Prepared by Tana Thomas, Arts and Culture Coordinator, Pacific Peoples’ Partnership
We would like to honour and celebrate the IISAAK OLAM Foundation in the success of an educational pilot program (ICAP) that began in early January 2020. The Program was offered in the traditional territories of the Lekwungen People, specifically Marigold and South Valley Parks in South Saanich BC.
The intent of the program was to introduce a traditional way of learning into today’s westernized public school system, specifically early childhood development and education. ICAP instructors led Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in learning about the hereditary role we have as a collective. The ICAP program focused on the core values of respect, responsibility and unity rooted in the teachings that come with environmental stewardship. The curriculum involved mindfully observing, identifying, and interacting with local plants, insects, and animals. Traditional stories were shared, and students took part in sustainable harvesting and restoration projects. Relationships were strengthened within the community as a deeper understanding of connection was received by participants of all ages.
The IISAAK OLAM Foundation was thrilled to be able to create and deliver an alternative education model for young children that encourages place-based learning and cross-cultural literacy. We’re grateful to TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Pacific Peoples’ Partnership, and Saanich Parks for supporting this special initiative.
Monica Shore, Co-founder, IISAAK OLAM Foundation
It is empowering to see programs focused on the prosperity of future generations. The ultimate law of our people is to protect our offspring. This includes creating a safe place to learn cultural teachings, such as environmental stewardship. As long as we protect and preserve our natural surroundings, our teachings will never be lost. Our teachings originally come from the land, the ocean, and observing all the beings within it! On behalf of Pacifc Peoples’ Partnership, our hands go up to the visionaries and leaders behind this initiative, and to the children for paving a new path for the wellbeing of all humanity.
A phase two COVID-19 friendly virtual program has been envisioned and we are now actively fundraising to support this incredible program led by IISAAK OLAM Foundation, in collaboration with Pacific Peoples’ Partnership and Saanich Parks, with support of a grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
Check out the final report by IISAAK OLAM to learn more about the program.