Success By 6® is an early childhood development initiative dedicated to providing all children with a good start in life. It helps to ensure that children ages 0 to 6 develop the emotional, social, cognitive, and physical skills they need as they enter school. Each of our Success By 6 coordinators have written a short success stories to illustrate the impact of their work. Below is one of those stories.
North Thompson Aboriginal Engagement
By, Cindy Willgosh
The Aboriginal Engagement Success by 6 & the Sharing Centre has a partnership with the local Food Bank. In our Community Outreach Circles, (I am using Blue River in this story) we provide food diapers, baby food, infant formula, and toothbrushes to families in the outlying communities.
Transportation is a real issue for families to travel to the local food bank, and many of the families with young children are very proud people and say they do not need the help, that they are able to take care of their family. Our hope was to create a way that these families would receive the much-needed help, without making them feel degraded in any way. This is where the food share program comes in.
It is so exciting to see the families participating in our Circles now.
We sing, drum, and tell stories; everyone is welcome. We tell the story of traditional family values, & how twice a year we would gather & share all that we have with the whole community, wild meat, berries, hides, etc.
Therefore, this is how we get the families to feel comfortable enough to participate in the circles.
We are here to share with all people, and what is it that you could share with everyone?
We tell that some can share foodstuff, some can share stories, and some their knowledge. This is what it takes to become a caring community.
At first, the families were very reluctant to take anything from the van load of stuff that I would bring each time. The very first time it was only one mom. After a few times there were a few more moms and that was almost a year ago. Now all of our families, moms, dads & grandparents, the school age kids, will help themselves and will take only what they need and can use, and in return, they share with us what they have, they are all very mindful of paying it forward.
In Blue River, the parents, and school workers would like to start their own Community Circle, in which they have a space to store things that the whole community could come together and share, a “Free Store” as they call it.
This is just one of many success stories that describe what a positive impact our local Aboriginal Engagement Success by 6 initiative has on our families, to build partnerships, build self-confidence, and a sense of belonging, and pride in all our people, regardless of nationality, within the North Thompson Valley.