‘Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy and mutual respect’ is the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #63. With this call to action in mind, the Delta School District initiated the Giving Tree Project, which has seen red cedar trees planted at every school and district site as a way to build understanding, and show appreciation and respect for local First Nation culture.
Recently, the school district received a $4,000 grant from Delta Foundation to help further the scope of the Giving Tree Project. The funds will be used to install a three-foot post next to each cedar which will feature a plaque containing information to educate students and the wider community about the significance of the cedar locally. The plaque will include a QR code linked to an educational video and will showcase art created by Karl Morgan, local Tsawwassen First Nation carver.
“All of our schools have hosted a celebration of their tree and students have spent time learning about why the cedar tree is the heart of the culture for many First Nations along the coast of British Columbia. What is so special about the Giving Tree project is that it is far reaching and will provide a lasting legacy,” said Diane Jubinville, District Vice Principal Indigenous Education. “We are extremely grateful to Delta Foundation for its generosity. The cedar trees and educational posts will stand for generations to come and serve as visual reminders of the important pathway to reconciliation.”
Delta Foundation is a “charity for charities”. It is the community foundation for all of Delta. As part of the Community Foundations of Canada network, it provides an opportunity for donors to achieve their goals as community builders for the long term in Delta. It identifies the often overlooked needs through donors and community partners and supports those needs as it grows more to do more for the entire community.
Delta Foundation President Peter Roaf say, “There are so many aspects about the Delta School District’s Giving Tree Project that have meaning for our local community. So we could not be more pleased to support it, in the cause of education, environment and First Nation heritage. Our community, now and well into the future, will benefit from this project.”
(l to r): Cody Forbes, Heidi Wood, David Rushton, Paige Hansen, Richard Shantz, Walt Hayward, Nathan Wilson, Gail Martin, Ulf Ottho, Marion Janssen, Peter Roaf, Delta Foundation President