"Digital Self-Determination is a Pathway to Community Work Culture."

Author: Jason Urranndulla Davis, Founder HoldAccess (WUNA).

BA-Justice (Criminology), GrdCert-AdminMgt, MPH.

The most important thing we learn as humans is to first crawl and then walk on our own. It's a fundamental analogy of life that helps human beings to propel themselves forward in hope that we can land on our feet when we fall. As I watch my daughter learn to walk, every step I see her getting stronger and more confident without me needing to hold her hand any longer. It's always scary to let her go, but only from letting go will she be capable of landing on her feet.

Self-determination is what gives us the fundamental principles in life to strive on our own capability. Without self-determination, we feel hopeless to others and to ourselves.

When services take on a critical role of delivering welfare services or designing essential programs they often base their approach on wrap-around service models. Where they set out to form stakeholder partnerships, then apply a centralistic approach that passes clients between each of the stakeholders.

These types of service designs are like blankets wrapping up adults like children where it seems clients are unable to make good choices on their own. As Aboriginal people, it smothers us into submission, locking people in decisions they don't really understand. This approach sets people up into a false sense of security, leaving them dependent on systems that perpetuate intergenerational welfare.

A systematic approach that removes the ability to make informed choices from a capacity that already exists and fails to realize the strength of cultural determination. As humans, it is a fabric intertwined in our DNA that meshes our clans and communities together.

Having worked in Indigenous Affairs for more than 25+ years in senior roles developing policy, managing projects & evaluating programs in both government and non-government sectors. I have personally seen numerous service models implemented time and time again and not work well.

However, it's provided me with a wealth of knowledge and experience on how to help fix the problem using core elements that are required for self-determination.

The most important lesson I have learned is to listen for cultural determination and allow time for people to adapt culture to ways of doing. In my first nation's language, it is referred to as WUNA, which means to make informed choices on your own.

For many Non Indigenous people working in services I term it:

Yagudjawuna, means to make informed choices without being forced or compelled to act. In English its known as 'Ya-Gotta-Wana'.

For almost three years I have set out to solve a problem, to empower decision making with the fastest possible access to your own valuable information for building a better quality of life. My thesis has been to answer an age-old question...

Q. 'If the information is power, why can't we hold it?'


Based on first