Raising the Villages Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk

 

RaisingtheVillagesLogoFeb52018

Raising the Villages
Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk
June Update 2018
(Above) The four Raising the Villages Action Principles that form an important part of our Declaration.  These principles will guide us moving forward, throughout our action stage.  Read more on our website at
http://raisingthevillages.webs.com/gatherings

June is a splendid month, as it means that we get to welcome back summer!  Knowing that there is great weather around the corner we have been inspired to ask you a favour.  We are asking each person who receives this Newsletter to please assist us to ‘spread the word’ on all the great progress being made by our movement, and that of our community partners, by forwarding our Newsletter to one other person; such as a friend, neighbour, family member, or colleague.  We would very much like to double the reach of Raising the Villages this month.  Thank you so much in advance!

What’s new?
The Raising the Villages Organizing Team met on Friday, May, 25th in Bay St. Lawrence.  Our road trip was a big success and it was a great experience to learn from the very active Bay St. Lawrence Coalition of Raising the Villages about the types of family-friendly events they have been holding and where they are situated.  The team at the Bay St. Lawrence Community Centre are an inspiring group.  They are full of determination and spirit, and care very much about their community.  The community centre has been running for eighteen years and it is a gem.  The door is always open, and it is a place to gather and enjoy the company of other local people.  They work together to face the challenges found in their rural community, such as ensuring that all community members had warm coats in the winter, and bellies full of food during trying times.  Through sharing their experiences, there is a lot that all Raising the Villages communities can learn from their example.

Please see a few of our Bay St. Lawrence images below.  In the first photograph a gift of friendship is being presented from We’koqma’q to Bay St. Lawrence.  (From l-r):  Councillor Norm MacDonald, Christine Villneff, Andrea Currie, Councillor Jim Mustard, Deidre Fraser, Amy MacKinnon, Rosie Sylliboy, and Paul Strome back right.

The Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia held their AGM on Thursday, May, 31st at the NSCC Truro Campus.  Guests of the evening had the opportunity to learn more about their Rural Vitality Grant Program that supports revitalization and sustainability in rural Nova Scotia. Councillor Jim Mustard and Christine Villneff, from the Raising the Villages Organizing Team, sat on the Rural Vitality Grants Panel and enjoyed the opportunity to share information on our movement and also how receiving this all-important grant has made a great difference to our work in local communities.  To this effect, we thank The Rural Communities Foundation (RCF) of Nova Scotia once again for their great support that has enabled us to complete research, hold gatherings, and communicate our message on a greater scale!  The photograph below is of Councillor Mustard and Christine at the AGM, compliments of the RCF.

Councillor Mustard and Christine were keen to learn about other inspirational community projects funded by the RCF, and would like to share the following stories with you:
*The Msit No’Kmaq Indigenous Youth Leadership Program https://youtu.be/wxs2AFAOnuA 
*The Digby Neck Collective https://youtu.be/icG4R4F0KJM
*Clean Annapolis River Project (CARP) https://youtu.be/cEpSUMAzTd8
*The Ulnooweg Development Group https://youtu.be/zNEBSUNpUK0
Additional community stories can be found on the RCF website athttp://www.ruralcommunitiesfdn.ca/.
Join us! 
We are currently recruiting for local coalition members in Inverness and examining existing structures in We’koma’q to support our movement.  All coalition members are working together to achieve the movement’s goals in their communities, as outlined in our declaration, such as reducing social isolation and creating welcoming spaces.

To become involved with a  Raising the Villages Coalition in your local community, please contact:
Baddeck – Councillor Perla MacLeod at district2@victoriacounty.ca
Bay St. Lawrence – Deidre Fraser at deidre5@hotmail.com
Port Hawkesbury – Danna Ferguson at dannaferguson72@gmail.com

If you are interested in assisting to organize a Raising the Villages Coalition in your community please contact Christine Villneff at Christine.villneff@nshealth.ca, or on 902-258-3220.

In the News!
We would like to offer our great thanks to Grant McDaniel and The Port Hawkesbury Reporter for featuring the article Declaration for Raising the Villages Officially Presented to Inverness County:  http://porthawkesburyreporter.com/declaration-for-raising-the-villages-officially-presented-to-inverness-county/.  The article shares that Christine Villneff, on behalf of our movement, presented theRaising the Villages Declaration to Inverness Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie. It is a very informative piece on where we are at.
Community Highlight
Welcoming Community Expo in Port Hawkesbury
1st image: (l-r) Port Hawkesbury Mayor – Brenda Chisholm-Beaton, Christine Villneff – key member of Raising the Villages Organizing Team, and Danna Ferguson – Committee Chair of Port Hawkesbury Coalition of Raising The Villages 
On Friday, May, 4th the Port Hawkesbury Coalition of Raising the Villagesheld a Welcoming Community Expo at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.  Their ultimate goal for Raising The Villages Port Hawkesbury is to create a space for the community to come together and belong, particularly for their youngest citizens and their oldest citizens whom are the most vulnerable and need the most support.   The Expo has helped educate their membership under the leadership of the Chair, Danna Ferguson, so they could see what is presently available in their community.  This event has gone a long way to provide a platform for advocacy; now they know where and how to plug many of their citizens into services, programs, or social groups to fit their needs, lifestyles, and health.

The Welcoming Family Expo was all about connecting our citizens from birth to 99 to all there is available in our community in recreation, health and wellness, sport, services, programs, and more.  Lack of knowledge of all there is available is a barrier to growing a strong vibrant community for young and old.  For example, the attendees didn’t realize there were so many clubs and volunteer organizations they could join, or activities that are free to participate in, which will go a long way in combating loneliness and social isolation.   Another example, is there are many free programs and supports for young families with babies, and plugging in young families will potentially improve their overall well-being.  It takes all ages, and all citizens, and all stakeholders to create a strong robust and vibrant community.  The expo is one way Raising the Villages Port Hawkesbury will work to reduce barriers by increasing local knowledge and awareness, so that we can eventually identify gaps in what is needed to grow our community further.”
-Mayor Chisholm-Beaton

“We are so pleased with the positive feedback from the community around the Welcoming Community Expo! It was well attended and there were services represented for all age groups. Our vision to bring together citizens of all ages and show them the services that are available to support any and all of their needs came true. We owe the success of the event to the over 40 community partners who participated, the many volunteers of all ages, as well as those who attended.”
-Danna Ferguson

Coming Up
P’jila’si–Welcome–Bienvenue–Failte–Welkom!!
Kaqa’nata Multicultural & Diversity Summit 2018
We are delighted to share, on behalf of the Wagmatcook Culture and Heritage Centre, event founder Robert Bernard, and organizers Scott Macmillan and Jennyfer Brickenden – an invitation to the Kaqa’nata Multicultural & Diversity Summit 2018.

The term “Kaqa’nata” is a Mi’kmaw word meaning “It will hold them all”, and it is what the organizers of this event envision Mi’kmaw ancestors would have said to European travelers upon their arrival on our shores many centuries ago.  It is also a term of inclusion, a way of thinking, and a message that in today’s society multiculturalism is a way of life.

Councillor Jim Mustard, founding member of Raising the Villages, will be one of three presenters at a workshop themed ‘Creating Meaningful Partnerships’ taking place on Wednesday, June, 27th at 2pm.  He will be presenting alongside Suzanne Litke from the NS Rainbow Action Project and Rosie Syliboy from MAGIC (Mi’kmaq, Acadians, and Gaels of Inverness County).

Please see the summit’s website athttps://www.kaqanatasummit.com/ for details of the innovative and engaging agenda, and/or to seek out direction on how to set up an information booth, sponsor the summit, or to register your attendance.  Queries can be directed to kaqanatasummit@gmail.com.

Street Dance in We’koqma’q
Mawita’mk (https://mawitamk.org/being-together/) are hosting a Street Dance on June, 21st to celebrate Aboriginal Day and Graduation Day!  Details below.

Get in touch!
Questions?  Want to help in your community?  Please contact the Raising the Villages Organizing Team at raisingthevillages@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Raising the Villages and Facebook
Our movement already has over 185 likes on Facebook, and some of our posts have had a reach of over 2,000 people!  Please continue to like and share our Facebook page (and posts) as often as possible at https://www.facebook.com/Raising-the-Villages-1117398191694209/.  We also invite you to use the #RaisingTheVillages hashtag so that our collective posts about #WelcomingSpaces#Childhood, #EarlyYears, #Education#FoodSustainability, and #Inclusive activities that are #FamilyFriendly reducing social isolation in #CapeBreton, link together – creating a #Community who share like-minded information.

How did we come to be?
Our movement and all its related activities, are a direct response 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.

… our great thanks goes to:
We benefit greatly from the generous funding received by Raising the Villages from local municipalities, the Canada 150 Community Fund, Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia, local municipalities, United Way Cape Breton, Wagmatcook First Nation, Strait-Richmond Community Health Board, North Inverness Community Health Board, and financial assistance from the Province of Nova Scotia’s Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage through Support4Culture and the Diversity and Community Capacity Fund. Thank you all so very much!

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

Amanda Knight
Communications Coordinator
Raising the Villages 
raisingthevillages@gmail.com

http://www.raisingthevillages.webs.com
New Raising the Villages video!
Raising the Villages – Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk would like to thank the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia for generously funding our movement but also for creating our first video!  Enjoy watching ‘The Raising the Villages movement: Rural Communities Foundation of NS (RCF) Vitality Grants’ created by Dana Perry by clicking on the video link at the bottom of this email.

The creation of this video was made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between RCF and the Government of Canada.

Learn more about the RCF at http://www.ruralcommunitiesfdn.ca/and the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th at http://communityfoundations.ca/cfc150/.

The Early Years, Starting Strong – creating welcoming spaces to connect & belong.

Best Wishes,
Raising the Villages Organizing Team

Interviewees in this video are Councillor Jim Mustard – Municipality of the County of Inverness, Christine Villneff and Robert Bernard – key members of the Raising the Villages Organizing Team, and Councillor Perla MacLeod – Municipality of the County Victoria.

Raising the Villages
Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk
April Update 2018

(Above) The four Raising the Villages Action Principles that form an important part of our Declaration.  These principles will guide us moving forward, throughout our action stage.  Read more on our website at http://raisingthevillages.webs.com/gatherings.

Welcome to our April update!  As Raising the Villages continues to build momentum, we have plenty to share with you again this month.

What’s new?
The Raising the Villages Organizing Team met on Thursday, April, 5th from 1-3 pm at Mawita’mk (which translates to ‘Being Together’) in We’koqma’q.  As always, the meeting was a great opportunity for everyone to get together and have a good catch up.  The main theme of discussion at this meeting was – ‘What can I do in my communityWhere do we start?’

Some suggestions follow:
-Look around your community at what is working – are you part of a seniors, youth, or special interest group?  Do they meet regularly?
-Can I start a group? Get in touch if you would like help starting a Raising the Villages Coalition in your community.  Please see more on this below.
-If you are part of a community group, ask your fellow members – ‘What can we do to increase inclusion and community participation?  Can we connect with a similar group in another community?  Can we invite families, youth or elders to join?  What can we do to make our gatherings inclusive?’  Items to consider:  childcare, transportation, creating an invite with time, date, and location.
-Take a look at where you are succeeding and see how you can grow from there.
Great news!  Raising the Villages now has three coalitions (and counting..).  Members of these coalitions are organizing inter-generational, family-friendly events and they also meet to discuss how they can work towards achieving the movement’s goals in their communities.  Our partner coalitions are located in Port Hawkesbury, Bay St. Lawrence, and Baddeck.

To become involved with a Raising the Villages Coalition in your local community, please contact:
-Port Hawkesbury – Danna Ferguson at dannaferguson72@gmail.com
-Bay St. Lawrence – Deidre Fraser at deidre5@hotmail.com
-Baddeck – Councillor Perla MacLeod at district2@victoriacounty.ca

If you are interested in assisting to organize a Raising the Villages Coalition in your community please contact Christine Villneff at Christine.villneff@nshealth.ca, or on 902-258-3220.

Calling all service providers!  The Port Hawkesbury Coaltion of Raising the Villages invites those providing FREE supportive services in Port Hawkesbury, and surrounding areas, to take part in their Welcoming Community Expo (please see more information on this exciting day below) to share with families what services are available to them. The focus is on health and wellness, family and parenting supports, children’s programs, nutrition and development, as well as sports and recreation.  To request a registration form and reserve your space in the Expo please contact Danna Ferguson at dannaferguson72@gmail.com. Please note that completed registration forms must be received by April, 20th 2018.

Can you spare some time for your Community Health Board?  Raising the Villages is pleased to assist local Community Health Boards by sharing their survey at https://www.engage4health.ca/community-health-planning-begins-in-inverness-and-victoria-counties. The information gathered will assist with health planning for the counties of Inverness and Victoria. The survey is available in French and English, and a hard copy of the survey is available by contacting easternCHBs@nshealth.ca, or Christine Villneff at christine.villneff@nshealth.ca.  The deadline for completing a survey is May, 15th 2018.
In the news!
Rosie Sylliboy, whose contributions to Raising the Villages are much valued, is going to be a CBC radio correspondent in Cape Breton.  Her first on air chat will be on Friday, April, 13th at 6:15 am.

Community Highlight
An egg-cellent time had by all in Bay St. Lawrence!
As you can see by the colourful stained glass Easter eggs on the window and the happy children in this photograph, this Easter craft day hosted by Deidre Fraser and the Bay St. Lawrence Coalition of Raising the Villages was a definite success. This family-friendly event took place on Friday, March, 30th at the Bay St Lawrence Community Centre and welcomed about 40 guests in total.

Coming Up
The Port Hawkesbury Coalition of Raising the Villages invites you to a Welcoming Community Expo!  Details below.
Community members and visitors to the Baddeck Library are invited on Saturday, April, 14th, from 10 am until noon, to the Baddeck Community Hall to learn about the possibilities that a modern library can offer, and to contribute to a discussion of what that could mean for the community. There will be tea, coffee and a presentation from Library Manager, Kate Oland and Librarian, Erin Phillips. For those who cannot attend, there will be a live feed of the presentation and an opportunity to offer feedback via the Facebook link below. If you are able to volunteer for this event, or if you need more information, please contact laura@alchemyacres.ca.

Please learn more on the Community Library Discussion group Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/224935498248433/.

An Arts Council for Victoria County? Come along on Tuesday, April, 17th at 10 am to the Baddeck Courtroom (Municipal Office) to share your thoughts on what this would look like!

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.

New people are learning of Raising the Villages because of you!
Our movement already has over 165 likes on Facebook, and some of our posts have had a reach of over 2,000 people!  Please continue to like and share our Facebook page (and posts) as often as possible at https://www.facebook.com/Raising-the-Villages-1117398191694209/.

How did we come to be?
Our movement and all its related activities, are a direct response 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.

… our great thanks goes to:
We benefit greatly from the generous funding received by Raising the Villages from local municipalities, the Canada 150 Community Fund, Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia, local municipalities, United Way Cape Breton, Wagmatcook First Nation, Strait-Richmond Community Health Board, North Inverness Community Health Board, and financial assistance from the Province of Nova Scotia’s Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage through Support4Culture and the Diversity and Community Capacity Fund. Thank you all so very much!

Raising the Villages Organizing Team

http://www.raisingthevillages.webs.com

 

RaisingtheVillagesLogoFeb52018

 

 

Raising the Villages Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk Planning for Action summit update
 Raising the Villages held its Planning for Action summit on Wednesday, January, 24th at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.  This day was all-important in relation to the development of our movement. In signing our Declaration, community leaders and local citizens pledged their commitment to our four Action Principles (above) as Raising the Villages moves from a planning phase to one of action. This is a significant step forward for all involved. Please enjoy learning more about this special day of collective commitment at http://raisingthevillages.webs.com/gatherings!   The photographs below capture the moment when each community leader signed our Declaration. (From top to bottom) Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton of Port Hawkesbury, Warden Bruce J. Morrison from the Municipality of the County Victoria, Warden Betty-Ann MacQuarrie from the Municipality of the County of Inverness, Chief Norman Bernard of Wagmatcook First Nation, and Chief Rod Googoo of We’koqma’q First Nation. Large posters were on the wall and all guests were invited to sign their name to the Declaration also.  

 

 

 

 

… our great thanks goes to: We benefit greatly from the generous funding received by Raising the Villages from local municipalities, the Canada 150 Community Fund, Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia, local municipalities, United Way Cape Breton, Wagmatcook First Nation, Strait-Richmond Community Health Board, North Inverness Community Health Board, and financial assistance from the Province of Nova Scotia’s Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage through Support4Culture and the Diversity and Community Capacity Fund. Thank you all so very much!
Warm Wishes, Raising the Villages Organizing Team

 

http://www.raisingthevillages.webs.com  

 

Mailing address:

Raising the Villages

Municipality of the County of Inverness

375 Main Street, PO Box 179

Port Hood, Cape Breton Island, NSB0E 2W0

 

 

Raising the Villages Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk March Update 2018
We are excited to share the four Action Principles that are part of our Raising the Villages Declaration!  These principles will guide us moving forward, as we have progressed from a planning stage to one of action.  The principles are based on the information we gathered over the last year and will help guide local coalitions to take action in our pilot communities.  We would like to thank those who gave their time to provide us with the translations of our Action Principles, assisting us to ensure that our movement is inclusive to all citizens in western Cape Breton.

What’s new? The Raising the Villages Organizing Team met on Wednesday, February, 21st at the Wagmatcook Health Centre.  Now that the summit has taken place, there was more organizing to do than ever before!  One of the main items on the agenda was funding for Raising the Villages and a discussion around applying for grants to keep the movement going.  It was an enthusiastic and productive meeting, and we were delighted to welcome some new members.  We followed our meeting up by enjoying lunch together.  We also received special guests from Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia to film the first ever Raising the Villages video!  Stay tuned for more on this.

The Baddeck Coalition will be holding their first meeting at 10 am on Monday, March, 19th at Baddeck Employment and Resource Centre.  All are welcome to attend, and to provide input for Raising the Villages in Baddeck.

The Port Hawkesbury Coalition are holding their third meeting this morning at 9 am (March, 9th) to discuss an upcoming family and service provider networking day.  If you provide a free service to families and would like to participate please let us know.

In the news! Raising the Villages would like to send another big thank you to The Inverness Oran team for continuing to include updates on our movement in their paper. They have kindly shared information about our brilliant new logo, created for us by Emily Rankin at Take Note Graphic Design (http://www.takenotegraphicdesign.com/), and where we are ‘one year on’ at https://www.invernessoran.ca/entertainment/1003-raising-the-villages-new-logo-year-one-2.

Community highlight ‘Building with the village’ in Bay St. Lawrence! The Raising the Villages initiative reached Bay St. Lawrence, the top of the island, on Wednesday, February, 28th for their first gathering which was a fun, ‘building’ event for children under primary school age at the Community Centre.  It was a free event that took place from 11-12:30 pm.

The children really enjoyed building with cardboard boxes and Lego blocks, enabling the young ones to work on their development skills through ‘hands on’ activity.  The highlight was a cardboard box that once housed a new washing machine, that was imaginatively transformed into Stage One of a ‘Raising the Villages’ house.  Snacks and refreshments were served and an entertaining afternoon was had by all.

‘Building with the Village’ was just the beginning for Bay St. Lawrence, as they have plans to hold another craft day and an Easter party.

How did we come to be? Our movement and all its related activities, are a direct response 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.

Coming Up As a result of the Planning for Action summit, five communities have committed to organizing events through the spring and fall to share the diversity of our region and the unique culture of each place.  Keep an eye on our Facebook page as we will continue to share news of these family friendly events.

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.

New people are learning of Raising the Villages because of you! Our movement already has over 140 likes on Facebook, and some of our posts have had a reach of over 2,000 people!  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 about our movement by sharing our monthly email updates. … our great thanks goes to: We benefit greatly from the generous funding received by Raising the Villages from local municipalities, the Canada 150 Community Fund, Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia, local municipalities, United Way Cape Breton, Wagmatcook First Nation, Strait-Richmond Community Health Board, North Inverness Community Health Board, and financial assistance from the Province of Nova Scotia’s Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage through Support4Culture and the Diversity and Community Capacity Fund. Thank you all so very much!

Warm Wishes, Raising the Villages Organizing Team

 

http://www.raisingthevillages.webs.com

 

Mailing address:

Raising the Villages

Municipality of the County of Inverness

375 Main Street, PO Box 179

Port Hood, Cape Breton Island, NSB0E 2W0

 

Raising the Villages Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk February Update 2018 The Early Years, Starting Strong – creating welcoming spaces to connect and belong.

 

 

 

Raising the Villages has had an amazing start to this new year!  Our Planning for Action summit took place on Wednesday, January 24, 2018.  This date had special significance, as it was held on the movement’s one year anniversary.  We would like to thank all who came and participated in the summit.  Please read on to learn more.. What’s new? Our logo!  We celebrated the first year of our movement with a whole new look.  Please learn more about its design via the homepage of our website at http://www.raisingthevillages.webs.com. The Raising the Villages Organizing Team met on the morning of Tuesday, January, 9th with local municipal leaders and community elders to discuss the declaration.  It was at this meeting that the declaration to be signed at the summit really took shape with the input of a variety of people and based on the information we had gathered over the last year.

Organizing Team hard at work on the summit declaration In the news! The Raising the Villages movement gains momentum everyday, thanks to additional exposure in the local media.  We offer our thanks to John Gillis at The Inverness Oran, for assisting us to increase awareness of our summit!

Click on the above image to find this article on the Raising the Villages website.

Raising the Villages would like to thank Melanie Holder from the Port Hawkesbury Reporter, for this wonderful article sharing news of our innovate summit held on January, 24th 2018. It really captures the collective commitment and enthusiasm for our movement, that was shared by all on the day at http://porthawkesburyreporter.com/raising-villages-planning-action-summit/. Reconciliation in Action An avid supporter and advocate for the Raising the Villages movement, Mayor Chisholm-Beaton of Port Hawkesbury asks NS Premier to add Unama’ki to sign welcoming motorists to Cape Breton.  Learn more at https://www.989xfm.ca/port-hawkesbury-mayor-asks-premier-to-add-unamaki-to-sign-welcoming-motorists-to-cape-breton/.

Planning for Action summit Raising the Villages held its Planning for Action summit on Wednesday, January, 24th in the Bear Head room at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.  Please take a moment to learn more about this wonderful day of collective action, and commitment to our declaration that will be used to guide us moving forward, and view some of the many photographs take on the day such as the one below of Chief Rod Googoo from We’koqma’q First Nation and baby Emily at http://raisingthevillages.webs.com/gatherings.  We look forward to sharing a full update with you soon, both on our website and a group email dedicated to the summit itself.

Christine Villneff, a key member of the Raising the Villages Organizing Team, shared her thoughts on the Planning for Action summit with us: ‘This past year, we have been laying the foundation of Raising the Villages – building partnerships, strengthening relationships, and listening to people in our communities.  The signing of the declaration was remarkable.  It is a commitment, taking all that we have learned and moving it forward – together – for our children, families and communities.  To have our Municipal Councillors and First Nations’ Chiefs sign collectively and commit to the declaration is wonderful news for our region.  There was so much support in the room on the day, and the opportunity to sit down together, and turn this information into action is exciting.  I am really looking forward to what the next year brings!’ -Christine Villneff, Health Promoter Healthy Communities, Public Health Our movement and all its related activities, including our recent summit, are a direct response 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.

Coming Up As a result of the Planning for Action summit, five communities stepped up to the challenge to create a welcoming space in their community.  We look forward to supporting them in the development and planning stages, ensuring that their individual needs are met.  The Port Hawkesbury team has already had two meetings and is planning a Gathering Day in the spring.  Additionally, there will be five community events through the spring and fall to share the diversity of our region and the unique culture of each place.  Stay tuned for more updates.   The Organizing Team will meet again on Wednesday, February, 21st in Wagmatcook to discuss applying for grants and funding to keep the project going.  A special guest from the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia, who are financially supporting the project, will be attending and filming our meeting to make a video of our movement too! Keep an eye on our Facebook webpage as we will be sharing family friendly events organized by some wonderful, local groups.

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.

New people are learning of Raising the Villages because of you! Our movement already has over 140 likes on Facebook, and some of our posts have had a reach of over 2,000 people!  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 about our movement by sharing our monthly email updates.

Our great thanks goes to: We benefit greatly from the generous funding received by Raising the Villages from local municipalities, the Canada 150 Community Fund, Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia, United Way Cape Breton, Wagmatcook First Nation, Strait-Richmond Community Health Board, and financial assistance from the Province of Nova Scotia’s Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage through the Diversity and Community Capacity Fund. Thank you all so very much!

Warm Wishes, Raising the Villages Organizing Team http://www.raisingthevillages.webs.com

 

 

Mailing Address:

Raising the Villages

Municipality of the County of Inverness, 375 Main St, PO Box 179

Port Hood, Cape Breton Island, NSB0E 2W0 Canada

Raising the Villages held its first Convening Team meeting on Tuesday, January, 24th 2017 in Port Hawkesbury.  One year on from our first gathering, and in celebration of our one year anniversary, we are delighted to share our new logo that was designed for us by Emily Rankin at Take Note Graphic Design.

 

Our new logo has rounded corners and edges.  We agree with Emily that this not only makes the image softer and more inviting, but also resembles a flower – symbolizing growth and the collective ‘raising’ of something important.  The colours (red, white, yellow, and black) incorporated into the design are from the Mi’kmaw Medicine Wheel, a very powerful symbol of spirituality, and represent the four races of man.  The addition of blue is symbolic of the water that surrounds Cape Breton Island.  All over Cape Breton, salt water meets fresh water and this reflects the many citizens who call this special island home.  The fact that we are by nature diverse is something to celebrate, and by sharing our cultures with one another we create a rich story that benefits us all.  The circle represents our intergenerational approach.  All of human life is connected in cycles, and our children need elders as much as elders need children.  The blue image in the centre of the logo is an infant, at the heart of their community, embraced by a community member illustrating all that we do and all that Raising the Villages represents.

 

We would now like to share with you Councillor Jim Mustard’s thoughts on the Raising the Villages movement – ‘one year on’.

‘After a year of discovery and learning it is clear that the Raising the Villages Mawiomi w’jit Mijuwajijk movement is all about the relationships we need for our health and development from the beginning of life.  Reducing childhood poverty, developmental vulnerability, social isolation and improving services become achievable goals when we work together to provide the dedicated welcoming community spaces needed for our youngest citizens. Now is the time for action, as communities plan to open the doors to welcome the village, and to celebrate our connections as treaty people and to help raise our children.’ -Councillor Jim Mustard, Municipality of the County of Inverness Sources, and further reading: *Raising the Villages first Convening meeting – https://tinyurl.com/ybbr834n *Take Note Graphic Design – http://www.takenotegraphicdesign.com/ *Mikmaw Spirit – http://www.muiniskw.org/index.htm 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/

Our mailing address is:

Raising the Villages

Municipality of the County of Inverness

375 Main Street, PO Box 179

Port Hood, Cape Breton Island, NS B0E 2W0

Canada

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