Community dialogue on First Nations culture this Saturday

Participants will take part in experiential day, learning about First Nations culture from before contact with early explorers up to present day

It takes a village to raise a child and it takes everyone’s input to build a community.

This is the key message in a community dialogue to take place on Saturday. The city of Campbell River and surrounding communities are in a time of incredible change. Provincial government has taken various initiatives to bring First Nations into a greater involvement in provincial economy while working through a treaty process. Recent court decisions also have recognized First Nations and awarded them with a greater level of input and responsibility for management of land and resources.

As we consider the many changing dynamics in our province, the Campbell River Multicultural Services Association (CR MISA) believes there is no better time to come together and explore how to build a strong inclusive and diverse community – one that includes all community members from immigrants to First Nations, businesses to provincial, regional and local government, education and health care along with other sectors of our society.

CR MISA is inviting participants from every sector of our community, including the general public, to attend the It Takes a Village Community Dialogue on March 19 at the Maritime Heritage Centre.  In this dialogue, participants will take part in experiential day, learning about First Nations culture from before contact with early explorers up to present day.  Using an interactive dialogue process called the “World Café” in conjunction with the “It Takes a Village” First Nations training, participants will break out into small groups to share ideas, and gain a better understanding of ourselves, our similarities and acknowledge our differences with others, in order to create a more inclusive Campbell River.

Rachel Blaney, Executive Director at MISA is excited by the opportunity to bring local residents, immigrants, businesses, government leaders, educators and others together with First Nations to build bridges in relationships.

“What we hear from everyone is that this dialogue is very timely for them,” she says.

Kathi Camilleri of the Aboriginal Outreach Program and the Ministry of Children and Family Development says, “The elders have taught us that when building a large canoe, often two logs are used.  In putting them together, we build a canoe big enough to hold everyone.  Dialogue is about building this canoe and paddling together.”

It Takes a Village First Nations Training and Dialogue is funded by the Canadian Government and Embrace BC through the Ministry of Regional and Economic Skills Development.  Other sponsors include the Simon Fraser University Continuing Studies, Dialogue Programs and the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development, Aboriginal Outreach Program.