On National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) has prepared a list of 21 actions that people can take and is offering the “4 Seasons of Indigenous Learning” for the community.
“We hope that making this ongoing learning foundational to our work will help to reduce systemic racism and with it the trauma, hardship and inequality that it imposes on Indigenous people,” say CBEEN staff. “We also hope to help uplift and celebrate Indigenous people, culture and communities.”
The list of actions that CBEEN offers are recommended by local Indigenous advisors and partners for people to understand, learn and take meaningful action on. One of these actions is to review the 94 Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
“These were also collected and curated by CBEEN staff through relationship building and learning that we have been undertaking for several years,” the organization notes.
To see these 21 actions, go to: https://outdoorlearningstore.com/indigenous-learning-resources
On the other hand, the Seasons of Indigenous Learning has also been one of the available Indigenous Learning courses that CBEEN offers to the community.
In these courses, the history of things like colonialism and residential schools are taught to adults. Participants are provided with encouragement and resources to deepen their learning further.
They have recently partnered with ŧkamnin’tik Children’s Truth and Reconciliation Society, based out of St. Eugene, to build the next year of learning, starting in Fall 2024.
For more information about the course, visit https://outdoorlearningstore.com/4-seasons/
The CBEEN says that all of these learning experiences aim to acknowledge that the personal journey toward truth and reconciliation should be an ongoing one.
“This initiative encourages educators to deepen their understanding of Indigenous knowledge while strengthening connections with the local land,” staff added.
They also note that reconciliation is not up to governments or corporations, but “everyone needs to be involved to make a better future for our whole community.”
“The effects of colonialism, residential schools, and intergenerational trauma are with us in our community today, and it is up to all of us to help end the systemic racism that continues to be perpetuated, often unknowingly, in the Columbia Valley and across Canada,”
CBEEN’s team has all engaged deeply in this kind of work, providing them meaningful employment in many ways.
“We hope that people in the Columbia Valley will be inspired and supported to develop deeper connections with this land and to become more connected and active stewards of this magnificent place we call home,” staff say.
For more information about CBEEN and their courses and learning, visit https://cbeen.ca/
Julia Archelene Magsombol, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer