Lifting Marilyn Maychak

Intercultural Navigator, Listener, Revitalization & Reclamation Supporter, Facilitator, Storyteller and Podcaster

MEET Indigenous Entrepreneur Marilyn Maychak

LIFTing Your Leadership images (4)

Founder & Principal Consultant of Marilyn Maychak Consulting

Bringing people together in community to co-create spaces of belonging through relationship, liberation, education and reciprocity. Connecting communities to decolonize and effect systemic change in the education and non-profit sector.

 

Marilyn Maychak is an Inuk, mixed heritage woman. She was born and raised on the Prairies in Treaty 6 territory in Alberta. She is an urban Inuk. Her Inuk mother is from Kinngait, Nunavut. Her Polish-Ukrainian father immigrated to Canada from Poland. As a ‘traveling friend’, Marilyn has lived and worked in Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto. She currently calls home the beautiful traditional and unceded territory of the Hul’qumi’num speaking Snuneymuxw, a First Nation of the Coast Salish People on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island,  what is now known as Nanaimo. Marilyn is anaana (mother) to one, spouse, daughter, sister, auntie, great-auntie, niece, cousin and friend. 

As a cultural navigator and educator, Marilyn has been learning with and from Indigenous peoples, Black and Brown people (national and global) about Indigenous research, current practices and approaches to community engagement, learning through and with the arts as a form of self-expression, knowledge, identity, and a vehicle for reclamation, cultural continuity and social change.  Her work has evolved from being an educator to becoming a bridge between educators and the education system to parents and the community. She uses narrative inquiry and gathering to make and hold space for listening through oral, written, and visual stories about who we are, always doing her best to identify and empower the historically excluded, equity seeking and deserving voices in the community.

A bibliophile who loves picture books and children’s non-fiction books, especially from the growing masses of diverse literature from Black, Brown, and Indigenous authors; Marilyn embraces books and photography to decolonize and weave anti-racist, anti-oppressive approaches to learning and building intercultural understanding in ways that empower people to tell their stories that represent images of who they really are, where they are coming from and tell the whole story.

“In order to know where you are going, you need to know who you are and where you come from.” Wise words from my anaana, a strong Inuk woman, that ground me in life and my philosophy. These words of wisdom have served the foundation for how I approach building relationships with children, youth, adults, and community members.  My hope for generations to come is that people of mixed heritage, from equity seeking and deserving groups to see others like them: reflected in spaces and places; participating and influencing change, and; to know their voice, their story and their being is welcomed, respected and can make this world more just and equitable.” 

- Marilyn Maychack

Marilyn's Impact Statement

Marilyn’s work shows us how everything is data through story: curricula, policies, procedures, how environments and spaces are set up, our physical environment, all of it becomes a living story of the people who came together at a certain space and time. Marilyn encourages us to use these stories to bring into the circle those who have been historically excluded, pushed to the margins, silenced and oppressed. She believes we can create systems and spaces that tell a deep and vibrant story of intercultural understanding where people feel they belong, know that they matter, and are guided by shared cultural values based on mutual respect and empathy.

 

She invites us to embrace reconciliation through relationship, by seeing each other as human beings and coming to know each other through our stories by honouring our differences and championing our similarities. 

 

Media

Marilyn Maychak hosts a circle with educators to talk about embedding Indigenous world views in teaching practices.

What's Next?

In her upcoming blog, Marilyn will be sharing her personal and professional journey of walking in multiple worlds that weaves her love of story, inquiry, photography  and making learning visible.  Watch next for her podcast with her friend, Veronica Buck, where the two of them will talk about their experiences as  Women of Colour (Inuk and Black), and the multiple identities they carry as parents, professionals, academics, and community oriented people committed to making this world more just, equitable, inclusive, culturally safe, and trauma-informed. 

Vanessa (2)

“Sitting in a virtual circle with Marilyn has been a privilege. She has a creative soul, gentle spirit and a drive and vision that will no doubt open doors and pave the way for more Inuit women and youth. “ - Vanessa Lesperance, LIFT Circle Lead

The LIFTing Your Leadership program is a cohort experience for 12  Indigenous women and non-binary entrepreneurs, and is a combination of leadership and business development activities (created by LIFT) and story amplification (by PowHERhouse). The project is rooted in decolonized leadership development and steeped in Indigenous ways of knowing and being. This project has been made possible with support from The Indigenous People’s Resilience Fund which is built upon the resiliency of, and guided by, Indigenous Peoples to support Indigenous communities.

 

 

“As a mixed heritage, Inuk-Polish Ukrainian person, I see myself as a cultural navigator - a person walking between multiple worlds, navigating spaces to learn and better understand how different people experience the world in order to build capacity for intercultural understanding, mutual respect and empathy.” 

- Marilyn Maychack

 

 

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