Dene Nahjo, for Kyla, represents living in a Dene way: being connected to yourself, family, community, culture, language and land. Through her work, Kyla strives to practice this way of being not only for herself, but for her children. Initially, this organization was a chance to be active and positive in a time that was discouraging for Dene. The founding members began as friends and through their hard work and mutual passions and experiences, they have created something that Kyla thinks of as a “functional family”.
Kyla is passionate about all of Dene Nahjo’s initiatives, each of which combats extensive issues whose solutions can seem unattainable. It is Dene Nahjo's team, and their consistent positivity, perseverance and strategic planning that helps them to take on problems one step at a time.
Kyla loves that celebrating each person’s individuality is a unique asset of Dene Nahjo; each team member brings their own experiences and expertise to the table to purposefully create and maintain a supportive collective.
The Emerging Leaders Program is helping people of all ages to realize their capabilities and find potential for action within their own communities. Kyla is most excited to be a part of the further development and delivery of this program. Dene Nahjo is planning an upcoming Social and Cultural Innovation Centre, for all the people of Denendeh to be able to know that there is a place for learning, creativity and innovation here that is welcoming and that reflects their people and their culture.
“That’s the dream right, I think we all want to work there when we grow up”
Over the years, Kyla has experienced personal growth, and witnessed growth in those around her. Because of the imperativeness of their work, the team has chosen to honour consistently delivering excellent programming. Disciplining herself to always strive for excellence represents a personal growth, but also a collective growth in the ways that they all continue to hold each other to high standards and support each other through their work.
Kyla continues to work on practicing “Dene Nahjo” every day, and building her community into a culturally accessible place for her children, future generations, and also for her elders and peers.
Check out her work: