Søren Hermansen: In Canada

In Canada

2017 - by Søren Hermansen

I have always been fascinated by native Indians from northern America and Canada. There has been something wild and right about life in and with nature.

I grew up believing i was born in the wrong place and time. I saw myself fishing and hunting in close contact with nature and people. Innocent thoughts from a young boy!

Soon i realized though what a tuff destiny the first nation people really experienced. But still fascinated by the culture and the spiritual thinking of the people!

A couple of years ago I met Christoffer Henderson! He and I were invited to work with an international group on climate change and what to do! We talked and i started thinking we could meet again. Chris is the manager of Lumos Energy in Ottowa and also the creator of a training program for fist nation people form Canada in a program called Catalyst 20/20 read more Chris invited me to be a mentor in 2016 where i met with 20 catalysts that had been elected by elders and Chris´s team. The idea is to educate and help there people to make a plan for their community and go through the processes and finally get it approved and financed so the plan can help the community to be more self supplied and less depending on imported fuel. I learned a lot about where these people came from and what it meant for them to be sent away to represent their community. How do we listen to the elders and seek help in history and the spirits. Not a common structure where I come from! We believe in the great free marked and in money talks and that time is key to success. We believe in fixing things and expanding the footprint.

And now this may 2017 i have been at it again. A new group of Catalysts met in New Brunswick to get to know each other and to met the mentors and get started with the planning.

3 weeks during the next 3 month, they will meet in 3 different locations across Canada. They all come from communities in the north across Canada from Intuits in the east to Vancouver Island in the west. Being from a small island in Denmark I need to remember that it started long time ago for us. Time is important. Rooted in a culture with a deep understanding of history I need to be patient and to listen to what they really say when they talk. There is a lot of healing to do. Lots of harm and crazy stuff have been going on in the early days of immigrants. And it actually still does in a way. It is standing in the way for a positive development! As a mentor IO need to understand that a small problem in my eyes seems so much bigger for someone who deals with so many other things in life. Listening carefully helps a lot. Sensing what is behind the words and the playful jokes helps too. Sustainability is about people working together to improve the quality of life. These first nation people can laugh and make fun. I want to learn how to relax and not take life too seriously. We will save the world eventually! But we need to sense and feel what we can do together. My mentor role is to expand the network, to involve smart people who can see what’s is really needed.

I was this time with my college Malene from Samso and the Academy. She asked the question long time ago. Did you ever document what happened during the process leading to 100 % renewable energy?

She has now developed a guide for sustainable communities. Read the guideThis guide is a concentrate of almost 20 years of sustainable development of the island of Samsø. What happened and why and how did we then react as a community and what did we do when we realized the god reason to act? How did we meet and what happened at the meetings that led to the question of why we should change and why we should engage ourselves in the process.

This is what we can share with the Catalysts. Not so much the question of how we did it. It does probably not make a lot of sense in another environment but more the why we did what we did. Ask a lot of questions about why leads to really good discussions about the future, where we want to go and what we see out there both as threats and possibilities.

We tried to introduce the Pioneerguide. We laughed a lot! It was good and we shared the unknown for a while.

The young native indians from the communities are strong guys with a lot of power and will to engage and do things right. The future looks better and I am proud of being a mentor. We will guide each other and make life better when we do it.

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