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Indigenous Fashion Show and ReMatriate Dialogue at the VPL

In partnership with the Vancouver Public Library, ReMatriate, the Pacific Association of First Nations Women, All My Relations Entertainment and Changemakers Vancouver RISE leader Joleen Mitton organized a spectacular event at the Main Branch of the Vancouver Public Library as part of the VPL’s Multicultural Day Celebration. 

The Shapeshifter Fashion Show became the highlight of the festivities, and unlike anything the library has ever seen before. The show featured a line up of all Indigenous designers and models and ROCKED the VPL promenade. 

Hands up to the designers: Sho Sho Esquiro/ Nadine Spence/ OKA

 Following the show, Rematriate: What To Wear In A Era of Matriation?” invited the whole community to take part in a cultural experience, exploring the depth of creativity amongst notable Indigenous designers, writers, researchers, traditional and contemporary artists, and advocates. Rematriate was a conversation with: Kelly Edzerza Bapty, Beau Dick, Kwiaahwah Jones, and Lisa Charelyboy to raise awareness about the appropriation of Indigenous Cultural Identities.

The event created a space to fuse art, fashion, culture, music and entertainment together to highlight cultural diversity and promote a new path toward equality. Nice work, Joleen, and the rest of the RISE Team who supported this event!

And thank you to the VPL for the use of this beautiful space!

 

{gallery}RISE fashion show{/gallery}

 

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RISE and Britannia Offer Cultural Activities for Youth at the Newly Constructed Community Carving Pavilion

 

RISE leader Laura Lewis is currently working to engage neighbourhood youth in cultural activities at Britannia’s newly constructed Carving Pavilion. This is a great opportunity for intercultural learning and sharing and is open to all youth ages 13-18. Carving, storytelling, arts & crafts, fun games and more! Additional information on schedule of activities to come.

 

Responsible Indigenous Strategy for Empowerment

 

 

 

 

 

 

R.I.S.E (Responsible Indigenous Strategy for Empowerment) evolved out of ALIVE’s Gen 7 Aboriginal Youth Role Model Program, and is currently delivered in 5 local Community Centres as a partnership between ALIVE, the Vancouver Parks Board and the MoreSport YELL Program.

Leaders are selected based on their demonstrated community leadership, background in arts/culture/recreation and experience working with youth. RISE is one piece of ALIVE’s Reconciliation in Action Strategy.

Each RISE leader is employed as a paid staff through the Vancouver Parks Board. These are well-paying jobs at union rates that can greatly assist participating leaders to support their continuing education in addition to facilitating connections to employers, and building their familiarity with mainstream systems, employee responsibilities, protocols, and practices.

What do RISE leaders do?

RISE leaders work as a team to identify and support other Aboriginal community members and excluded groups to become connected to neighbourhood opportunities and be actively involved in all aspects of city life. They receive support from the RISE coordinator and community centre staff in the implementation of strategic activities in the assigned pilot sites that provide opportunities for intercultural sharing and learning and engage and encourage more extensive and reflective participation.

Each RISE leader brings their own unique strengths, knowledge and experience and the focus of their engagement in the community reflects their individual background and interests. RISE leaders are supported by their supervisor and the RISE coordinator to network and build connections with their community’s youth, and other local area partners and to find areas of interest for community/program development that draw on and enhance their capacities as leaders . RISE leaders run different types of programs in the community including arts & culture, recreation/sports, youth citizenship/leadership or a combination.

Some of the work of RISE includes community consultation, facilitating learning and sharing circles, asset-mapping and other outreach and engagement activities to help centres understand and respond to community-identified priorities.

The 5 Parks Board community centres currently participating in the RISE Program are:

Ray-Cam Community Centre, Britannia Community Centre, Mount Pleasant Community Centre, Hastings Community Centre and Strathcona Community Centre.

Training and Mentorship
Each leader receives on-site mentorship from community centre supervisor(s) as well as weekly check-ins with the RISE coordinator.

RISE leaders also receive regular paid training throughout their placement that is relevant to the work they are doing. This includes:

Group management, supervision, facilitation, physical literacy, asset-mapping/social policy, cultural workshops, program creation, etc…

Why RISE?

Aboriginal people are not well-represented in mainstream neighbourhood spaces. Community centres are tax-payer funded municipal institutions with both the resources and the mandate to support/facilitate the process of neighbourhood-level reconciliation. Aboriginal youth are the fastest growing population and have great potential to support reconciliation efforts by pointing the way to the future in their urban communities. In leadership and in staff roles RISE leaders are in a position to influence other centre staff, as well as the focus of centre programming.

We hope this initiative will create a better understanding of the social, economic and cultural assets to be found in the urban Aboriginal community and the importance of involving Aboriginal youth, elders and families in community decisions and opportunities.

 We expect that more Community Centres will sign up to be a part of this initiative, supporting ALIVE to scale out the “reconciliation in action” strategy across Vancouver, neighbourhood by neighbourhood.

 Check out the current RISE team and what they’ve been up to.

If you’re interested in becoming a RISE leader or just want to know more about RISE, send an email to info@alivesociety.ca or call 604.257.6949

 

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RISE Leader Bios

Joleen

A little bit about me- Born and bred in East Vancouver and am very proud of my Cree, Blackfoot French and Scottish heritage. I have 15 years experience in the modeling industry and am privileged to have traveled around the world practicing my profession.

Now residing back in Vancouver where I’m dedicated to working with the Aboriginal community through RISE by connecting through art, fashion, sport and understanding.

Joleen’s Website

More to Come!!

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Exciting News for Gen 7!

ALIVE’s Gen 7 team has been enjoying a little early holiday cheer! A proposal submitted by ALIVE youths to the United Nations on behalf of the Gen 7 Aboriginal youth leadership program was approved and supported by a United Nations committee.
 
We are very excited to add the United Nations to our team of supporters which includes the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Park Board, Motivate Canada, Our Place, FNES, and 8 Vancouver Community Centres (Ray Cam, Hastings, Strathcona, Britannia,Trout Lake, Dunbar, Roundhouse,and Mount Pleasant). In addition, we have Ryerson, Queens, and Nippising University working with us on a special national research project concerning Urban Aboriginal engagement in 5 Park Board community centres.
 

ALIVE & GEN7 at the 1st Annual National Aboriginal Physical Activity Conference

GEN 7 Messenger Martina at the National Aboriginal Physical Activity Conference

Members of ALIVE and youth messengers from the GEN7 program recently attended and volunteered at the 1st Annual National Aboriginal Physical Activity Conference, hosted by the Aboriginal Physical Activity and Cultural Circle (APACC). The Conference was held as an opportunity to discuss and share ideas about the promotion of Aboriginal health and well-being through sport, recreation and physical activity. As the nation’s largest conference concerning physical activity in the Aboriginal community, The 1st Annual National Aboriginal Physical Activity and Cultural Circle was a unique opportunity for education and networking.

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ALIVE and partners Launch the Gen7 Aboriginal Youth Role Model Program

 

February 20th marked the launch of the new Gen 7 Aboriginal Role Model program, a partnership initiative between ALIVE and Motivate Canada, a national youth-driven development organization. The program will be coordinated by ALIVE through 5 local community centres:  Britannia, Ray-Cam, Strathcona, Trout Lake, and Hastings. Gen 7 will provide the youth with training and mentorship to build leadership capacity and develop their skills through sport and physical activity. The program incorporates a place-based approach, as Messengers draw on inspiration from native elders as well as the tools and resources offered by community partners.

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