Cultivating Safe Spaces workshop facilitator, public speaker and author Elaine Alec hosts online forums through the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives. (Contributed)

Cultivating Safe Spaces workshop facilitator, public speaker and author Elaine Alec hosts online forums through the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives. (Contributed)

Timely exhibit puts Indigenous history in North Okanagan spotlight

Cultivating Safe Spaces workshop and Legacy of Hope exhibit at museum

During a dark time for those mourning the discovery of 215 children found at the Kamloops Residential School, some light is shining on Indigenous history.

In honour of National Indigenous History Month (June), the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives will be hosting events, workshops, and exhibits, both online and onsite.

The month will begin with a virtual workshop, Cultivating Safe Spaces, led by Elaine Alec, a Syilx and Secwepmec community planner, author, political advisor, women’s advocate and teacher on Friday, June 4 and June 18, from 1-2:30 p.m. The first event is full, but registration is open for the second workshop, with a maximum of 25 participants.

The online forum is recommended to those working in not-for-profit sectors, community planning, public health, education, arts and culture, tourism, and anyone interested in learning more about creating and cultivating safe spaces of respect and inclusion in our community.

Alec is a direct descendant of hereditary chiefs, Pelkamulaxw and Soorimpt. For over two decades, she has been a leading expert in Indigenous community planning, health advocacy and creating safe spaces utilizing Indigenous approaches and ceremony.

“The museum was honoured to have Ms. Alec attend a Zoom meeting of the Okanagan Online Book Club where we discussed her book, Calling My Spirit Back,” museum programmer Laisha Rosnau said. “The subject matter was understandably troubling at times, but the experience was incredibly powerful. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue working with and learning from Elaine through the Safe Spaces workshop.”

The workshop fee is $30 and interested individuals can register at vernonmuseum.ca/contact-us-at-gvma/.

Keep an eye on the museum’s website for more information about June programming for Indigenous History Month, which will include the hosting of two traveling exhibits from the Legacy of Hope, a national, Indigenous-led, charitable organization that has been working to promote healing and reconciliation in Canada for more than 19 years.

The museum also features Legacy of Hope, an exhibit aimed at educating and creating awareness and understanding around the residential school system.

READ MORE: Children’s shoes line Vernon Courthouse steps in memory of 215

READ MORE: Vernon students tie 215 ribbons in support of residential school victims


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