I'm broke ... my entire family is broke ... I'm starting to think that goals are only for people with money ... is there anything I can do? - Kayla K.

WOW ... first of all, you need to tell yourself that goals have nothing to do with money.

However, your goals do need fuel: Coordination, Collaboration, Cooperation and Communication. The great thing about “The 4 C’s” is: they are completely free.

The most valuable lessons I learned in life didn’t cost me anything. The difference is: I paid close attention and realized how they could work for me

What do i do when I have a goal & no money?

  1. Communicate my goals to others
  2. Collaborate with those I respect
  3. Cooperate with people who can help me
  4. Coordinate our efforts so we’re all on the same page.

A belief in the greater good is also essential. Ask others for help. Soon you will realize that you are surrounded by people that can’t wait to help you.

You just have to take a bit more initiative.


In school, We just read "We're More Than Just Beads & Feathers". It really made me think. Please tell me more about what you meant by that phrase - Cathy P.

I grew up deeply rooted in both Blackfoot & Duwamish culture.

I was basically conceived, born and raised at powwows. As a young dancer we would perform in front of thousands and thousands of people. My family even had a dance troupe that traveled the world!

After my grandpa passed away, I was back dancing in front of HUGE crowds at the Calgary Stampede grandstand. This time was different though. I looked into the audience and wondered “why do they cheer wildly for me when I am wearing my powwow outfit and entertaining them - but ridicule and even laugh at me when I am wearing street clothes?”

My 10 year old self decided then and there that I wanted to show the world “we’re more than just beads and feathers”. Been doing it ever since.


I am not Aboriginal, but I work with Aboriginal youth and families everyday in my programs. Not sure of the right way to ask so I’ll just go for it: I’ve taken an “Aboriginal Training” or two at work over the years, but honestly I am still totally confused about how to truly empower and engage Aboriginal clients “beyond their cultural realms” - as you have often said. Frankly, what can a city-raised white girl like me really do? - Tanya F.

The only time in my life where I left an entire roomful speechless happened years ago—right after an “Aboriginal Training”. I said, “What I really need is some White Training, 'cause they confuse the heck outta me!" (one of those little jokes that’s apparently only funny when you are Native and have a thousand Natives standing behind you)

To be honest though - as misguided as that may sound - there is an ounce of truth to it. Especially when you consider the difficult circumstances that I (and many other Native people) have grown up around and basically just had to deal with—both on the rez and in the city.

Instead of the whole tear-soaked history lesson, just keep this in mind - everyone feels their burden is the heaviest - including (especially?) Native people. How do you ease your burdens in life - when you are always surrounded by them? You seek empowerment. What breeds empowerment? Trust, Humor, Awareness, Sincerity, Respect, Shared Knowledge etc.

The great thing about these powerful tools is that they are all absolutely free. Time and Effort can go a lot further than money ever will. Make the “FOUR—C’s” your new best friends— AKA Collaboration, Communication, Cooperation & Coordination— and soon all those Natives will be like ... “HOLEE! This city-raised white girl is really down for us!"