Raising the Villages Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk



Raising the Villages Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk July Update 2017



What’s in our logo?    This present logo illustrates what this project is all about.  The supportive hands of a community are inclusive of the four colours of the Mi’Kmaw Medicine Wheel, and blue and green to represent Cape Breton.  The circle is symbolic of the intergenerational approach in this movement. All of human life is connected in cycles and our children need Elders as much as Elders need children.  In the centre, the green symbol is representative of the sweet grass that grows locally; where salt water meets fresh water and symbolizes our collective home on this special island. The blue image in the centre is of an infant, and is placed there symbolizing all that we do, supported by a welcoming community.  



The Early Years, Starting Strong creating spaces to connect and belong. 


We hope that you will enjoy reading this update on Raising the Villages. Our movement is now really making strides, and amongst other things, by reading on you will learn how you too can help increase awareness for it.

The Movement  A diverse team of individuals, organizations, and businesses 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.

All parents and children will benefit from attaching to welcoming community spaces to find friends from multiple generations and walks of life, to connect to services and programmes, as well as social and community opportunities that might not otherwise be known to them. 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.



How it all began A large initial gathering was held on February 24th 2017 and was attended by 70 people from across the region. They brought enthusiasm, insight and ideas that have guided the process forward.  As a result, there were two days of training on March 9th and 10th called ‘Training for Impact’ where participants learned how to engage communities, and also how to gather and harvest information in order to continue building the momentum.  Since then, the organizing team has created some key messaging, surveys, and communication tools.
Raising the Villages Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk 

Help grow the conversation in one of the following ways: Surveys We aim to have 500 people participate in our survey! You can complete it at raisingthevillages.webs.com, and it can also be shared by simply forwarding this email or via Social Media. Pop Up Let us know about an upcoming community event where we can share the project and engage with new people. Interviews Talk with people in your community and assist them to complete the survey to help us connect with new people.

What’s Next?

1.  Gathering information about as many communities as we can, all over western Cape Breton Island. 2.  Forming a declaration to ensure children are our “North Star” in guiding our decisions. 3.  Communication with our partners and community members of what is going on and items of interest in our communities.

Community conversation outcomes We will be spending the summer engaging in conversations with our communities which will give us rich information about what we have, what we need and where we are going. This will lead to a Planning for Action summit, on November 20th coinciding with and celebrating the United Nations’ International Day of the Child. What we will learn by November 20th

  • What’s already working for children from the start of life
  • What are the assets and challenges
  • What do our children and families need more of

What we will foster by November 20th

  • New relationships and social capital
  • Mindset shift as to why the Early Years – Starting Strong, matters to all of us
  • Commitment and buy in by all sectors to step-up

Join us at local events throughout the summer! Throughout the summer the organizing team will be attending community events to have conversations with you! Watch for us at your community event. Please stay up to date with our current news and events that we will be attending over the summer by visiting our website (raisingthevillages.webs.com/) and our new Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Raising-the-Villages-1117398191694209/). Would your group like to learn more? We want to invite local groups to join our movement, to share information and increase awareness of Raising the Villages. To organize a visit to your group from Jim Mustard (or another member of our team), or to get in touch with any questions about how you can get involved please contact Christine Villneff at christine.villneff@nshealth.ca or 902-258-3220.




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