The annual Indigenous Back to School program looked very different this year. In addition to having to cancel the in-person celebrations in every community due to pandemic provincial health orders, we had to eliminate two events in the north due to a short-fall in fundraising this year. In Victoria, supplies and gifts were provided to 1332 students from pre-school to post-secondary. A combined total of 2380 students were supported province wide.
The Picnic team was reduced to two truck drivers who delivered supplies to partners in each community over the course of the week. Our partners in Prince George held a drive through event. Port Alberni, Campbell River and Courtenay, which are smaller events, hand delivered kits to families’ homes. Tillicum Lelum and Duncan had weeklong pick up schedules.
In Victoria, pick up locations were hosted at Hulitan Community and Family Services new offices, while Surrounded by Cedar and the Victoria Native Friendship center distributed supplies from their parking lot.
We acknowledge the financial support of the province of BC, Vanity, Rina M Bidin Foundation, Monk Office, RK Morrow Foundation, Out of the Blue Designs and in-kind contributions from our friends at Monk Office.
We also acknowledge Ron Rice and all the staff and volunteers that made this years ‘event’ possible. We hope we can celebrate all together next year.