Reflecting on Drawing Wisdom by Veronica Surette

drawing wisdom, education, podcast, social justice

March 18, 2024

Who are you? How would you like to introduce yourself?

My name is Veronica Surette and I am currently in my last year of studies at UBC, completing a double major in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ) and International Relations. I am Ukrainian and Indigenous, from the Gitxsan, Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwaka’wakw nations. In my free time, I love to be creative through art and design as well as focus on wellbeing through being active and connecting with nature.

What was it like working on the Drawing Wisdom podcast?

I really enjoyed working with the Drawing Wisdom team as they are a group of driven and hardworking people who highlight the knowledge and successes of others. I felt supported by the team and honored to work with the important stories from the podcast through media creations. The podcast was very informative to me as I learned more about the ongoings in the Downtown Eastside and the respectable initiatives and resources that are being put in place by members of Vancouver’s community. I also felt a heartwarming sense of inspiration by listening to the Indigenous storytellers and their messages about connecting with the earth.

What was the most memorable conversation from the series?

I found so many of the conversations that I came across to be memorable and important lessons to learn from. I specifically enjoyed listening to Michelle Good’s knowledge on the importance of trees and the connection between time and space. Additionally, I felt a humbling sense of gratitude from Valerie Nicholson’s message that her grandfather used to tell her describing “as teachers we are learners and as learners we are teachers”. This resonated with me as an important reminder to hold space for knowledge sharing in a way that may seem alternative to a typical ‘teacher and student’ type of relationship. Finally, I also learned a lot through my conversations with Kat and David, especially when we spoke about cross-cultural solidarity and the importance of community. I feel honored to have learned so much throughout this journey.

What do you hope to do after this practicum, and after your time at UBC’s social justice institute?

In the future, I will definitely take what I have learned and apply it to different areas of my life. In terms of my career, I hope to work with an organization like Hello Cool World and the Drawing Wisdom podcast, in order to share stories through media and across different platforms. I have always been inspired by the strengthening of community through positivity and support. I also see myself potentially entering a position within the government and I hope I can make a positive impact on those who have been so open and generous with their experiences in Vancouver.

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