Raising the Villages Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk

Raising the Villages Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk November Update 2017 The Early Years, Starting Strong – creating welcoming spaces to connect and belong.




Welcome to the movement, become a part of our team!

A diverse team of individuals, organizations, and business are working together across western Cape Breton to gather information on what it takes to create the welcoming communities and spaces our children deserve.  Welcoming communities and spaces that are inclusive, nurturing, intergenerational, and promote healthy development, play, and creativity. What does it take to create a welcoming community? The most important part of our movement at present, is our survey.  It is this information that will guide our movement in the days ahead. Please JOIN OUR CONVERSATION by filling in, sharing, or assisting another person in your community to complete our survey at http://www.raisingthevillages.webs.com.  We look forward to sharing our findings with you at our Planning for Action summit in Wagmatcook on November, 20th.  The time is now, we thank you so much for your support. Get in touch! Questions?  Want to help in your community?  Please contact Councillor Jim Mustard at 902-295-0974, or on jim.mustard@invernesscounty.ca; or Christine Villneff at Christine.villneff@nshealth.ca, or on 902-258-3220. This movement/project is responding to the One Nova Scotia Coalition’s Collaborative Action Plan’s #1 priority The Early Years:  Starting Strong, and specifically the section ‘Community-Led Initiatives for Early Years, Welcoming our Youngest Children’ which you can read about on page 18 in their report at https://tinyurl.com/gpyz7qa. What’s new? Councillor Jim Mustard and Christine Villneff were delighted to tell the story of the Raising the Villages movement at the Many Hands, Many Voices conference on October, 3rd.  Their presentation was delivered via a live stream and was attended by 15 people.  They shared the history of the project, the lessons they have learned along the way, and future plans for Raising the Villages through a story telling circle.  During the conference they attended other sessions to learn about projects throughout NS, made new connections with peers who have a strong interest in community development, and very much enjoyed a drumming circle and traditional Mi’kmaw songs and stories. Many Hands, Many Voices was hosted in Membertou and was organized by the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia.  After the conference, Christine expressed that, ‘It was a good and fruitful two days to share our story’. Raising the Villages Organizing Team met on the morning of October, 11th at the Wagmatcook Culture and Heritage Centre.  October was a busy month for all involved with Raising the Villages, and November will be too, so this meeting was a great opportunity to collectively organize upcoming events.  Everyone has been working hard in their respective communities to ensure that our events are welcoming to all, and supportive of our movement. Raising the Villages hosted a Service Provider Gathering in partnership with Public Health on October, 18th.  The gathering was for service providers who work directly with infants, children, and families in our local communities.  There was a good turn-out from the health care sector, as well as a large group from Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC).  The group very much enjoyed an impromptu presentation from Jordan’s Principle Initiative.  Throughout the morning, we examined current issues that we are facing in our communities and discussed strategies for a multi-service and collaborative approach.  During the closing circle at the end of the morning, it was moving to hear a Social Work student from NSCC say that although she often thought of moving away, she felt so inspired by the talks she had heard at the gathering, that she now felt encouraged to stay at home to work in her home community instead.  Her sentiments confirmed that Raising the Villages is a movement that can reach a multi-generational audience, and lead to real changes in our communities. On Friday, October, 20th Councillor Jim Mustard introduced Raising the Villages to the five Mi’kmaq Chiefs from Unama’ki (Cape Breton) at a meeting in Membertou.  The Chiefs were receptive, and together they shared a positive conversation on the movement, and its future goals.  Councillor Jim Mustard then invited them to attend our Planning for Action summit on Monday, November, 20th. As many of you know Raising the Villages organized, alongside local Municipalities, ‘Welcoming our youngest citizens’ celebrations across western Cape Breton.  These wonderful community events brought everyone together from our infants to our elders and we could not be happier with how these celebrations went.  There is so much to share, that we have decided to dedicate an update to these celebrations all on its own.  This will be coming soon, so please keep an eye out for it in your inboxes! Raising the Villages Organizing team take news of our movement to Halifax!  Councillor Jim Mustard (Inverness County), Councillor Perla MacLeod (Victoria County), and Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton (Town of Port Hawkesbury), are at the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM) conference this week.  This valuable networking event provides another great opportunity for our team to increase awareness of Raising the Villages with colleagues from across the province. Members of the Raising the Villages Organizing team presented to the Strait – Richmond Area Community Health Board at a meeting on November, 7th sharing information on the movement’s journey so far and our future goals.

An important date for your diary

Save the date!  November, 20th 2017 – PLEASE NOTE:

Important notice! 

The ‘Raising the Villages – Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk’ Planning for Action summit on Monday, November, 20th has been POSTPONED until further notice.  We apologize for any inconvenience caused for this late change of date. Raising the Villages sends our sincere condolences to Wagmatcook First Nation after the recent loss of an elder in their community.  The funeral will take place on Monday, November, 20th and out of respect and understanding for this important partner community, we have decided to re-schedule the summit to a time where all ‘villages’ can participate. We look forward to seeing you at our Planning for Action summit, but for the moment we thank you in advance for sharing this important notice with others!  As soon as a new summit date has been organized, we will share this with you. The Early Years, Starting Strong – creating welcoming spaces to connect and belong. Warm Wishes, Raising the Villages Organizing Team http://www.raisingthevillages.webs.com https://www.facebook.com/Raising-the-Villages-1117398191694209/

Please accept our invitation and join ‘Raising the Villages – Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk’ at our Planning for Action summit! We look forward to seeing you on Monday, November, 20th, in Wagmatcook at the Culture and Arts Centre. This will be a full day event starting at 9:30 am and everyone is welcome. Please RSVP Christine Villneff at 902-258-3220, or by email Christine.villneff@nshealth.ca. New people are learning of Raising the Villages because of you! Our movement is still relatively new but already has around 115 likes on Facebook, and some of our posts have had a reach of over 2,000 people!  Your ongoing support is greatly appreciated, so please continue to like and share our Facebook page (and posts) as often as possible at https://www.facebook.com/Raising-the-Villages-1117398191694209/.  You can also help others learn of Raising the Villages by sharing our email updates and the link to our website at raisingthevillages.webs.com/.   … our great thanks goes to: The above events were made possible due to generous funding received by Raising the Villages from local municipalities, the Canada 150 Community Fund, United Way Cape Breton, and Wagmatcook First Nation. Thanks so very much!

Warm Wishes, Raising the Villages Organizing Team



Mailing Address:

Raising the Villages

Municipality of the County of Inverness

375 Main Street, PO Box 179

Port Hood, Cape Breton Island, NSB0E 2W0