The success of the ṮEṮÁĆES Climate Action Project is due to the valuable partnerships that have participated in, contributed to and supported this one-year pilot initiative. The project has been led by the Southern Gulf Islands Community Resource Centre whose Board of Directors and staff have managed this complex and demanding project while maintaining the centres extensive other programs.
The Real Estate Foundation of BC whose $68,000 matching grant provided the financial capacity to develop and deliver phase III of this project is the valued partner without whose support the three climate action courses would never have come to fruition. The capacity of Gulf Island communities to respond with greater resiliency to the climate emergency has been enhanced by the Foundation’s generous contribution.
From the start of this project the W̱SÁNEĆ people represented by the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council and strongly supported by the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board were central to this project’s success in bringing W̱SÁNEĆ Traditional Knowledge and cultural wisdom to guide the project’s development and inform the curriculum. W̱SÁNEĆ Elders J,SIṈTEN (John Elliott), ȻOSINIYE (Linda Elliott), SELILIYE (Belinda Claxton), W̱IĆKINEM (Hereditary Chief Eric Pelkey), XEṮXÁṮTEN (Earl Claxton, Jr.), and many others generously shared their W̱SÁNEĆ Traditional Knowledge.
The Capital Regional District played the key role in initiating this project and funding the first two phases from May 9 to December 6, 2019. CRD director David Howe has been an unwavering supporter of this program from the outset.
Southern Gulf Island trustees played an important part in the development and delivery of this initiative. Trustee Deb Morrison as one of the lead instructors has contributed her educational expertise and trustees Paul Brent and Steve Wright have provided valuable planning assistance.
A range of community based organizations played a valuable supportive with this project. PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ contributed place based learning in ecological restoration and the Living Lab Project contributed to curriculum development and delivery. The South Pender Historical Society provided extensive “in kind” support for the project.
The leadership and staff in all four Island conservancies have made important and valuable contributions to the curriculum and facilitated place based learning opportunities that enhanced the project.
The management and staff of Poets Cove Resort have housed and fed the participants, instructors and presenters of this project enthusiastically and with special care to ensure a receptive learning environment.
Education Institutions including UVIC, UBC, Western Washington’s Salish Sea Institute and the University of Washington have shared their expertise and played a strong support role.
A wide range of course presenters from these partner organizations brought expertise, insights and engaging ideas to the course curriculums.
The engine for the ṮEṮÁĆES Climate Action Project has been the community based project working group that has met regularly to plan, analyze, strategize and operationalize the successful development and delivery of the three climate action courses.
There are many other partners that merit recognition, but the unsung heroes who have perhaps contributed most to the success of the three courses are the 47 dedicated participants who dived into the course curriculums and co-created a sometimes transformative learning experience that will illuminate their climate action plans in the days, weeks and months to come. Mother Earth and future generations will be the beneficiaries in the long run.