cultural connections cowichan
The North American Indigenous Games in 2008 had a mission to build relationships between the Aboriginal & Non-Aboriginal communities through sport. During the Games preparation, a visioning committee was struck to lead key leaders in the community to develop a vision statement on what this would look like in the Cowichan Region. At the end of the Games, this work was not completed and the Games Commission asked SPC to continue; SPC created the Cultural Connections Council, key leaders in the community were invited. The Council met several times and initially time was spent on relationship building and developing Terms of Reference. The Council continued working actively for 2 years, building awareness, forging relationships and coordinating activities but in 2010 stopped meeting due to a lack of sustainable resources.
In 2013 SPC had the opportunity to work with community partners the Cowichan Green Community on a series of Learning Initiatives for Rural and Northern BC, as part of LIRN BC's community dialogue series. This provided the perfect opportunity to gauge the level of interest in the community related to the future of establishing a Cultural Connection Committee for the future.
The response was overwhelming and soon we had a strong advisory representing over 40 organizations and groups in the community working to bring the event together. There were 117 participants from all levels of government, strong representation from local First Nations territories, business, non profit, education and more. Building off the success and led by community elders, the next series of development began and between January 2014 and June 2016 more than 50 workshops were delivered with over 4000 participants including children and youth, that focused on a recognition of Canada's history with First Nations people, how that past impacts our present and how we can work together to collectively re-build our village towards a healthier future.
We have been working with our local School Districts grade 10's in all to pilot a youth focused model of learning Canada's history and continued to offer the full day community workshops and were invited to other communities to work with elected officials and begin to share the work that has started here.
interested in workshops email us