Math‘ieya Alatini | GSD Strategies | Dec 9, 2021
Join Yukon Entrepreneur Math'ieya Alatini, Chief Strategist at GSD Strategies, as they talks about their role as a bridge builder during the COVID-19 pandemic. An extrovert and world traveller, the pandemic has challenged Math'ieya to find new ways to network and build relationships. Using platforms like Zoom, they’ve transformed how they bring people together to solve problems and engage communities.
(3:33) Math'ieya shares their first memory of the pandemic. They first heard rumblings of the virus happening internationally when they were attending meetings in Vancouver in January and February. Then they were at a conference in Toronto in March 2020 that saw almost 20,000 less attendees than previous years, along with the intense scent of hand sanitizer that permeated the areas they were in. They recall at the beginning of the pandemic how everyone was sanitizing constantly, but full masking policies had not been implemented. After this, everything shut down and they had to adapt their entire consultation process.
(7:13) Math'ieya discusses the difficulties of being an extrovert during the pandemic. Shifting to Zoom was not a big issue as they had been teaching using Zoom previously, however during consultation for the mineral development strategy they found they were missing the side conversations and connection that comes from being face to face. Getting meaningful engagement on complex issues that requires dialogue has been a challenge.
(11:02) Looking at their business model, Math'ieya shares that their client base is majority Yukon, especially since than pandemic which made it difficult to support clients located in B.C. and NWT. Their knowledge foundation is First Nations rooted and the biggest piece of their business that they are missing out on due to the pandemic is participating in international business forums, speaking at conferences, and facilitating innovative discussions on how to move nations forward. The experience virtually is not the same, but they have been discovering new ways to engage at a global level that allows them to connect with individuals they might not have before.
(14:55) Math'ieya discusses that their main customer is Yukon First Nation governments and citizens, and how the level of services Yukon First Nations provide across the territory is unprecedented, especially due to the 11 of 14 Yukon First Nations having self-government agreements. They share that there is a need to continuously teach new territorial and federal government employees of the jurisdiction and responsibility of First Nations and how to work together more collaboratively.
(19:11) Thinking about leadership, Math'ieya has observed that during the pandemic there is the good desire to protect everybody, however there is the bad in that more complex challenges communities are facing are getting left behind due to this. They have found that they have been using their leadership to push for discussions around how to do things better and recognize the importance to bring leadership together to create a forum that can support and brainstorm creative solutions instead of working in silos.
(22:23) Math'ieya reflects on their biggest adaptation win being the ability to embrace change and being able to use their growth mindset to keep moving forward to help find long-term solutions to the issues communities are facing.
(27:18) Math'ieya shares the most challenging public health measure being the restrictions on travel and gathering sizes, especially with having larger immediate families. They had to break up their family Christmas dinners into two households due to the number of close family members they have and missed out on several planned trips for both work and visiting family which they express being the hardest personal challenge overall.
(36:33) Thinking about their business differently, Math'ieya sees their skill set being used as a liaison or bridge between between governments, seeing the potential for working together and creating systems that pull resources and infrastructure together to serve Yukoners more efficiently and effectively.
(38:26) As the Yukon economy rebuilds, Math'ieya is hopeful that the Yukon will leverage its knowledge economy to demonstrate the potential of self-governing First Nations and share Indigenous ways of being to the rest of Canada and globally.
(41:43) Math'ieya’s advice for emerging entrepreneurs? Always look to build relationships and be careful about burning bridges. Be aware of your special gifts and what you have to offer, and don’t be afraid to share that.
(45:00) Wellness practices that keep Math'ieya grounded? Meditating to calm their mind, integrating more physical activities such as walking their dogs or skiing, as well as cultivating a strong circle of friends who can support one another.
(46:52) Math'ieya shares their closing thoughts.
Thank you for watching!
To learn more about Math'ieya, visit their social media channels at:
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