LANGFORD, B.C. — The Construction Foundation of BC’s (CFBC) Indigenous Skills: Skills Link program is moving away from traditional top-down evaluation processes to a self-directed model.
Through the model, a CFBC release said, Skills Link hopes to connect, work with and support specific youth identified through their community, school or participating network as particularly disengaged. Approximately 30 youth have participated in the workshops since the launch in May of this year.
“Certain participants may only have the capacity to participate in one day of the workshops. Some participants may say: I can do all five days. It’s really self-guided,” CFBC community manager Alison Ainsley said in a statement.
“We want to really encourage these youth, help them understand that they have skills and capacities to succeed whether they believe it or not. Working at their pace and helping them to look at themselves, communicating that the knowledge that they have is valuable, and that they are good enough where they are right now. They may not have all the skills at the moment, but they have the capacity to learn and in many cases, they have more ability than they give themselves credit for.”
The weeklong workshops will feature carving instruction and teachings from Dean Heron, CFBC’s artist in residence, who will work along with participants on a number of traditional First Nations carving projects including bentwood boxes and feast spoons.
Additional projects requiring shorter timeframes are also available if participants feel more comfortable tackling a less complex and lengthy project, the release said.
The carving components of the weeklong workshops are developed to coincide and complement sessions built around personal growth, led by CFBC career catalyst Justin Young in collaboration with Heron.
“The work Justin does is really cool. The students work with him a lot and he encourages them to speak their mind…It’s a pretty awesome collaboration. It gives the youth a sense of belonging by allowing them to tell us the direction and way they want to go throughout the week,” Heron said.
Preparation has begun on fall workshops, followed by reconnecting with past participants and offering support.
More information is available at the CFBC website.