Capilano University and the Carnegie Community Centre have completed a one year project that engaged Aboriginal community members in reflecting on their personal stories and critically analyzing their experience within a historical timeline of Canadian policy. The resulting book Invisible Heroes: Aboriginal Stories From Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside provides a curriculum for use at the Carnegie Learning Centre and beyond. The Invisible Heroes Advisory Committee nominated eight Aboriginal community members who, despite all odds, are playing a strong and positive role in the community. Their journeys are steeped in the historical and current injustices facing low-income Aboriginal community members. Their stories also demonstrate personal persistence, courage and the reclaiming of purpose. These stories have important lessons for First Nation communities, community organizations and post-secondary institutions serving Aboriginal communities. The project outcomes include documented stories and inspirational and critical materials that can be used by communities across Canada. In addition, project members have enhanced critical thinking and leadership skills and Capilano University and the Carnegie Community Centre have a deeper understanding of how to support learners in reclaiming their learning spirit. Finally, adult educators across Canada will have a new set of culturally based materials to support urban aboriginal learners.
Lucy Alderson from CDO and Rosemary Georgeson, Storybuilding Resource Person, facilitated the participatory process of reflection, exploration, storytelling and writing. Supported by Elder, Gertie Pierre, and Invisible Heroes Advisory Members, the project was completed in October 2014. Project members launched the book at the Heart of the City Festival 2015 at the Carnegie Learning Centre.
This project developed a new program delivery and pedagogical model for the Community Leadership and Social Change Diploma program. In this project we worked with our community, institutional and funding partners to create and sustain supported and meaningful educational pathways for those who are currently volunteering in the community sector yet experiencing barriers to participating in accredited educational programs in their chosen field. This pathway linked the CCB Citation to a Diploma Program and the initiation of a degree program as the multiple entry and exit points for community credentialing and employment.
Capilano University | 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada V7J 3H5 Tel: 604.986.1911
Sunshine Coast | 5627 Inlet Avenue, Sechelt, British Columbia Canada V0N 3A0 Tel: 604.885.9310
Capilano University is named after Chief Joe Capilano, an important leader of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) Nation of the Coast Salish people. We respectfully acknowledge that our campuses are located on the territories of the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Sechelt (shíshálh), Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.