Ep207: So You Say You Want Decolonization? with Jessica Dumas


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If you’re wondering what you can do in bringing reconciliation and decolonization to Canada – this episode is for you.

First, we learn what colonization actually looks like. Jessica Dumas of Keeseekoowenin Ojibway First Nation shares personal stories about her family, life experiences, and tragic interaction with police that demonstrate just how effective colonization is. The goal of residential schools was to “kill the Indian in the child”, and it worked.

The good news is, we can help undo some of residential school’s legacies. As Jessica learned about the true history of her people, she discovered her Indigenous identity, and began a career in restorative justice. Today, she is a sought-after speaker, coach and emcee, and even introduced Michelle Obama at an event!

Jessica believes that continuous education is key non-indigenous allies to support truth and reconciliation. So as you listen to Jessica’s story, what are you learning, and what steps will you take towards restorative justice today?
Contact Rosie and find JEDI resources at: https://www.changinglenses.ca/
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In this episode, we talk about:

  • What a land acknowledgment means to Jessica
  • Living without cultural identity or sense of purpose
  • The first time she realized she was different
  • Choosing between being Indigenous or sending your child to residential school
  • The family tragedy that started her on the path to restorative justice
  • Finally finding her place in community
  • Discrimination against her lack of university degree
  • Meeting Michelle Obama!
  • Encouragement for young Indigenous women
  • Education is the key to decolonization

Full transcript here.

Guest Bio and References/Links

About Jessica Dumas:

Jessica is the President of Jessica Dumas Coaching and Training. She is a professional certified coach who specializes in speaker coaching and business coaching, helping individuals speak with clarity and confidence. She is an energetic and motivated professional who quickly gains the trust of her audience with her warm, engaging personality and professional style.

Widely recognized for her contributions, Jessica is a recipient of the Manitoba 150 Women Trailblazer award from the Nellie McClung Foundation, a finalist for the Future Leaders of Manitoba and a finalist in the CBC’s Top 40 Manitoban’s under 40 for 2015.

Jessica’s volunteer work also earns wide respect in Manitoba. She has served as Chairperson of the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce and the first Indigenous Female Chairperson of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce (2019-2020) and continues to sit on numerous committees and boards at the executive level. She is a powerful role model and advocate for social justice, leading others to overcome challenges by developing personal strengths, vision and self-confidence.

Find Jessica on:

If you enjoy the podcast and want deeper ways to Change your Lens in work and business, check out the free resources on my website, changinglenses.ca. I also offer workshops and keynote speeches on JEDI topics like Decolonizing Corporate Workplaces, recruiting more inclusively, anti-Asian racism, and many more. How can I support your JEDI journey? Contact me at changinglenses.ca.

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