DECOLONIZINGWe acknowledge that we still have a lot to learn, and there is room for improvement. We invite you to join in our journey of truth and reconciliation, decolonization and indigenization.
Waacus Salee Advisory Circle
The advisory circle is integral in supporting the actions we need to take to decolonize our respective organizations and shared systems. We hold each other accountable for the commitments we make. The circle is a collaborative space to share knowledge and spark new partnerships. We welcome you to join us!
A Circle of Ceremony
Waacus Salee Advisory Circle – November 1st, 2021, at the Cedar Room of Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council MVAEC
In the four corners were the four sacred medicines: cedar, sage, tobacco and sweetgrass, and in the center, water, giver of life. Laid out on a quilted blanket alongside an abundance of other medicines gathered from mother earth, these powerful plants guided us in our ceremony of reconnection and kinship.
Thirteen of us sat in a circle around these plant relatives. It was our first gathering in-person in over a year.
We are a group of change-makers coming together from different organizations and personal journeys, here to support each other in the work of decolonizing and indigenizing our communities.
The Waacus Salee Advisory Circle has met seasonally for the past two years to share best practices, challenges and knowledge around unsettling the way our community work has been done and advocating for a way that is guided by Indigenous worldviews and wisdom.
We have had the honour of having Mr. Norm Leech, Executive Director of the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Center, facilitate these circles. He has been our mentor, teacher and friend of Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House. Through experientials such as meditations, he has guided us in deeper connection with the land and ourselves. These experientials also open up space for deeper reflection on our work and how to approach our projects in a more decolonized way.
Today, Norm shares his collection of medicines, inviting us all to make a medicine bag to take with us. These medicine bags are gifts that will unite everyone in the room and their powerful scents will help us when we face challenges throughout our journeys. We are forever grateful to have had the opportunity to share in this ceremony together.
Written by Gloria Tsui, Intergenerational Coordinator
The Waacus Salee Advisory Circle was formed in January 2020. Circle members include leaders from Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations who are committed to making positive changes within their organizations and the larger community.
We are truly grateful for the participation of (in alphabetical order):
- Alexandra Neighbourhood House
- Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House
- Elder, Community Activist, Kat Norris
- Independent Consultant, Diane Wilmann
- Hastings-Sunrise Community Policing Centre
- Hastings North Business Improvement Association
- Kiwassa Neighbourhood House
- Marpole Neighbourhood House
- Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council (MVAEC)
- Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House
- Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre
- Urban Aboriginal Ministry
- Urban Native Youth Association
- University of British Columbia
- Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre (VACPC)
- Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society
- Vancouver Coastal Health
- Vancouver Public Library
Join our next circle in Spring 2022? Drop us a message below!
There are so many ways you could be part of this. Connect with us to volunteer, donate or become a member of our Waacus Salee Advisory Circle.