Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre - Turtle Island/Canada
The RIWC’s mandate is to empower immigrant and refugee women and their families, among other marginalised communities, to take greater control of their lives by providing counselling, settlement, health and employment services developed and delivered by minority women. Food security and food sovereignty in terms of access to food that is nutritious, sustainably produced and maintains connection to cultural roots are significant wellbeing issues for the women. Through its energy efficient building, roof top garden and vegetarian café, RIWC is playing an important leadership role in sustainable food practices.
These issues will help frame RIWC’s Seeding Intergenerational Resilience project, which will begin with RIWC hosting an event involving Indigenous, migrant and refugee communities in Toronto’s urban centre. Over a one-weekend retreat, women in Toronto will gather together in person to create a space for dialogue; workshopping three questions designed to facilitate intercultural exchange on meanings and practices of intergenerational resilience. These women will prepare a summary of these intercultural and intergenerational dialogues, which will be exchanged via digital technology.
This retreat will draw on Canada’s rich indigenous and multicultural history to promote women’s indigenous and traditional knowledge in ways that contribute to sustainable living for today’s youth and future Canadians. Its objectives are to:
- Promote intercultural understanding between Indigenous and migrant communities of the values, significance and meanings of intergenerational resilience for Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups;
- Through increased awareness of intergenerational resilience and the exchange of knowledge, provide a platform for participating groups and organizations to develop future projects on this topic; and,
- Highlight the leadership of Indigenous women and the significance of Canadian Indigenous knowledge systems in contributing to sustainable futures.
Our project after the retreat will be focusing on developing a neighbourhood Food Security Strategy using an intergenerational resilience framework to bring together, youth and elders to dialogue and exchange knowledge, grow food together on our roof top garden that will feed into the Food Security strategy. The other partners at the retreat that represent diverse settler communities will collaboratively develop ideas to consolidate projects relevant to their own community, led by indigenous women. We have a lot to learn from indigenous leaders in order to develop a land-based connection that has been displaced for settler communities’ as well, due to colonialism, migration, racism and cultural imperialism.
The RIWC would like to be considered for seed funding as a contribution towards our retreat project, and to help strengthen our intergenerational approach to community building. The RIWC agrees to adhere to the participation guidelines as outlined in the information and guidelines sheet (dated October 30th, 2017).
See these great people and these great projects at www.riverdalehub.ca