On today’s episode, we have a genuine Superheroine! Sonya Ballantyne is an emerging filmmaker and writer from Misipawistik Cree Nation. Sonya won the 2014 Emerging Filmmaker Pitch Competition at Gimli Film Festival for Crash Site and the 2016 Short Film Pitch at ImagineNative Film Festival with Eagle Girl. She recently spoke at San Diego Comic Con about Indigenous Media Representation. She became interested in film because she wanted to see people like her mother as a starship captain on Star Trek or fighting aliens like Ripley. She wanted a Native hero that existed in the present or in the future, to show us that we made it. Her films put Indigenous girls and women in film genres where they are not traditionally included: horror, sci-fi, fantasy and superhero films. Sonya recently published her first children’s book, Kerri Berry Lynn, about a Cree girl from Misipawistik and her seven pet dogs. She is planning to publish her first graphic novel, a biography about Daphne Odjig, in 2020.
Sonya and I first met while we were preparing for our TEDx talk in Winnipeg and I found Sonya to be such an inspiration, a gentle warrior, with a killer sense of humour! I’m so excited that she’s on the show today and that she joins our Fempowered women. Her story is so important and this episode is full of profound wisdom and life experience. Grab a journal because you are going to want to capture those quotes and insights.
Enjoy this important and colourful episode and share the message – it’s too good to keep for just yourself ?
In this episode we discuss:
On today’s episode, we talk about the recent devastation to the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian. As some of you know, my passion is helping island nations and remote communities achieve energy security through autonomous energy systems, and building better via smart microgrids and smart cities. It is what I devoted my research life to for nearly two decades now. We know we cannot keep doing what we have done and there is no going back, in fact, there is no time left. The research shows that renewable energy technology can help democratize the energy supply, provide energy security, reliably, affordably and reduce environmental impact –i.e. it is green! So why are we seeing such a slow uptake to implement the solutions that we know are needed in regions such as the Bahamas, and the Caribbean in general, that are consistently impacted by climate change and hurricanes?
Today’s guest, Deborah Deal, CEO, Contractor and Environmentalist, and I discuss this topic. Debby has lived in the Bahamas for nearly four decades, it is her home, it is where she has established her businesses and it is where she serves her community and leaves her legacy for the betterment of the environment. I met Debby while speaking about Energy Security in the Bahamas and sharing my knowledge on microgrids and island energy. This past week has been heart wrenching for me, and to hear from Debby and share her story about the crisis is so important to know how we can help and discuss how we can move forward. Debby’s passion for community service is evident in the way she leads her life, speaks and acts with intention to contribute positively to our environmental crisis and how she brings attention to important topics, especially those surrounding the people of and the islands that she calls her home. We talk everything about the devastation currently in the Bahamas, and what moving forward could look like for the country, plus so much more. After all, as Debby says, The Bahamas is so much more than this disaster, more than just sun, sand and sea.
Here's a little bit more about Debby:
For the past 37 years, Deborah Deal, President of Contemporary Builders XIX Ltd., has been a building contractor in an industry traditionally male dominated. Joking that she was an only child and her father wanted a boy, her passion for building and design started from an early age, as did her respect for the environment. Over the years, her respect for the environment has worked its way into her career as a builder of “green” homes. Nine years ago, the company built its first green home in Charlotteville, solar panels and back up batteries as its energy source. Ms. Deal is also a partner in South Ocean Palms, a “green” subdivision. Sustainability and energy efficiency being so important in construction both globally and in The Bahamas, her desire is to ensure all Bahamians and residents alike are awarded the opportunity to better steward the country through Best Building practices. From residential to commercial, from new construction to retrofitting, the company and team cover all aspects of the field. Over the years, and through a sister company Ms. Deal has also been blessed by experiencing working in the Family Islands from Inagua to Grand Bahama which has given her and her team a lot of insight as to the country as a whole. Ms. Deal has sat on the board of the Bahamas Contractors Association, sits on the National Committee of the Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality and also as a director of The Energy and Environment committee of the BCCEC, (the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation), all in efforts to make a difference, to advocate for better quality and higher standards in the industry which reflect on a better quality of life for all. “If you have passion, a vision and the desire to exceed, take your dream in your heart and your hand and run with it with all your might…don’t stop, don’t look back, don’t second guess, just do it!”…and God said “I will give you the desires of your heart!”
Enjoy this important and heart-touching episode.
In this episode we discuss:
Dr. Andrea Kraj