Published on January 17, 2022
Larry Grant sʔəyəɬəq, Jeffery Schiffer, Alannah Young Leon, Wilson Mendes, Eduardo Jovel
This article examines the development of a land-based program and lessons learned from reconnecting Indigenous youth in the childcare system in the province of British Columbia to a local Indigenous territory and teachings as a vital restorative practice. The Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness (CRUW) program is an Indigenous land-based program which demonstrates how a strengths-based Indigenous curriculum can build capacity among urban Indigenous youth transitioning from the Child Welfare system to independent living. The article describes how land-based methodologies developed by the Elders Advisory Circle are used in shaping a responsive and territory-placed land-based pedagogical curriculum. The CRUW program is held at xʷc̓ic̓əsəm Garden, also known as the Indigenous Health Research and Education Garden (IHREG), at the University of British Columbia Farm (UBC Farm) in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Garden’s traditional xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Musqueam name xʷc̓ic̓əsəm means the place where we grow in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language. The garden’s name provides a reassertion of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Musqueam land-based protocols and principles informing regenerative land-based practices. These protocols and principles emphasize wholistic wellness strategies for life-long learning. They direct children, families, and communities towards wholistic wellness, self-determination, Indigenous food sovereignty; and guide leadership development, healthy living competencies, and cultural resurgence.
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