Strengthening Cultural Identity: Supporting urban Indigenous youth-in-care to access culture through self-determined health and wellness in lək̓ʷəŋən territory

The Strengthening Cultural Identity project will connect urban Indigenous youth in care to language learning resources and culturally centered coming of age activities in lək̓ʷəŋən territory (Victoria, British Columbia). These elements were identified by youth participants during the 2018-2021 Coming of Age Project, as a way to strengthen their Indigenous identities. Building on the partnership between Surrounded by Cedar Child and Family Services (SCCFS) and the University of Victoria, we are proposing a knowledge sharing project that will support two of SCCFS’s youth groups, the Xe’Xe’tuls’thut (leadership) group and the Youth Advisory Council, in determining how they would like to integrate language and cultural teachings into their lives.

We will do this by:

  1. Translating knowledge sharing resources into lək̓ʷəŋən’anthun (Lewungen’athun) to honour the territory where we work, and nuučaan̓uɫ (Nuu chah nulth), to recognize the diversity of the urban Indigenous youth-in-care community.
  2. Working with the youth to facilitate access to language learning (e.g. the KS tools, language resources/teachers) and cultural activities in self-determined ways
  3. Celebrating what we have learned at a community feast.

Team members: Jennifer Chuckry (Surrounded by Cedar Child and Family Services); Andrea Mellor (University of Victoria)