With funding from the Government of Canada, the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada has launched a new initiative called Uncovering Common Ground. Through this two year project, JGI Canada is collaborating with local Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations in four provinces to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people from across Canada.
Through meetings, workshops and forums, youth will exchange points of view and knowledge in order to find common ground where true reconciliation and decolonization can take place.
With guidance from Elders, JGI Canada staff and others, 25 young people will share ideas on how to improve their respective communities with the goals of making them more socially just, culturally aware and environmentally sustainable. Each participant will undertake a specific project of relevance to their community and in the process gain valuable skills that include community leadership, critical and analytical thinking, resource and project management, and team building.
Moreover, these young people will raise awareness of their own perspectives and understanding of the importance and legacy of the Calls to Action put forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The Uncovering Common Ground project will culminate in a national youth-led Summit where participants will convene to share learnings, project outcomes and recommendations for further action that will continue the path toward genuine decolonization and reconciliation among cultures from the point of view of the next generation of leaders.
This project will support Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth to:
Improve mutual understanding of reconciliation and decolonization
Support greater civic engagement to address social and sustainability issues
Enhance hard and soft skills through participation in service opportunities
Most Significant Change 2019-2020 Report
A key component of Uncovering Common Ground has been storytelling; an important part of Indigenous culture and a powerful way to capture meaningful perspectives. To evaluate the program’s impact the 2019-2020 participants were asked: What was the most significant change you have experienced as a result of your participation in this initiative? Their answers have been organized in this report and are a testament to their hard work and dedication.
UCG Projects Across Canada
Common Threads, ON
Participants promoted dialogue of collective histories, community, and belonging through a collaborative beaded art installation.
Thunderbird House Revitalization, MB
Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members worked together in collaboration with Indigineous artists and local organizations to repair and revive this community centre.
Reserve #2 Restoration, BC
Working closely with Scia’new youth, this project restored access to an important natural space for youth, reconnecting them with the land, engaging Elders and restoring this site to its original glory.