Dr. Margo Greenwood of UNBC, an expert on Aboriginal health - Introduction by Sarah de Leeuw (re-scheduled presentation)


Friends refer to Dr. Officer Margo Greenwood as “OMG” because of her recent appointment to the Order of Canada.  She is a highly-credentialed, full professor with UNBC Department of First Nations studies.  She grew up in Pinoca, AB, and is also the owner of a ‘crushing and paving’ company.  Margo is a Cree Person from Treaty 6 territory (Alberta); in Colonial terms she is non-status according to the Indian Act even though she is closely related to many Cree relatives.  She considers herself to be an Indigenous person.

Margo related her talk to how she related to the land on which she grew up; she spoke about her ‘Wishing Tree’, discovered near the river, while she was roaming on the land.  The tree was important because of its uniqueness in looks and size – she felt encouraged to dream of what could be different. 

She developed the idea “Dream it into being”.  She never had an opportunity to graduate high-school (3 credits short) and university seemed out of reach.  Years later, she has accomplished so much, and recently received the Order of Canada.  Her dreams had unfolded.

While following her dreams, she accomplished many academic standards including her Doctorate, while being driven to work for the ‘good of all’.  She ‘walked in multiple worlds’:  there are multiple systems of knowledge in the world, different ways that people think.  She is able to walk in these different worlds.

“Can a non-indigenous person come to understand Indigenous knowledge?” This is a huge question; she does not know the answer.  While she was at UBC (which she referred to as a bastion of Colonial structures) she asked a colleague this question, and she responded that it was a ‘grey space’ question; the inference being that it needed to be let alone.  Margo did so for years, but kept coming back to this question and has provided much thought-leadership towards developing pieces of its answer.

Margo focused on getting the best information to health-care decision makers so that Public Health for Indigenous People could be improved.

She shared “A Grand Notion”:  Canada is a test case for a grand notion – the notion that dissimilar peoples can share lands, resources, power and dreams while respecting and sustaining their differences.  The story of Canada is the story of many such peoples trying and failing, and trying again, to live in peace and harmony. 

There can no peace without justice.(Words from the commissioners in Highlights of the Royal Commission on aboriginal Peoples, 1996)

Margo introduced Mary Thomas, one of her teachers, who is an Elder.  They taught together for Okanagan College for many years, with students from grade 3-12.  They had an old log house, which they shared with some mousey rodents.  A cat made short work of them, though.  Each person brought something from home to help support the school, including toilet paper! 

Mary shared many of her own stories with Margo.  Margo feels blessed to have had Mary and other Indigenous teachers in her life, and to have received their gifts of their stories.  She quoted Michelangelo at age 87, when he said: “I’m still learning”. She says she is not ‘done yet’, and still has much to do.  And we are so glad she does!

More on Dr. Margo Greenwood:  https://www.nccih.ca/313/Academic_Lead.nccih

A book co-written by Dr. Greenwood: The elders speak, of the past, of children and families   https://wapitilibrary.ca/index.php/sm/search/item/130938

Here is a link to a book co-edited by our club member Sarah de Leeuw and Dr. Greenwood which is being used by students in both undergraduate and graduate studies.


In her presentation, Dr. Greenwood shared some colourful, meaningful images by Lisa Boivin More information on Lisa’s work can be found at these links:



*************BITS & PIECES********************

Happy & Sads 
Question – rogue calls from Vernon Sheriff all using different numbers – you need to block each number; good skiing days, happy about snow disappearing, ‘free’ money from Compushare, ‘aftercrawl’ ‘tail-gate’ party the day after the crawl (Feb 25) to have dinner for club somewhere together with Travis making appetizers – send an email to Judy if interested; PETS Seattle training now virtual; grand-kids snow-shovelling, golf draft 217 participants for $2170 for Rotary Club
Gary Baird currently in 1st place!
Sunshine: Jim T – Nathan with an upcoming b-day, no anniversaries for a while – no sunshine outside! 
Sheriff:  Nancy Adams – Theme is Saskatchewan:  Official flag adopted in 1969; colours = gold  for grain, and green for forests; most popular game bird is a grouse, 2001 – official grass grows 4’ with leaves that are 12” long;  Official sport – curling; 3 canadian womens’ championship winner – Sandra Schmirler; most popular food = Saskatoon berry pie followed by Regina-style pizza (try Houston’s pizza); the coin born in Church Bridge, Saskatchewan; longest bridge over smallest body of water – Wascana Lake which is man-made; 12-18 tornados each year.  More Tim Hortins per capita than any other province.
Club Committee Reports:
  • Past President Sandy
    • Wine gift-certificate raffle in the Spring – get ready to sell tickets!
    • March 31st Club Social coming up at OK Hall
  • Secretary: Kathryn has been busy attending PrePETS courses on line. Seattle PETS will now be virtual
  • PR: Monika – Lobster Crawl Castanet advertising will run for rest of January; just over 1/3 sold. Please share the event on social media and email your contacts the links to our booking page which Monika emailed to members
  • Membership: Maria – showed pics of families we support for Christmas; has some prospective members in pipeline; urged us to keep inviting guests to meetings
  • Margaret – still looking at a club event for Foundation giving
  • Save On Cards:  Ken – things picking up again after post-Christmas slowdown.
Jan 20 – Norm Letnick – intro by Monika
Jan 27 – Gary Baird Classification talk
Feb 3 – Club Runner 101
Feb 10 – Isobel MacKenzie - Seniors’ Advocacy Office Part 1
Feb 17 – Isobel MacKenzie - Seniors’ Advocacy Office Part 2
Feb 25:  LOBSTER CRAWL!!!!
Mar 3 – Nancy Adams classification talk
Mar 10 – Rae Stewart Regional Waste Reduction Office, RDCO Part 1:  BC’s Model, and ‘What Happens to all that stuff?”
Mar 17 –
Mar 24 – Donna Bourget Classification talk
Mar 31 – 5th Thursday of the month - No morning meeting – CLUB EVENING SOCIAL at OK HALL
ROTARY FOUNDATION MOMENT - from Foundation Chair Margaret Brown
What Makes a Successful Global Grant Application?
Consult with local experts early in the planning process to build a strong program plan and global grant application. The district resource network (see below) can help.
To be approved, your application must clearly describe how your project, scholarship, or vocational training team:
  • Is sustainable — include plans for long-term success after the global grant funds have been spent
  • Includes measurable goals
  • Aligns with one or more of Rotary's areas of focus
  • Responds to real community needs
  • Actively involves Rotarians and community members
  • Meets the eligibility requirements in the grant application terms and conditions
The Rotary Foundation’s grant model empowers Rotarians to continue advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the implement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.