Photo © Courtesy of Global Indigenous Development Trust
When asked what made community work in the ‘old days,’ Global Indigenous Development Trust (GIDT) co-founder and Tahltan Elder Jerry Asp responded: “Everyone was busy, everyone was contributing, and everyone felt valued.”
There is a lot we can learn from the values, systems and understandings of the Indigenous Nations. The Indigenous way is a deep understanding of Natural Law—that we are one with all life. It is based on more than 10,000 years of direct observation of Nature and the Great Spirit that flows in all things.
GIDT is helping to re-integrate these ancient and highly complex ways of knowing into a modern way forward. Through a way of working with one another that is rooted in natural values and life-affirming principles, people are empowered to be part of the solution and reignite their true potential.
Led by a Board of Directors and Advisory comprising some of Canada’s most inspiring Indigenous leaders, with more than 200 years of combined experience in grass-roots community transformation, GIDT uses proven and practical practices to support Nations across Canada and around the world build a better way forward.
GIDT facilitates, mentors and coaches leaders and teams to help them build the foundation for their nations to thrive again. They assist with the tools, partnerships, and resources in such areas as economic and environmental governance, strategic and financial planning, business development, food systems and green technology. Together with their extensive global network, GIDT works to bring the best ideas globally to empower innovative solutions locally. Their impact proves that traditional knowledge is incredibly valuable, and when combined with strategic resources, can create a positive impact that spans generations.
Their latest Youth Leadership Champions of Change program is a 6-month training program for young indigenous leaders across Canada. GIDT is helping leaders tap into their own wealth of knowledge in biomimetic innovation, complemented with new technology in localized clean water, regenerative food systems, green energy and healthy housing, for a uniquely transformative program that leaves these young leaders with the tools, resources and relationships to create lasting change in their Nations.
At the helm of GIDT are Tahltan Elder Jerry Asp, founding President of the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation and 2020 Canadian Mining Hall of Fame inductee, and Ukrainian-Canadian lawyer, entrepreneur, speaker, author and human rights advocate, Sonia Molodecky.
“To renew and survive, we as Canadians need to upgrade our way of living. We need values that will allow the next generation to thrive, create a prosperous, healthy future, and regain our relationship with our natural world.” Say GIDT co-founders Elder Jerry Asp and Ukrainian-Canadian lawyer Sonia Molodecky.
Jerry Asp is credited with leading his Nation from 98 percent unemployment to 100 percent employment. 30 years later, the Nation enjoys education standards on par with the National average, contributing to the continued success of their Nation. He also helped establish new standards in resource development that works with the land, considers migratory paths of wildlife and enhances the wellbeing of ecosystems throughout development.
After spending years working in corporate law, Sonia was searching for a method of economic development that valued people, the planet, and our relationships with all life. She met Jerry and learned about how he led his nation’s transformation by using the same values she held in high regard—they created a plan to show what is possible and help bring tools for success to other Indigenous communities worldwide.
Over the past eight years, GIDT has worked across 16 countries, having reached more than 100,000 people through education and training programs. They are bringing this experience back home to help support Nation Re-Building on Turtle Island.
Get involved and support GIDT’s Prosperity4All Campaign or sponsor a Youth Champion of Change and help build a bright future for all Canadians.
Together we can get it right!