What does your institution contribute to community-engaged research?;
Social Planning Cowichan (SPC) is a charitable society with the goal of providing leadership that brings the community together to create a sustainable quality of life for everyone in the Cowichan Region on Victoria Island. Our organisation contributes to numerous community-engaged research activities, primarily through participatory research and community guided projects. With the guidance/contribution(s) of other organisations who specialize in various areas, we conduct research that involves the voices and expertise of people most impacted by the research topic.
What made you interested in signing up for CBRCanada membership?
Due to COVID we closed down our offices and moved into a storage space and are now all working from our various homes. It seemed like a good time to clean up a few things including old files, and our website. In doing so we came across a long expired membership and after reviewing the CBRCanda website, we decided it was a good time to re-connect and sign up.
What has been your institution’s experience in community-engaged research and what plans do you have for the future?
Currently our work focuses on understanding community COVID19 impacts through surveys and story collection at three different phases of the pandemic: 1) Spring/Summer 2020, 2) Fall/Winter 2020-21 and 3) transition and post immunization 2021. Following that we will be taking a look at the past 20 years of progress our community has made since coming together to develop a Visions 2020 project. We will look at survey results and then begin the next planning phase for Vision 2040 as we move past the pandemic and work towards building our collective future goals and visions.
In addition, we are working on the development of a poverty plan for two rural areas in the Cowichan region, funded by a UBCM Poverty Reduction grant. You may learn more about this project here. In 2008, we were gifted to carry on the work of Cultural Connections Cowichan (CCC), created during the 2008 North American Indigenous Games that were hosted in Cowichan to connect our communities, learn the truth about our past, build relationships and work together. CCC has provided hundreds of workshops, cultural experiences and learning opportunities involving well over 20,000 people learning about language, land, traditions. In November of 2020, after much consideration by Elders, CCC formed an Indigenous-led society, Quw'utsun Cultural Connections Society, who have incorporated the teachings of the Cowichan Elders in their mandate and mission. For the next 3 years we will work side by side while the organisation establishes itself on legacy projects, land based research, project development and the creation of an interactive space that will allow for storytelling of Elders and youth, bridging the past while creating the future. More information can be found through SPC website at this time.
Past research areas have included climate change resiliency, neighborhood connection and safety, the impacts and effects of colonization, youth led placemaking, cultural connections (establishing relationships and developing understanding between First Nations and non-First Nations communities).
For more details feel free to visit us at www.socialplannigcowichan.org and come visit our interactive community driven Indigenous educational research, creative and knowledge sharing space in the fall of 2021 (est).