Wendy Whitebear, Business Manager
Wendy burst onto the scene in April, taking over from our office manager Diane Perrick (who is enjoying a well-earned retirement of painting and riding horses on her farm!). Wendy's passion for promoting the interests, well-being, and stories of Indigenous folks quickly landed her on Livres Canada's planning committee for Canada's presence at Frankfurt 2020. Below, she tells us what drives her busy life.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a member of the White Bear First Nation located near Carlyle, SK. The majority of my work and volunteer activities has been focused on the betterment of First Nations communities, people, and youth. I have developed and implemented programs and initiatives that pertain to the wellness, personal development, career, and financial planning for First Nations people and community organizations. In 2013, I was the recipient of the President's Award for Service Excellence (University Spirit Award) for my active participation in the University of Regina’s Indigenization efforts as well as assisting in a variety of other campus initiatives. I have been a community producer and co-host for two years for a local Indigenous women’s talk show called the The Four. I am also currently working on developing an Indigenous sci-fi short film that will hopefully be completed this year.
2. Wow! I can't wait to see that film. So what do you do at the Press?
I am the Business Manager for U of R Press and handle all of the financial and administration requirements of the house.
3. What do you like about publishing (or books)?
One of the major reasons why I wanted to work with the U of R Press team is because the house actively pursues Indigenous authors and content, so the true history of our people is being told and made available to mainstream society. I also love the fact that we take an author’s words and turn it into a piece of art.
4. Who inspires you?
My major inspiration is my mom. She is a residential school survivor and has been through a lot in her life. However, no matter what life handed her she managed to raise us and get an Education degree. The more I learned about the true history of our people I was so astonished that my mom was able to accomplish as much has she did in life. I now admire all strong Indigenous women because, although they face many barriers, they find the strength necessary to overcome these obstacles and accomplish their life goals.
5. If you had a personal motto, what would it be?
There is an old Indian proverb that says “Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.” I try and live by that concept because life is way too short to just merely exist on this planet. You need to have passion for the things that you do in your life. I have found that when people are facing their end times they are not concerned with what they did--they regret what they didn’t do. I want to leave this earthly existence with no regrets, so I try to live in the moment and make sure that my family and friends know how much I care about them.