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My name is Bob Ages. You may know me from the work I do in support of the Unist'ot'en clan (Wet'suwet'en Nation) and their effort to stop bitumen and fracking pipelines from entering their territory.
Through this work I've had the honour to meet Melody Andrews, a strong, smart and determined Sto:lo woman who works with Indigenous families and youth to undo the damage colonialism has brought to individuals and communities.
From December 19th to the 21st families from all over BC's Lower Mainland, Wet'suwet'en territory (northern B.C.) and S'Klallam territory (in Washington state ) will gather in Shxw'owhamel First Nation, Sto:lo territory (near Hope, B.C.) for the 5th session of the Indigenous Life School.
It is a family based educational program with parents and children staying together to learn the natural cycles of their lands and waters through the seasons.
Melody is expecting 30 to 40 parents and children. Parents will focus on developing the initiative while the children learn traditional outdoor skills.
The Indigenous Life School initiative is an effort to battle historical and current assimilation efforts. It is a re-building of knowledge systems that were systematically targeted and methodically dismantled in the residential school era and continue to be neglected in our public schools,
The school focuses on the Indigenous worldview which places nature at the center of understanding and relating to the world. It teaches the sacred responsibilities to nature and the responsibilities they have to take care of their land for the next seven generations.
The Indigenous Life School focuses on;
Indigenous experiential ways of learning and knowing
We all know the challenging economic situation facing Indigenous communities and families. I'm sure you can imagine the burden of travel, accommodation and food costs they bear to make this schooling happen. Yet this is the first time they have asked for outside help from allies like you and me.
Their objective is to raise $2000 by December 17th. Will you help?
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