sprung out of the Truth and Reconciliation talks of Mixalakwila staff. Sara is very proud to be a part of this ABE program that brings together students and staff in a holistic learning environment, draws on local elders, culture, language and student strengths and is a response to the calls to action of TRC.
Caitlin Hartnett
Caitlin Hartnett, Lead Researcher
Caitlin Hartnett is the campus community coordinator for NIC’s Mixalakwila campus in Port Hardy. Caitlin is responsible for providing leadership at the campus and connecting with the community to develop short and long-term education and training in the region. Since joining the college in 2009, Caitlin has taught English, served on NIC’s Board of Governors, chaired the Adult Basic Education Department and NIC’s Education Council and taken a leadership role in the strategic planning process for the Mixalakwila campus in Port Hardy.
Colette Child
Colette Child, Student


SSHRC logo