On Saturday, October 1, 2021 we were honoured to have IPS friends and family members standing with us to officially launch the Radical Renovation project with HeroWork at the 664 Granderson site. IPS Executive Director, Rachelle Dallaire opened the ceremony. Songhees Elder, Knowledge Keeper, Artist, Educator and Lekwungen Language Speaker, Yuxwelupton (Butch Dick) offered a warm territorial welcome to all. Eddy Charlie and Kristin Spray, co-founders of Victoria Orange Shirt Day-Xe Xe Smun’ Eem (Hul Qumi unum language: sacred children) joined us to share the story of their work to raise awareness and to educate people about Residential School Survivors, the children who didn’t make it and the ways that this history continues to impact Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians as we work towards reconciliation. Eddy spoke about the importance of creating spaces where Indigenous people feel they belong. We sincerely thank our IPS friends and family members for being with us and sharing their words on this important day.
Our team shared the Social Worker Honour Song, composed and gifted to IPS by Alysha Brown, written in Cree language. We are very grateful to have this song to share as medicine with others. Written for social workers, the words to the song also reflect the way in which IPS wishes to support all who come to work, learn and walk with us. The meaning of the words from first verse to last are as follows:
Kiyam – Sense of inner peace, walking gently, reassurance
Kispewew Awasowin – person who defends and protects children
Wahkohtowin – interconnected nature of relationships or ‘all my relations’
Kisakihitin – you are loved by me
HeroWork founder, Paul Latour and Executive Director, Trevor Botkin both spoke from their hearts about the significance of the Radical Renovation project with IPS. Victoria News article.
We were overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of our friends, family, community members and volunteers who came to join us. We enjoyed a day of hard work, cooperation and comradery. The delicious lunch provided by the Indecent Risotto food truck onsite was definitely a huge highlight.
An incredible $7,254 was raised by food vendors, Indecent Risotto and Kattia’s Kitchen which was gifted as a donation towards the project. Our sincere gratitude to everyone involved! The project is off to an amazing start. Thanks to all who attended and to all those who are continuing the work on this exciting Radical Renovation. If you are interested in learning more, volunteering or supporting the project, please visit our HeroWork’s Radical Renovation at IPS page or visit the HeroWork project page.