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31 October 2023
Nathalie Huntley, from the Pekuakamiulnuatsh First Nation, performs her role of coach with passion and rigor in 2 First Nations Executive Education (FNEE) programs. Her goal: collaborate in the fulfillment of Indigenous communities.
Bringing First Nations together through knowledge
According to Nathalie, FNEE stands out because of its ability to bring together members of First Nations communities in a unique pedagogical setting. She firmly believes that people need to communicate about their shared experiences and realities, something they rarely have the chance to do in a culturally safe environment.
She emphasizes that “FNEE offers numerous possibilities for learning and sharing, both to the participants and to the instructors, fostering collaboration and mutual respect.” She is impressed by the ability of FNEE faculty to listen to the participants and by the way they adapt their teaching to their rhythms and realities. She is also struck by the presence of a wide diversity of knowledge, experience, and life paths in each training program.
But she believes that what makes FNEE fundamentally unique is the marriage and the balance between knowledge, experience, the material covered . . . and the parallel training activities: the panels, the networking, the reflection time, the role of the elderly persons, and the practices. It is this balancing act that makes possible the real integration and the concrete and culturally adapted application of the concepts that are taught.
Training and supporting Indigenous managers and leaders
Nathalie works as an instructor and a coach in 2 distinct FNEE programs: Becoming an Agile and Innovative Leader and Strengthening Collaborative Management at Your Organization. In the first (1st), she provides support to chiefs, grand chiefs, vice chiefs, and board chairs in their reflections and their questioning as well as in the development of their final project. In the second (2nd), she helps managers, general directors, and program directors determine their goals and improve their management competencies.
In both cases, Nathalie shares her own reality and what she observes in her day-to-day work with members of First Nations communities. Frequently travelling from one Indigenous community to another in order to improve her understanding of the needs of managers, she is passionate about the new challenges and eager to learn: “I feel privileged to be able to contribute to FNEE and thus to step out of my comfort zone in order to grow as an individual and share this experience with others.”
Nathalie Huntley definitively embodies creativity, sharing, and collaboration, values that make FNEE an exceptional learning environment for members of First Nations communities.