Recently, a community group in White Rock contacted Together We Can to assist with the development of a new community garden. Growing by the Sea is a grassroots organization that has partnered with several other community organizations to expand the community garden at White Rock's Centennial Park.
On Saturday September 16, seven residents and one staff member from TWC's All My Relations Program assisted with the placing of planters and filling them with soil. Many of our residents have past experience with landscaping and labour work and this opportunity allowed them to strengthen and showcase their skills.
In one day, our clients moved 60 cubic yards of soil, and all of the planters were placed which meant that a significant portion of the work was complete. As rain was forecasted, it was with relief that the garden was complete ahead of expectations.
The community garden plots are to be leased to White Rock residents, many of whom are older adults that prefer a higher garden plot. Community gardens provide significant benefits such as the ability to grow vegetables for food which reduces grocery expenses. At the same time, the space that was donated has been transformed into what will be a visually appealing and engaging area for White Rock residents to interact and enjoy gardening in.
The TWC All My Relations program uses an indigenous approach to healing in its addiction treatment program. One traditional teaching that many First Nations shares is the concept of generosity and to make a meaningful contribution to the community. In many First Nations cultures, the elders are respected and the young men will take care of them.
In this spirit, our program actively seeks opportunities to make meaningful contributions to the community. Not only do our residents benefit from being able to share their talents and experience, but the community benefits from the dedicated work of our residents.
There has been very positive feedback from the volunteer organizers who noted that without the help of our residents they would have not been able to complete the garden in a timely manner. Our residents also shared how they enjoyed being able to spend some time in the outdoors and to give back to the community.
TWC All My Relations is committed to bringing a positive contribution to the community and we look forward to future projects!
This blog post was contributed by Tyler Craig, the Indigenous Cultural Coordinator for Together We Can.
About the All My Relations Program
The All My Relations program at Together We Can incorporates an indigenous approach to healing in our recovery program. We honour and acknowledge that our program is delivered on the unceded, ancestral and traditional territory of the Coast Salish people. We recognize the intergenerational trauma resulting from colonization and the residential schools which has resulted in a significant higher addiction rate in indigenous men. Our program is trauma informed, uses established best practices in substance abuse treatment in a culturally authentic, supportive, therapeutic environment.
We believe indigenous culture, traditions and spirituality are at the core of recovery for indigenous men. Our residents attend indigenous ceremonies and cultural gatherings as part of their treatment program. We invite elders and traditional knowledge keepers to share their teachings and to mentor residents on a regular basis. It is our desire for our residents to develop pride in their culture and traditions as they start their recovery journey.
TWC All My Relations is a men’s program available for anyone seeking an indigenous approach to substance abuse treatment.