The Summer 2019 IN Perspective is out and available to read here. This season’s newsletter features the following:
- Executive Update
- IPS Updates
- Gladue Report Training
- Cultural Perspectives Training
- Training Calendar
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Each year, Indigenous Perspectives Society packs back pack transition kits for children in care. These back packs help children in care have a few things of their very own to help them get through a difficult time. This year MCFD Esquimalt, Lalum’utul’ Smun’eem Child and Family Services, Foster Family Support Services, Fraser Valley Aboriginal Child and Family Services, and Beecher Bay First Nation are partnering with us to help distribute 140 back packs to the children who need them.
Backpacks are assembled for a range of ages from 0-2, 3-5, 6-12, and 13-18. They include bibs, sippy cups, and toys for the little ones, tablets, mp3 players, books, puzzles and art supplies for the other age ranges. IPS would like to thank Gerry Denis and Tara Garnet from Staples on McCallum Road in Langford, British Columbia, who negotiated discounts on many items for the backpacks from their suppliers.
Launched in November 2013 through the leadership support of a private donor, the Children’s Aid Foundation’s Ted and Loretta Rogers Foster Care Transition Program aims to improve the experience of coming into care for children by providing items and resources that aid in their comfort, well-being, safety, and sense of security.
The co-hosts of National Indigenous Peoples Day 2019 celebrations at Royal Roads University extend a warm invitation for a day of fun and community relations on the traditional lands of the Lkwungen (Songhees) and Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) ancestors and families.
The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, June 21 at Royal Roads University. Everyone is welcome and admission is free.
- Traditional canoe landing protocol practice and welcoming ceremony on the shore of the Esquimalt Lagoon led by Lekwungen (Songhees) Nation Elder Butch Dick and Elder Elmer George
- Performances by Lekwungen Singers and Dancers and ANSWER Drum Group
- Salmon lunch and stage opening
Noon to 6 p.m.
- Canoe challenge
- Children’s field games and craft workshops
- Fry bread stations
- Vendors market
- Interactive Métis showcase including Tipi and Trappers Hut, and “Story Walk”
- Traditional plant walks on Charlie’s Trail along Colwood Creek with Cowichan Elder Kenneth Elliott and TSAWOUT Elder Earl Claxton Jr.
- Performances from the Esquimalt Singers and Dancers, Red Buff Powwow Singing Group, Hannah Gentes, Leslie Gentile, Aurora Finkle and Ed Peekeekoot
- Art by Indigenous artists and an interactive display on the new Four Feathers Writing Guide runs all day in the Library Showcase
Last year more than 2,000 people were welcomed to the annual event, which has grown in thanks to community enthusiasm and continued support from partners, sponsors and hundreds of volunteers.
Limited parking is available. The university encourages the public to consider taking public transit, or walking or cycling to Royal Roads along the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. On-campus transportation between event locations is available for Elders and guests who need assistance.
The event is co-hosted by Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation, Royal Roads University, University of Victoria, Camosun College, Ministry of Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation, Island Métis Family & Community Services Society, Indigenous Perspectives Society, ISPARC, Métis Nation of Greater Victoria, Power to Be, Sooke Family Resource Society, Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Vancity Credit Union and West Shore Parks & Recreation.
The co-hosts are grateful for the partnership with the BC Government Employees Union, First Nations Health Authority, RBC Bank and Simply Pure Ice & Water.
Language, namely the words we use and how we use them, is a central feature for the foundations of our relationships. Yoga gurus claim that language effects our brains, provides us the ability to heal, and also helps us determine how we perceive our world. Social service practitioners will often say that how we say things and how we use language can create and/or deter positive social responses. Our grandmothers have repeatedly told us to consider our words before we speak them.
The commonality between our ancestors and professionals in the fields of relationships is that language does matter. And it matters most in Indigenous communities where language has often been used to harm or oppress. Worse yet, the aggressor alleges that the Indigenous party is “simply oversensitive”.
The truth is, our words are conduits of powerful messages that indicate whether our intentions are good and what our values are. Individuals acting as allies must take great care to avoid language such as “running on Indian time” or “lowest man on the totem pole”. For Indigenous communities and individuals, these micro aggressions have great impact. For non Indigenous communities these statements may be a reference point that have been learned, but the meaning behind the words creates greater divide between themselves, Indigenous peoples, and their true allies. Words do matter. In fact, the words we speak will convey messages to our listeners of who we are, what we stand for, what we will not tolerate, and what our core beliefs are.
Be the leader who carefully considers their words and avoids use of words and phrases that convey culturally relevant connotations which may be offensive. When uncertain, refrain from using clichés or learned phrases that you do not know the historical origin or significance of. Better yet, find safe and respectful spaces where meaningful conversation can be had that addresses micro aggressions and their impact in Indigenous communities.
Rachelle Dallaire, Executive Director, Indigenous Perspectives Society