ReachUp! North Intern Josh Lewis speaks to his fellow Intern, Frazer Lee Whiteduck, about his experiences facilitating the program so far.
1. Can you tell people a bit more about yourself?
Aanii, boozhoo. For those who do not know me, I am Frazer Lee Whiteduck. My family’s clan is Marten, the warrior clan, and my spirit name is Owabizheeshi, which is also from the Marten clan. I am of Ojibway and Onondaga descent. My mother is Ojibwe and from Sheguindah First Nation on Manitoulin Island. My father is from Six Nations, an Onondaga people of the long house.
I am 25-years-old, and the father to two wonderful little boys who I raise with my partner, Brittany. I follow the spiritual path in hopes that my sons will follow in my footsteps. I’m also a traditional dancer, and sing, dance, and drum at powwows. Along with the love of my people’s traditions, I have the passion and drive to become a chef and entrepreneur, selling traditional Indian tacos on a food truck.
2. What was your reason for joining ReachUp! North and did you attain what you were looking for?
I heard about the program from Brock Lewis, the Intern Support Manager for ReachUp! North. I saw his excitement for the project, and he inspired me to become part of the change that our future generations need. This is an initiative of youth teaching youth. I attained so much that I didn't expect to gain. I established a network of colleagues, a circle of close friends, and the drive to further my entrepreneurial dreams in my chosen field of culinary arts.
3. After finishing your ReachUp! North Internship and observing your livelihood opportunities, where do you see yourself professionally in one year?
I truly valued the ability and opportunity to put myself in our participants' shoes, because it gave me the chance to work and dream up ideas for my own company. That is where I see myself in a year's time: working as my own boss for my catering company and hopefully one day owning my own food truck. I do still hope to remain part of the Assembly of Seven Generations in some way, whether it is small or big. I want to give back to A7G since they have given me so much.
4. What were the most valuable skills and tools that you acquired from ReachUp! North?
One of the most valuable tools I received involved an expansion of my cultural knowledge, especially through facilitating KAIROS' blanket exercise. I also gained the ability to tap into my own personal assets, as well as see what assets are available around me.
I want to say “chimegweetch” (thank you) to all those people involved in making ReachUp! North a possibility and an opportunity.