For more than 40 years, Sea to Sky Community Services has focused on creating positive change in the communities we serve. Throughout the years, we’ve added new services, overcome challenges and worked to reflect the needs of Sea to Sky residents. We know there is still much more we can do.
Our mission as an organization is to provide high-quality programs throughout the Sea to Sky corridor. With compassion, respect, and care we strive to enhance the lives of every resident at every age and stage of life, recognizing, and respecting the variety of cultures, races, backgrounds, religions and creeds we find here in our region. We are committed to creating opportunities for indigenous and non-indigenous community members to work together, in good relations, toward common goals.
Here are some examples of the work we are engaged with:
On Thursday, September 29 we are honoured to invite Seesaxwalia (Aggie Andrews) and Slomish, two community leaders from Squamish Nation, and Lois Joseph, the Manager of the Lil̓wat7úl Culture Centre to share their thoughts and stories on the lasting legacy of Canada’s Residential Schools with SSCS staff. They will also lead us in a moment of silence for all of the lost children.
On Friday September 30, we are humbled to be participating in the second annual Canoe Pull happening on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at Alice Lake Provincial Park.
SSCS Youth Services is partnering with Squamish Nation and the Integrated First Nations Unit at the Squamish RCMP. Everyone involved gathers together – wearing orange – to paddle the Little Thunderbird canoe. Youth who have participated in the Paddle Carving program with See Appl-tun/ Art Harry will once again have the chance to put their own hand-carved paddles into the water.
In addition, the youth services team is planning a drum-making workshop for youth later in the fall, so that, over time, they will be able to bring their own drums to events such as the September 30 TRC Solidarity walk down Cleveland Avenue.
Through nature walks led by First Nation knowledge keepers, SSCS staff gain opportunities to learn about the land on which we work. We have so much to learn about the cultural practices and histories related to the forests, estuaries, rivers and riparian areas where our offices and programs take place.
Our Diversity committee has compiled a lending library of books Indigenous authors so SSCS staff can continue their learning journey.
SSCS is also in the process of developing more consistent consultation practices with our partners in the Southern Stl’atl’imx nations. The plan is to ensure that all future grant opportunities for our operations in the region will be grounded in meaningful consultation.
SSCS’ Diversity committee compiled and distributed a list of resources to assist staff with their journey to Truth and Reconciliation. These resources are available for everyone and we encourage you to explore them if they resonate with you.
Programs & Resources
- Selection of blog topics focusing on reconciliation (from Bob Joseph, Indigenous Corporate Training)
- Sleeping, Awake, Awakening: Revitalizing Indigenous Languages. Sept 28, online, 7-8 pm. A conversation between four Indigenous experts who work on language revitalization.
Media, Music & Literature
- We Were Children: National Film Board of Canada
- Red Chef Revival: Learn how Indigenous cuisine can be a path to reconciliation
- Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)
- Telling our Twisted Histories by Kaniehtiio Horn: Reclaiming Indigenous history by decolonizing our minds – one word, one concept, one story at a time.
- IndigeNews: IndigiNews aims to provide digital journalism driven by local Indigenous communities’ needs, while contributing to the long-term sustainability of independent Indigenous-centred media.
- Phyllis’s Orange Shirt by Phyllis Webstad
- When We Were Alone by David Robertson & Julie Flett
- Books for kids by Indigenous authors from an Indigenous-owned publisher
Community Events (Organized by Health Region)
Province-Wide (Online Events)
- Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education MOOC (UBC) Sept 29 (online)
- Truth and Reconciliation Week, a free online educational program for Grades 1 – 12, from Sept 26 – 30
Vancouver Coastal Health
- Explore the Witness Blanket: An interactive virtual installation, September 27, 28, 29 at Vancouver Central Library
- Orange Shirt Day Community Gathering, Sept 30, 1-4pm
- Trout Lake Community Centre, 3360 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, BC
- National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Sept 30, 11am-4pm
- Hosted by the Squamish Lil’wat (Skwxwú7mesh Lilwat7úl) Cultural Centre, 4584 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, BC
- Free admission Sept 30-Oct 2, 10am-5pm
Support Indigenous Business
- Reconciliation Canada runs programs and initiatives to engage Canadians in dialogues and on reconciliation.
- Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) provides access to counselling, cultural and emotional support services to former students of residential and day schools, and their families, regardless of status.
If you are impacted, directly or indirectly, by the residential school system, please find resources to support you below:
- The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line provides 24-hour crisis support to former Indian Residential School students and their families toll-free at 1-866-925-4419.
- Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society provides healing and cultural supports, including services for communities carrying out work on the sites of former Indian Residential Schools and Indian Hospitals. Call 1-888-403-3123 or visit www.tsowtunlelum.org.
- First Nations Health Benefits provides access to mental wellness and counselling services. Call 1-855-550-5454 or visit www.fnha.ca/benefits.
- First Nations, Inuit, and Métis seeking immediate emotional support can contact the Hope for Wellness Help Line toll-free at 1-855-242-3310, or by online chat at hopeforwellness.ca.
While we continue taking steps—large and small—on this journey, we are energized by this work and the knowledge that the future will hold many new, exciting opportunities for creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world.