LISTEN: The Boss talks innovation, economic independence and other big ideas

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 1:56pm



By Dustin McGladrey of CFWE-FM Contributor

Patrick Shannon of Haida Gwaii (Nang Ḵ'uulas, which means The Boss in the language of his people) has been selected as one of 50 Young Cultural Innovators by the Salzburg Global Seminar, an international organization in Austria that brings together some of the brightest young minds from around the world for the Salzburg Global Forum. He was notified on Sept. 15 that he was invited to attend the annual event that will be held next month. He spoke with Dustin McGladrey of CFWE-FM that same day.

As a strong leader and innovator, he hopes to bring his experience at the forum, and his new-found knowledge from the forum, back to the communities he works with.

Shannon is a blogger, videographer, photographer and production designer and he provides workshops on these skills for youth.

“So much of what I really love doing, is essentially being able to tell stories, communicate ideas.”

“This has always been something that I was raised with. … I was raised around amazing Haida artists. Bill Reid is even from my same clan, and just growing up and seeing these people tell these stories and keeping the culture alive in that way, I found that my passions, my excitement for things like photography and film-making and design also in their own contemporary way essentially do the same thing; can tell stories, can really keep a lot of our cultural practises, a lot of the stories alive and relevant in 2017,” Shannon said.

His inspiration and his drive comes from wanting to connect culturally and share that with Indigenous peoples and the world. He wants to be able to empower Indigenous and settler youth to tell their own stories.

Film-making and media production are powerful tools and have democratized storytelling, said Shannon.

“What I really hope that young people take away from any experiences of they have with me in their communities, spending time with them, is not really necessarily any technical skill. That you can learn anywhere. Most of my stuff is self-taught. What I really hope I can be is just kind of an example of a young Indigenous person who’s come from a rural community, who’s come from a reservation, who has shared experiences, who’s been able to grow and learn and essentially had a bit of success, and show that it doesn’t matter who they are, where they come from, what has happened in their past, we all have this opportunity and power to be able to reach out and do something, to really achieve and to really make an impact in our communities….”

He said that’s what most people want to do is have a positive impact in their communities.

Shannon’s website is