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The Impacts of this Work

Rob facilitating VIU.HEIC
"This work is so valuable. Hearing first hand the stories and teachings of the Elders presented with humour and forgiveness was unforgettable and moving. I hope this group continues with this amazing work to help educate and transform our society."

"This was one of the most powerful and impactful workshops I have ever attended. I was humbled by the courage and honesty of the Elders to share and educate. The information is offered in a way that does not blame but asks how can we heal this?" 
Opening Hearts and Minds


With a far reach and deep impact, outcomes of the Elders’ work ripple community-wide like many stones thrown in the water:

  • 20,000 + people from across the Cowichan region and beyond, have been reached, including politicians, students, librarians, hospital staff and RCMP.

  • Participants describe their experience as ‘life changing’, ‘transformative’ and ‘deeply impactful’. 

  • Elders’ personal stories change perceptions and attitudes. Months and years later participants continue to feel the impacts, changing personal biases, assumptions, judgments, and behaviours.

  • Participants take action in their personal and professional spheres to change systems, decolonize hiring policies, and support Indigenous leaders.

  • Indigenous students at SD 79 experience less racism and greater tolerance because teachers, staff and students learn cultural teachings and truth of history.

  • A new generation of student teachers is graduating from VIU with broadened worldviews.

  • Cultural teachings, values, perspectives and the role of ‘Elder’ are uplifted in both First Nations and non-First Nations communities.

  • Municipal and Cowichan Tribes leaders are strengthening relationships, standing together on issues like racism and working as a community of communities.

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