Each year, the Victoria Foundation, through the Victoria’s Vital Signs Survey, invites residents to weigh in about what’s working in our community and what needs a little help.
The goal is to build a welcoming, inclusive community where everyone has the same opportunities. With feedback illuminating areas of need, the Foundation, its donors and the Greater Victoria communities it serves, can better direct funding and resources where they’re most needed.
June provides an opportunity to reflect on what a diverse, thriving community looks like.
Since 2009, National Aboriginal History Month has brought a chance each June to recognize the history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples – across Canada and here in Greater Victoria. Events and programs highlight a rich heritage and culture, but also the work that still needs to be done towards reconciliation, and a shared future.
Organizations supporting those efforts locally with funding from the Victoria Foundation include Surrounded by Cedar Child and Family Services, which was able to maintain a connection between Indigenous children, youth, and families connected to spirit and culture during the COVID-19 pandemic through the purchase of laptops.
Another notable organization is the Indigenous Perspective Society, which among myriad programs is providing Cultural Perspectives Training to help governments, organizations, businesses and individuals deepen their understanding, increase cultural competence, and develop actionable ideas to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.
June also brings Pride Month, a celebration of our community’s diversity and a renewed drive to ensure all of us, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, feel safe and valued.
The Victoria Foundation’s Gender Equity Fund is one way donors have been able to make a difference. For example, a $25,000 grant has supported the Island Sexual Health Society’s efforts to provide ongoing education and services, with a special emphasis on gender care and Indigenous people, members of LGBTQ2s+ communities and youth.
Working together to create the community we want
Building the community we want takes work – and it takes commitment from all members.
In reflecting on the Victoria Foundation’s efforts toward truth and reconciliation, Past Board Chair T’esóts’en (Patrick Kelly) and Director Hayalthkin’geme (Carey Newman), noted that, “Over the past few years we know that the board of directors and staff of the Foundation have taken progressive steps and are walking the path towards truth and reconciliation. The Foundation invests in the wellbeing of people from all walks of life in our communities.
“What do we hope for our children? As First Nation people, T’esóts’en and Hyalthkin’geme hope that our children and grandchildren get to grow to be happy, healthy people. As our Elders have told us, the job of parents is to raise your children to be able to take care of themselves using their knowledge, skills and abilities. If after taking care of themselves they have more than they need, they help their family. If they have more yet, that they help their community. And if they have more yet, they help make the world a better place.”
We can all work together to make the world a better place.
Share your insights today
This year’s deadline for the Victoria’s Vital Signs Survey is July 1. Providing your feedback is quick and easy – click here to share your thoughts today.