Prioritizing Truth and Reconciliation and Promoting Urban Indigenous Community Development

10 / 02 / 2020 | News

Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has seen a growing number of Indigenous-led initiatives including the Resurfacing History Project. Resurfacing History: Land and Lives in Mount Pleasant is a land-based learning project prioritizing cultural continuity by investing in valuable cultural teachers and training Indigenous community members as cultural facilitators. The project focuses on building the skills of Indigenous participants to lead land-based learning workshops, increasing the visibility of and access to Indigenous ways of knowing and being, and creating a chance for all community members to learn and appreciate Indigenous perspectives and priorities. 

This work has been amplified in community and is influencing policy and practice, as it also engages many organizations, including civic organizations (Parks Board, Social Planning, School Board, Library). As the small cohort of staff, volunteers, teachers, leaders and participants build their knowledge and practice, their influence in the City of Vancouver is also growing, including having a voice in the Vancouver Food Policy Council, as well joining the Climate and Equity Working Group to inform the City’s plans in Climate Emergency Response Report due in October 2020.  The program staff and participants have been brought into leadership roles in the community to share culture and Indigenous food knowledge, as well as gain access to city-owned land for harvesting and gathering.

This project is an example of how Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House leverages its expertise in place-making and strength-based development to foster initiatives to engage Indigenous people in Indigenous-led work. This is our approach to Truth and Reconciliation – Indigenous Community leading the way in planning and developing cultural and social initiatives which can promote healing, learning, inclusion and acknowledgement. 

Written by Jolene Andrew, Indigenous Community Developer

Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, Vancouver, BC, Canada
To learn more about the indigenous work click here