In a time of truth and reconciliation, this has brought about a welcomed awareness in community for the need to consult with the Indigenous people about various social issues.
What this means for FRAFCA, is that we have been asked to collaborate on many projects and tables that we were historically excluded from. Our Executive Director alone sits actively on 45 planning tables and committees and are asked to sit on 30 more every year. While others have been resourced for this expanded work, we have not been provided with the support to respond appropriately or in a timely manner.
We wholeheartedly believe authentic engagement with Indigenous peoples is vitally important, and offer you the following resources to support your work:
Option 1: Engage with the Land-Based Nations Directly
FRAFCA is a social service provider on unceded traditional territories, meaning that we are not in the position to speak for the land-based Nations or the local Indigenous Peoples. In Surrey, we work on the traditional lands of the Semiahmoo, Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations, and indirectly on the QayQayt, Tsawwassen and Kwikletlem. We encourage you to reach out to the local Chiefs and build a relationship with the Nations directly for all new project you are undertaking and to help you understand your responsibilities to the land and people on which you work.
Semiahmoo First Nations
Chief Harley Chappell
Kwantlen First Nations
Chief Marilyn Gabriel
Katzie First Nation
Chief Grace Cunningham
Option 2: Hire Transform(N)ations Cultural Competency Training
FRAFCA has been nurturing youth leadership and advocacy to step into the role of cultural teachers and facilitators. Transform(N)ations is our budding social enterprise, where we have trained Indigenous youth to offer experiential cultural competency training to external groups, like teachers, police officers or City staff.
Option 3: Tailored Consultation Support
If you are requiring Indigenous representation, support bringing in Elders to perform a welcoming, or advising on how to observe proper traditional protocols as an agency, we welcome you to engage our Engagement Coordinator on a fee-for-service model to support your work. Please contact Vanessa Hickman at email@example.com for more information.
Option 4: Letters of Support or Requests for Partnerships
As with all of our sister agencies, we operate on a five (5) year strategic plan and have a number of initiatives that are a priority to us for the next five years. Where there is a shared and important opportunity to create meaningful services for Indigenous people in Surrey and the Fraser Valley, we are happy to provide a letter of support or partner providing we have an opportunity to review the proposal and time to seek permission of the Nations and our Board prior to signing.
If there is a competing interest with our local First Nations, we will be unable to support the request as we are committed to working and walking alongside our First Nations communities.
Option 5: Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee
The mission of the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee (SUILC) is to be the collective voice of the urban Indigenous population in Surrey.
The committee advocate’s on behalf of all urban Indigenous people in Surrey, and works collaboratively to implement the Surrey Urban Indigenous Social Innovation Strategy. FRAFCA is a member of the committee, where collective voice and conscience is utilized to ensure the work is beneficial to the people we serve.