connecting small grants to big change

Connecting Small Grants to Big Change

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Introducing “Conversations With Brad”

January 27, 2012

We are delighted and excited to welcome Brad Stone as our first guest blogger of 2012.  “Conversations With Brad” is our new series of blogs, Q&As, and discussion about First Nations issues in Canada, particularly around youth and environmental sustainability.

Simply leave a comment below with a question for Brad, and over the next few months we will try to discuss and address these questions.  You can also e-mail questions or discussion topics to info@smallchangefund.org with Conversations With Brad in the subject line.

Now, an introduction from Brad…….

Hau! (Dakota)
Tansi! (Plains Cree)
Hello! (English)

My name is Brad Stone, I am originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, but to be more specific, home to me is Whitecap Dakota First Nation (which is a stone’s throw away from Saskatoon, no pun intended). I am of Plains Cree and Dakota ancestry, and take great pride in who I am as a First Nations person.  I do my best to live this life in a good way and stay thankful for the opportunities presented each day. I have been taught by elders and healers that this gift of life is sacred and that our spirit can guide us in such a positive and powerful way along this journey of life.

I briefly went to university to pursue a Bachelor of Education in hopes of becoming a school teacher. However, I didn’t complete my studies and it is a big regret of mine.  Eventually I hope to return to post-secondary studies to pursue a degree in possibly the medical or social services field. In retrospect, and in all honesty, I would not change a thing, I have been quite fortunate and learned a lot along this path of life.  I feel very blessed to have gone through all that I went through and have learned to use prayer as a steering wheel to help me stay guided in life.

Work-wise my history has ranged from being a soldier in the Canadian Forces, working at a golf course, maintenance person at Ramada Hotel, working in a hog slaughtering factory, prescriptive fitness practitioner (fancy name for a personal trainer) to helping people from a First Nations cultural and spiritual standpoint to find balance in life. More recently it has been working with youth in northern Ontario First Nation communities to the current, a housing worker for homeless people in downtown Toronto. 

Personally, I’ve had my share of triumphs and losses in life as many of us do, luckily I’ve been able to learn, grow and understand myself through all these experiences. In my past, I’ve struggled, I’ve starved and I’ve failed, and these are reasons why I do my best to succeed today. I have come to learn how powerful a positive perspective is in terms of helping us to continue moving forward in life, feeling comfortable in who we are and being able to enjoy this beautiful gift that life is. For when we are gone from this earth, we are physically gone forever; of course our memory remains within the hearts of our loved ones. The reality is, there have been millions of years that the earth has been around, and each of us is the only one of us there will ever be on this earth. So why not believe in ourselves, why not look at our purpose as something positive and why not do our best to leave behind a beautiful trail? We have the opportunity each day to strive towards becoming the greatest person we can be.

Whoa! I just read what I wrote and I may have gone too deep for my first blog post. Nonetheless it was my opportunity and honor to introduce myself (in a nutshell) to you, the reader of this blog. I very much look forward to helping Small Change Fund in this way as they continue to help in a very real way and support those who are doing amazingly good things for themselves and the earth.

I welcome all of your questions or if you wish for me to shed light on something in particular, just let me know below. Like a ripple in a pond, sometimes a small change can spread out and have a bigger impact than we can imagine, who knows what a conversation with Brad might start!

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