ᓇᒪᑫᑲᐧᕀ ᓲᓀᔮᐤ (namâkîkway soniyaw), Jon, is a proud member of the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement. He is driven by the ideology that we are not people of the land, we are the land. Whereas western ideas are collected and stored on the printed page, the collective knowledge of Indigenous people and their oral histories are stored in the physical environment around us. The land is our library and that is why it is so important to ensure that it is preserved. Jon loves sewing the living knowledge of the land into the fabric of his expertise which he refers to as organizational science. “Businesses and organizations are not a well-timed machine, but rather, they are living breathing organisms that are part of a broader ecosystem.”
Jon is of mixed ancestry. On the Indigenous bloodline, Jon has ties to nehiyaw (Cree) and Metis heritage. On the settler side, Jon is Jewish and Welsh. His rich family history ties him to the organization and mobilization of the Metis Resistance as well as to the art and music community in North America.
Jon’s lived Indigenous experience breathes life into his work with communities. As a descendant of a residential school survivor, among other things, he understands the impact of direct and indirect trauma and uses that experience, coupled with formal psychotherapeutic education, to approach his work from a trauma informed perspective. “Many of the burdens that are hurled upon us in life could be lightened by understanding; understanding of things, understanding of others, understanding of ourselves.” Jon loves people. Therefore he devotes himself to helping them better understand the world around them in his work, breaking down complex ideas and making sense of ambiguity.