Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation Launches Rewards Program

Starting August 1st, The Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation will be accepting nominations for the “Dare to Dream Big Rewards Program”. This is a shared project between the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation and the Two Row Times running from August to November 2014 to reward First Nations people for positive community engagement and inspiring others to do the same.

Nomination forms are available online here and will be open to all four sectors the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation supports – Sports from August 1-31st; Arts & Culture from September 1-30th; Education from October 1-31st and for Health from November 1-30th. Keep checking www.tworowtimes.com and our Facebook page for updates.

BACKGROUND TO THE PROJECT

The Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation funds dreamers. Why? So they can be the empowered future leaders of our communities. Strong and ethical leaders speak with truth, humility and integrity – walking every day with a committed endurance. Perhaps even more importantly though, an empowering leader should inspire this behaviour in others. These are the characteristics we as indigenous people should be facilitating in the growth of our future leaders.

It is our responsibility to encourage First Nations people to empower their peers and foster in all of us a “get up and go” attitude. This is the ‘it factor’ that ignites inspiration in others. This is the charismatic quality of all dynamic leaders. We believe First Nations people of all ages should be acknowledged and rewarded for reaching toward their dreams and encouraging others to do the same.

Sadly there remains some strong opposition that continually tries to hinder us from acting upon our dreams: namely the problems of lateral violence and that “crabs in the bucket mentality”. These are both learned behaviours and the sad leftovers from the residential school system that hovers about First Nations communities. These attitudes act as a spiritual vacuum, draining hope and motivation from First Nations people of all ages, setting the stage for things like bullying and internalized shame about our First Nations heritage. But we believe “crabs in the bucket” mentality can be overcome – by the power of using a Good Mind!

Our traditions tells us that the Peacemaker, when speaking to the people, held up one arrow and broke it in two. He reached again, this time taking a handful of five arrows. When he tried to snap the bundle, the five arrows together didn’t break. The Peacemaker showed us that in unity we are stronger. This is the message we need to remember – to stand behind one another, support each other, believe in one another, and encourage each other in all these things. In our traditions this is called ‘Ganigohiyo’, or having a Good Mind.

The “Dare to Dream Rewards Program” is a means of positive reinforcement for First Nations people who Dare to Dream Big and inspire others to do the same. Cheering on your peers for doing positive healthy things, and being encouraged for doing positive healthy things are both effective ways to encourage all First Nations to overcome the “crabs in the bucket mentality.”

DETAILS TO APPLY

The Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation will reward First Nations people who are engaging positively with their communities and and who inspire others to do the same. Every month from August to November 2014 the Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation will recognize the positive engagement of First Nations in all four sectors that they support; Sports, Arts & Culture, Health and Education. The Program is open to nominees of all ages.

It’s so easy to participate. Here is how it works:

First, figure out someone you would like to nominate. Next, tell us their name and what you would like to reward them for. Fill in the form and hit send. That’s it!

It is not a competition, it is not a contest, and EVERYONE nominated receives a reward!

In addition to that, we want to reward YOU for nominating someone! Why? Because we think that is good stuff too.

At the end of the Program there will be a random draw of all nominees to win one of THREE GRAND PRIZES worth over $500! Prize packages will be announced closer to the draw date and will also be announced in the Two Row Times. If you are nominated you’ll receive an email with all the details on how you can pick up your rewards.

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About The Author

Nahnda Garlow, Onondaga under the wing of the Beaver Clan of Six Nations, is our Arts & Culture editor. Her popular column, Scone Dogs and Seed Beads brings weekly thoughts on current day indigenous identity. She is a self-proclaimed "rez girl" who brings to the Two Row Times years of experience as a cultural interpreter, traditional dancer and beadwork aficionado.

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