My name is Yotin Iskwew (Wind Woman); otherwise known as; Holly Johnson. I am a Samson Cree Nation member; nikowipan is Late Doreen (nee Buffalo) and notawipan is Late Lawrence Johnson, nimosompanahk and nokompanahk were late Joe (Dion) Buffalo and Sarah (nee Louis), and Late Louise (nee Wahkeenew) and James Johnson. I am married to Chris Rattlesnake, I have a blended family of 7 children; and a Proud Grandmother.
The most profound education I have is the Traditional teachings that I have learned from my grandmother, Elders and Knowledge Keepers. The traditional knowledge I have gained has given me a greater confidence to be who I am today; and has empowered me as a Nehiyow Iskwew.
My Western Society education includes a BCOM and MA (Leadership and Administration), and currently a candidate for a Doctorate. I have numerous certifications in various areas of management and personal development including Strategic Planning, Virtues Project, Energy Balancing, Traditional Parenting, Leisure and Recreation, First Nations Management, IT Network Management and Executive Development Training. In addition, I am and educator / facilitator.
My belief is that we need to reclaim our knowledge and to share the traditional knowledge we have to our People. Knowing who you are and where you come from will give you the confidence to move forward; and that is what I encourage always. Understand protocols; and respect all traditional keepers; as each and everyone of us has a teaching to share. We are all traditional knowledge keepers and have a responsibility to share our knowledge for generations to come. Let us awaken the nehiyow spirit collectively.
As an elected leader, my hope and dream is that we set a foundation for the future generations to come but in saying that, I also believe that if we want to survive as a nation we need to perpetuate our language and our Cree way of life. During my term as an elected leader, I will serve with the best interest of Samson Cree Nation citizens first. I would also at this time like to share a statement that has resonated with me; it is from a Samson Cree Nation Elder; Late Louis P. Crier who says in his interview with Maskwacis Cultural College:
“kispin kihkskêtên kinêhiyowin; wahyow êko katahkotaykohn”
(When you know your Cree way of life; that is going to take you a long way)