Territory Acknowledgement

Hay’sxw’qa si’em elth’tel’nexw, Hay’sxw’qa si’em tung’exw,
hay’sxw’qa si’em xa’sa
Thlaninulth hay’sxw’qa si’em a’nelth hali, chay, ye’yah’sung
stay’tha en’sne i’ey’mut
tung’exw, i’ey’mut xa’sa

Thank you Respected Place to Smoke Herring people, thank you Place to Smoke Herring people’s lands, thank you Place to Smoke Herring people’s sacred waters, We thank you Respected Ones for allowing us to live, work, and play on your beautiful lands and beautiful sacred waters.

This Project and Indigenous Coming of Age Stories

(Re)connecting to Indigenous coming of age teachings is part of Surrounded by Cedar’s mission to connect youth to spirit and identity through familial, hereditary, and cultural linkages because these are protective factors that promote safety and well-being amongst Indigenous people.

Coming of age teachings are grounded in wisdom held by knowledge keepers and knowledge holders, and are shared through songs, stories, ceremo- nies, and traditional rites of passage. (Re)connecting with these teachings supports community healing, wellness, and resilience, and helps to prepare young people for their roles in carrying this wisdom forward in a good way.

We recognize that there are many Indigenous Nations across Turtle Island, and they have distinct languages, stories, beliefs, and traditions rooted in their unique territories. These nations unite in urban landscapes, and this diversity is reflected in Victoria’s Indigenous youth community.

This project brought together local youth, Knowledge Keepers, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies, to discuss how Indigenous youth who are in foster care or living away from home can access culturally appropriate and relevant coming of age resources. Each person shared perspectives shaped by their worldviews and physical, social, emotional, and spiritual selves.

Project and Community Acknowledgements

We wish to express our gratitude to the Youth whose voices guided this project. We raise our hands to the knowledge keepers, community members, and staff of Surrounded by Cedar Child and Family Services who took the time to be with us. The sharing at the dinner and the workshops helped to guide us in doing this project in a good way.

Surrounded by Cedar raises its hands in gratitude to those who have supported the agency over the years, to those who envisioned this organization and were instrumental in its development, and to the children, youth and families we walk with each day.