This webinar continues our journey of reconciliation through placemaking. Join planners, Elders and other significant partners as they aim to strengthen the connection between people and places they share. Placemaking is a creative but intentional approach for shaping public spaces that involves a collaborative process and a collective vision. This webinar features a unique approach:
The Great Blue Heron Way - a project highlighting culturally relevant and effective grassroots stakeholder engagement approaches (Tsawwassen First Nation, British Columbia)
Recognition and acknowledgment of First Nation Traditional Territories is sacred to the Ancestors and the youth of today. The Great Blue Heron Way honours the people and their land past and present by presenting these important landmarks for the history of Canada. The Great Blue Heron Way is a journey where people can safely enjoy the nature of the lands and waters. The spirit of this path connects the people along the way, where friendships can grow naturally. The Great Blue Heron way is the vision of Respected Tsawwassen Elder xʷəsteniya (Ruth Mary Adams). There are many hard-working friends who believe in this spiritual path that honours traditional territories and their people, past and present. The Great Blue Heron Way honours the traditional territory of the Tsawwassen First Nation people. The path will honour each and every traditional territory that it connects with along the way.
Written By: Tsawwassen Elder xʷəsteniya (Ruth Mary Adams)
Elder Ruth Adams
Tsawwassen First Nation
Visionary of Great Blue Heron Way
Ruth Mary Adams, Ancestral name xwəs- teniya, is not just a Respected Elder and knowledge keeper of Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN), but an advocate for her community, people, and lands. She and TFN take great pride of the work she is doing with The Great Blue Heron Way (GBHW). Ruth applies herself in many different gatherings and events and is heavily relied upon for her prayers and guiding words. She sits on the advisory Council for TFN and attends all Legislator meetings. Ruth wants the best for her people and lands, she is always sure to thank the Ancestors for leaving us this legacy. She is a protector and promotes her people to become stewards of TFN lands through the GBHW project and many other endeavours she is involved in. Like all Respected Elders she is an integral part of TFN and we raise our hands to her for her life time of dedication to her people and territory. Ruth is a mother to four daughters, eighteen grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren but she also has many (as she calls them) adopted children.
Senior Language and Culture Coordinator, Tsawwassen First Nation
Jesseca Adams is granddaughter to Ruth Adams and is the Culture Coordinator for Tsawwassen First Nation and is also a former Legislator. Jesseca takes pride in her position which consists of teaching language and culture to TFN students and members, as well as helping with preparing for ceremonies, gatherings, and day to day activities, for culture is in everything that we do in TFN. She is also a language ambassador that is taking a hən̓q̓əmin̓əm course (the first of its kind) with four other TFN members through SFU.
Communications Co-Ordinator, Great Blue Heron Way Project
Sandra is trained in Geographical Techniques (HND) and is a co-director of Jones Maps & Diagrams Ltd. in Delta, BC since 1988. She has been a volunteer for over 25 years on BC Healthy Communities and City of Delta advisory committees for traffic safety and community liveability, and for the Great Blue Heron Way since 2009. She currently enjoys assisting Elder Ruth Adams, TFN, and GBHW team members with communications and stakeholder liaison. Sandra has had a life-long passion for safe, active and inclusive transportation. Her professional roles since 1998 has involved research, training and implementation of active school travel planning programs for non-profit organizations in BC and nationally for Green Communities Canada.
Director, Trails BC
Léon Lebrun is a Director for Trails BC, continuously-serving since 1996, and a retired educator from Coquitlam, BC. At Trails BC, his main responsibility has been the establishment of the Trans Canada Trail in Southwest BC. For a time he was the Provincial President of Trails BC and led a number of Trans Canada Trail public events. Léon actively seeks to integrate Indigenous peoples and cultural learning along trails and in the Trails BC organization. He is presently actively involved with the establishment of the Great Blue Heron Way and has also served on a committee to establish the Sea-to-Sky Trail. As a native French Canadian of BC, he continues to be active in events involving the French Community of Maillardville since 1978.
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