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Salish Sea Sentinel | April 20, 2024

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What to do with all that money?

When the Sentinel first decided to do a series about personal finance, we didn’t want to simply have articles about bank and credit unionservices or well-used words about things like investing and spending money. Then Joe Allen of Nanaimo offered his words on what to do with a land claim disbursement. He is aware of the recent Snuneymuxw First Nation $49 million specific land claim settlement in the city.

The path for what to do with the money from a land claim disbursement—or any other large amount of money you might receive—may walk with a different spirit than the disbursement from residential schools.

The schools’ attachment to that disbursement was one that most people want to move away from and place in the past. This settlement money is about the decolonization of cultures and the celebration of the traditions of potlatch and the bighouse.

This is an opportunity for individuals to share and learn by engaging community and connecting with the land in a spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual way.

Instead of buying a new vehicle or electronic gadget, why not invest in yourself? Your money can ignite the energy to walk past inequity, racism, and rejected language and culture.

This disbursement is an opportunity to learn about heritage. Perhaps you can visit with an elder or relative to share history and talk about the future.

As you talk with others, and think about what you can do with all that money, remember the four domains of learning: spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual.

Spiritual is all about our journey to learn our potential as human beings.

Western educational theory trivializes emotion. It advocates objectivity and unemotional detachment in student-teacher relationships. Instead, use this opportunity to follow an Indigenous style of education with emotions that can be as important as the learning process itself. This non-colonial style of learning creates the desire to know, rather than the hierarchical, paternalistic practice of being told what to know.

The physical is about creating a safe place for yourself, both physically and emotionally.  Connect to the land and create a sense of place.

Finally, the intellectual side is about respect and patience for ourselves and others.

The opportunity to create good for all of you receiving this gift—and to give to future children, grandchildren and generations  to come—is here. Invest this money in personal education and discovery, both in the your community and using Indigenous thinking  Indigenous-thinking resources like Vancouver Island University and others.

Joe Allen headshot

Joe Allen

Joe Allen is a financial security advisor and investment representative for Freedom 55 Financial and Quadrus Investment Services in Nanaimo,