The CLEAR model came about at a time in my life when multiple inputs were converging to form my understanding of the world. Both on a personal and professional level. In 2009 I was doing my doctorate, working for a public school system, and more importantly diving deep into my own Indigenous ceremonial life. These three environments converged in a manner which created the environment for the CLEAR model. Additionally, several other tools were birthed, copyrighted and incorporated into a place to be innovated and grown.

I remember countless conversations surrounding the purpose of education in the three environments I was operating in. There were countless differences of opinions. Finally through my own personal questioning and learning I was able to determine for myself what my purpose was in education.

Simply put, people often said to me that they really appreciated my perspective and felt that it was really relevant. However, they constantly asked me just to become more clear about my perspectives. This opened the pathways to the CLEAR model.

These tools have been quintessential in the development of literally thousands of professionals as they seek their understanding with the purpose of education, and how to affectively support scholars while achieving it personally. I remember the first day of my doctorate program succinctly, when I was told the purpose of education was to convert the individual to a citizen. As an Indigenous person you can imagine how difficult that was for me to hear. I knew I could not participate in the assimilation of not only my people, but anyone into a colonialist ideology. The CLEAR model, along with integrative tools and models developed through I3, helped me articulate a healthy well balanced, culturally validating, purpose for education, which I believe to be humane, and student centered. This approach is not about assimilation and acculturation, but rather equipping and empowering individuals to determine what it means to be a citizen. Citizens actively transforming our society into a place where democracy is lived in real time. An authentic democracy where “We the People” in words on a historical document is equal with actions in society. Most importantly as part of our authentic way of life!
Rev Hillstrom

“Through proper education individuals transform themselves as learners,
which provide themselves with the necessary tools
to bring about radical structural changes that supported
a democratic lifestyle and equitable solutions.”

—Paulo Freire