Applying Asset-Based Community Development in an Urban Indigenous Context

 

September 30, 2021 marked the first year that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was observed in Canada as a federal statutory holiday. This public commemoration of the continuing legacy of Canadian colonialism, while also honoring of children who survived and were lost to residential schools, is one step towards responding to the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.

In our respective countries, how can we emerge from legacies of colonialism and the  suppression of indigenous people toward a new form of conviviality, healing the harm done and outgrowing hidden habits that can continue these cycles?

In the webinar below, Lori Sokoluk of New Moose Consulting shared stories on how she has aligned the Asset-Based Community Development approach with the Traditional Values to lead to a decolonized approach of community.

As a Cree/Métis woman who grew up in urban centers, Sokuluk is passionate about creating space for Aboriginal-led and culturally-based solutions that are grounded in community development and strength-based approaches that recognize the diverse and distinct perspectives of the many Aboriginal peoples living in urban centers. Lori Sokoluk has spent 20 years of experience working on Aboriginal issues and with Aboriginal communities in the private, public and non-profit sectors, including 10 years working in the federal and provincial public service in both program and policy areas.

Asset Based Community Development or ABCD is a way of approaching community that looks for, and starts from people’s gifts and strengths (assets). These assets equip people to create local opportunities and respond to needs and challenges in their neighborhoods. ABCD goes beyond any individual’s gifts or particular group’s strengths to consider how these may come together to create broader changes for the common good within a community.

In this discussion, Sokuluk explores how indigenous values, beliefs and practices connect with asset-based principles and practices, and compares these to traditionally colonial and service-centric beliefs and behaviors. She also shares how she used ABCD in her community to understand more about the urban indigenous community in Edmonton.

Calling for truly supportive allyship from non-indigenous community members, she shares a striking quote from the book “In A Voice of Their Own,” “Our non-aboriginal sisters and brothers have to be walking beside us, not in front of us, not behind us, in our work.” (Silver, Ghorayshi, Hay, Klyne; 2006)

 

 

Originally published on https://www.tamarackcommunity.ca/

 

 

Going Further:

About the Lead Author

Lori Sokolukhttp://aboriginalyeg.ca/new-moose/
Lori Sokoluk has over 20 years of professional experience working on Aboriginal issues and with Aboriginal communities in the private, public and non-profit sectors, including 10 years working in the federal and provincial public service in both program and policy areas. She has a strong understanding of the socio-economic challenges facing Aboriginal peoples and extensive and specialized knowledge of the historical, legal and political context of Aboriginal peoples’ experience(s) in Canada. As a Cree/Métis woman who grew up in urban centres, she is passionate about creating space for Aboriginal-led and culturally-based solutions that are grounded in community development and strength-based approaches that recognize the diverse and distinct perspectives of the many Aboriginal peoples living in urban centres.

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