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Indigenous Month Story – Brian Richie of Kama AI

“We Must Continue to Listen to the Wisdom and Teachings of Our Ancestors” – Brian Richie 

This week, we are featuring Brian Richie.  Brian  is the Founder and CEO of kama.ai, a company that delivers a conversational, emotional intelligence platform that can conduct automated marketing conversations about your company’s products and services with your prospective customers 

I recently had a dream that reminded me about the connection that our people have with the earth, its inhabitants and with our ancestors.  

In the dream, my children and I were standing in front of a painting called “The Sunrise” which featured a reddish sunrise over a shadowy horizon and water in front of us, with a dark silhouette of a bird flying overhead. In the dream, we were standing and looking at the picture with one of our oldest living relatives, Clarence, who was a residential school survivor.  

One of my kids asked Clarence what he saw in the picture and what he thought about it. Clarence said “I picture myself viewing the sunrise from shore. At first, I feel gratitude. I am thankful that we have this day, and this sun and planet to wake up to, and for all the beautiful things on our planet. Next I see the upcoming day and our goal; maybe we are about to put the canoes in the water and continue our journey or hunting trip.” 

“The next thing that I see is the bird. The bird is our ancestors reaching out to us; telling us that they will watch over and guide us on our journey. We know what we know because of them; they are still with us giving us the benefit of their wisdom with every step we take.” 

“Lastly, I see the sunrise from the other side, now it is a sunset. I am now grateful for the day that we had, the distance we have travelled, and that all off us have returned safe to this new shore. I see our ancestors flying home to the spirit world until tomorrow when they will return to guide us again.” 

My dream was so vivid and real. It was not like other dreams where people change and morph into other people or other things. These dreams can be meaningful too, but this dream and its message of wisdom and gratitude were as clear and realistic as I have written it down here.  

Last Fall, I traveled with one of my sons back to our community where a knowledge-keeper was working with us to build a birchbark canoe. It was a fantastic opportunity to witness how our ancestors built these extremely light and portable watercrafts hundreds of years ago.  

 Me in the forefront inspecting the spruce root gunnel wrapping with Master Canoe Builder Chuck Commanda 

Like “The sunrise”, the canoe gave me a vision of how this amazing innovation opened the country for our people, as modern canoes still do now, allowing us to travel across water and portages to find new hunting and trapping grounds, people to trade goods with, or to migrate to another region for one reason or another. 

As a tech entrepreneur, I continue see innovation as a means to opening up countless new frontiers and opportunities. As we do, we must continue to listen to the wisdom and teachings of our ancestors and make sure our advancements are sustainable, ethical and good for all of us sharing this beautiful but finite world we live in.  

COMPANY WEBSITE – https://kama.ai/

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