WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT MICHELE:
“Michele’s work is genuine, well thought out, well organized and very meaningful.. She can personally relate to relevant issues where other “professionals” need to rely on her experience and the experience of others to “help”. I have taken part in Michele’s workshops, read her papers and support her work and business because it is grounded, accessible to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Michele has taken the time to understand the big picture and the details, and can share with others these big ideas in ways we can use them.”
-Sophie Pierre, OBC, OC
Ktunaxa Hereditary Chief
“Michele Sam was our Indigenous Advisor at the 2018 Canadian Classrooms to Communities Environmental Education Conference. In this role, she supported non-Indigenous conference organizers in better understanding the local land, culture, communities and appropriate protocol. She encouraged, empowered and enabled local organizers to take responsibility for their roles, and to more appropriately understand, and engage with, Indigenous people.
Michele models respect and tolerance, while being honest and constructive in her work towards building bridges across culture and place. She does not shy away from providing feedback, and ensures that all parties are aware of deeper issues and sensitivities at play. Most of all, despite all of the trauma that Michele has experienced in her life, and the collective trauma that her Indigenous communities have experienced, she engages with a warm heart and a welcoming smile.
I would highly recommend Michele to any organization that wishes to engage honestly and earnestly in improving their ability to understand and appropriately engage with Indigenous communities.”
Executive Director, Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN)
“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from Michele A Sam. I was involved in trying to plan a workshop around processes of reconciliation in environmental education, and Michele was instrumental in helping my colleagues and I to see how much personal work and learning we still had to do before we would be ready to engage with the Ktunaxa Nation of which she is a member, or any other Indigenous group, in an effort of this kind. Michele used examples from her personal experience and her academic background to show me how my assumptions and ways of working and communicating were deeply embedded in colonial and privileged power systems. Her strength and humility make her an excellent facilitator for successful, respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. She continues to inspire me to transform and decolonize my practices as an educator and a researcher. Huy ch q’u, Michele! “
-A. Elizabeth Beattie
Four Year Doctoral Fellow
Doctoral Candidate, Science and Environmental Education
SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholar
Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy
Faculty of Education, UBC
Unceded, Traditional, Ancestral xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Territory
Board Member, AESS (Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences), https://aessonline.org
“I have worked with Michele over the last three years to develop an indigenous youth leadership camp. She was wonderful to work with. Michele is thoughtful, caring, knowledgeable, and a great communicator. Given that I come from a corporate world where we have time- and money-limited goals and objectives, Michele showed great patience in helping me to understand how to be more successful in building relationships with Ktunaxa elders, leaders and youth. She brings a unique perspective that is both practical and academic, and I learn from her each time we interact.
In spite of some challenging circumstances in making the youth leadership camp happen, it was Michele’s commitment, tenacity and passion that resulted in the camp coming together in the summer of 2018. It was a great success for all, and her commitment to the program, and the foundation she built, has set us up to continue the program this coming summer (and, we hope, in many summers to come). I watched her engage youth in spirited and meaningful conversations and experiences, and at the same time, she helped our staff become an integral part of the experience.
I am honoured to consider Michele a colleague and friend, and highly recommend her for a wide range of projects that involve planning, facilitation, engagement, teaching, and building capacity in youth. It is my sincere hope that we will find many opportunities to continue to work together in the future.”
-Dave Butler, RPF, RPBio
Director of Sustainability
Canadian Mountain Holidays LP
“Michele helped me put my vision for my business onto paper, which helped me get a grant for my business development. She understood what I wanted to do and listened to my ideas. It was awesome working with Michele because she was flexible in the time we took, asked a lot of important questions and connected my ideas to big ideas about economic development in our community. I liked the flexibility because she worked with my schedule and wrote some drafts and nailed it. She let me review, and even suggested I get more eyes on the document. I took her advice, and led the way. I would definitely go back to her for advice and guidance.”
Indigenous View Photography