Deyen is the Tsilhqot'in word for "person with the power to transform.” It is believed by some Tsilhqot’in Knowledge Keepers that everyone is a Deyen. It is just a matter of taking the time and space to explore and uncover the Deyen inside of you. Traditionally in the Tsilhqot’in communities, Deyens were seen as wise and powerful people. They were consulted with some of the community’s most complex matters and were able to “transform” the situation to something positive. Deyen’s also traditionally had the power to transform their own shape. For example, a Deyen will transform themselves from human form to a raven to allow them to fly out of danger if needed.
This one-of-a-kind, unique, online learning hub shares the traditional knowledge, wisdom, worldviews, and lived experiences of Indigenous women on the lands often referred to as Canada. The decision was made to call the learning hub Deyen to invite Canadians to look inside themselves and uncover their own powers (or Deyen) to provide a pathway through the guidance of Indigenous women, the original Matriarchs and Knowledge Keepers of these lands, and to transform perceptions, thought-processes, and assumptions about Indigenous Peoples.
It is a courageous journey to reclaim your Deyen and transform deeply entrenched values, thoughts, and beliefs that have existed for generations and continue to be perpetuated by the dominant narrative. One of the most powerful things an individual can do in life is to uncover their Deyen and accept the invitation to transform. When this happens, the opportunity for better relationships to exist is heightened. When we improve our relationships with ourselves and each other the outcomes of social justice, equity, improved mutual respect, and unity has a greater possibility of being achieved. Find the Deyen within you and allow the transformation to happen!