|Welcome to the June 2023 edition of CLBC’s Update for Individuals and Families. This Update will be taking a break during the summer months and will resume again as we move into the fall season. We hope the Update continues to be a helpful source of information, resources and uplifting stories. We wish you and your families a safe and happy summer and hope you have many opportunities to connect with others and enjoy the warmer months ahead.
CLBC and Government News
Recognizing National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day
June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, celebrating the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. And June 21 marks the 27th National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is celebrated on the summer solstice as, for generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to its significance as the longest day of the year.
Learn more about National Indigenous History Month here and about National Indigenous Peoples Day here, including ways to get involved and celebrate in your own community, as well as learning resources and more.
You can also follow the hashtags #NIHM2023 and #NIPD2023 on social media to find posts and information about these important annual celebrations.
CLBC commits to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples
On June 3, CLBC celebrated an historic signing ceremony promising to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. An official CLBC Board Statement, created with the Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC), lays out four principles that now guide the work of CLBC: cultural safety and humility; equity and anti-racism; impactful, enduring and sustainable; and self-determination.
The statement was signed by CLBC leadership, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Sheila Malcolmson and Neil Belanger, head of the CLBC Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC). The signing was witnessed by IAC self-advocate Charlene Barney.
The emotional ceremony, which took place in Richmond, included the Indigenous tradition of using designated witnesses who were asked to bring back the story of the ceremony to their communities. Speakers relayed how past systemic racism had resulted in feelings of shame and guilt, and of their struggles to be heard. As the stories were shared, others talked about the healing and trust they felt during the ceremony and noted the sense of dignity and respect being shown.
Read the full story of CLBC’s commitment to reconciliation signing on our website here.
Community Living Authority Act amendments strengthen CLBC Board
The B.C. government has made changes to the law that governs CLBC to ensure its Board of Directors will continue to include people it serves and be guided by an Indigenous Advisory Committee.
The formal inclusion of an Indigenous Advisory Committee into the Community Living Authority Act (CLAA) is an enduring change made as part of CLBC’s Commitment to Reconciliation. Other changes will require CLBC’s Board of Directors to continue to include at least one Indigenous person, two people eligible for CLBC services, and one family member of someone eligible for CLBC services.
While the Board has generally already been meeting these requirements, including them in the law will help ensure CLBC will continue to be guided by those it serves.
Read the full story about these legislative changes on the CLBC website here.
Final COVID-19 teleconference video recording and plain language summary now available
On May 2, the final COVID-19 virtual teleconference for individuals and families took place with Dr. Daniele Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer, and Ross Chilton, CLBC CEO.
The video recording of this teleconference, along with a plain language summary, are now available on the CLBC website here.
June is Deafblind Awareness Month in B.C.
The Province of B.C. has officially proclaimed June 2023 as Deafblind Awareness Month in B.C. This month recognizes and celebrates the contributions that individuals who are deafblind make in their communities throughout British Columbia.
You can click here to read the official government proclamation.
Self Advocacy Corner
Share your story with the Self Advocate Net website and earn $100
SelfAdvocateNet (SAN) publishes up to four stories each month from self advocates across B.C. The website pays $100.00 for each story published.
For 2023, SAN is looking for stories of success that encourage others and celebrate achievements. This could include:
- Employment successes
- Achieving personal goals
- Advocating for increased accessibility in the community (like transportation, building access, dispelling stereotypes etc.)
- Taking on a leadership role
- Learning new things (like school, training, hobbies or cooking)
Learn more about how to submit your story on the SelfAdvocateNet website here.
Kamloops Self Advocate Newsletter shares anti-bullying videos
To shed light on the different forms of bullying and how it impacts individuals, as well as ways to promote a culture of kindness and respect, the Kamloops Self Advocate Newsletter has put together a collection of anti-bullying videos.
Watch these anti-bullying videos on the Kamloops Self Advocate Newsletter website here.
Build social media skills through posAbilities fellowship
posAbilities is offering fellowships for people with disabilities focused on using social media as a tool for self-discovery, building confidence and making connections. The first course being introduced is Social Media Exploration, a four-month certificate course designed to teach participants diverse skills around using social media and creating content.
There are two separate cohorts within the fellowship: people in the Greater Vancouver area can attend in-person and online; people from every else in B.C. can take part online.
If you have questions, or want more information, please email hannah.nolan@posAbilities.ca.
Staying Supported and Connected
Learn what’s happening around the province and in your community
CLBC’s Strategic Initiatives Advisors will be hosting a weekly virtual meetup called ‘Let’s Get Together and Talk About Connections.’ You’re invited to join every Thursday at 12:00pm noon to hear about and share what’s happening around the province and in your own community.
The first meetup will take place on June 22 and you can find more information and the link to join here.
Openings for Inclusive Post Secondary Education for September 2023
STEPS Forward, the BC Initiative for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education, provides inclusion support for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to access post-secondary education. Through partnerships with post-secondary institutions across the province, STEPS-Forward supports students to select a program of study of their choice, enroll in courses that are modified as much or a little as the student requires, and to engage in campus life.
There are currently spots available for the fall at:
- Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT Merritt)
- College of the Rockies (COTR Cranbrook)
- University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO Kelowna)
Anyone interested can request an information session and fill out an application form here.
Health research team looking for diverse points of view
A research team called the British Columbia Patient-Centred Measurement Steering Committee is currently doing a study called “Equitable People-Centred Health Measurement (EPHM)”. The study looks at measuring health and well-being in a way that shows different points of view and experiences of all people. The goal is to create health surveys that are short, accurate and modified to show the unique experiences, cultures, and social situations of diverse people.
Anyone who is interested in sharing their unique experiences and perspectives can click here to find more information and instructions for taking part in the anonymous survey.
Stories and Celebration
Celebrating Pride Month
In June, communities across B.C. and Canada celebrate Pride Month. It is a time when we celebrate diversity and LGBTQI2S+ communities, acknowledging their history, the hardships they have faced, and the progress that has been made.
Find information about Pride celebrations happening across B.C. during June and throughout the summer here.
Workshop inspires in Terrace
As a way to recognize National Accessibility Week, which took place from May 28 to June 3, we are sharing the work of organizations that are removing barriers for people with disabilities.
Recently, Empowering Self Advocates To Take Action (ESATTA) hosted a workshop in Terrace called People Planning Together. The two-day workshop was led by and for people with developmental disabilities who are interested in taking a leadership role in planning a life they desire.
Read the full story of this workshop and learn more about ESATTA on the CLBC website here.
CLBC Community Councils come together
Every June, CLBC Community Council Chairs gather at the CLBC Annual Joint Meeting to share examples of how they are building accessible, inclusive and culturally safe communities around B.C.
Attended by the Provincial and Indigenous Advisory Committees, the CLBC Board and Executive team, this day is a time to recognize the leadership of the people, families and communities CLBC serves. Councils shared stories of how they are partnering with municipal accessibility committees, local movie theatres, self advocacy groups, Indigenous Leaders and many others. A big thank you to all of our CLBC Community Council members for dedicating their time and passion to these important efforts!
To learn about how to get involved in your local Community Council, email CLBC’s Manager of Community Engagement at Jessica.Humphrey@gov.bc.ca.
Photo: The Surrey White Rock Delta Council joins the Self Advocates of Semiahmoo to celebrate National Accessibility Week.
Summer in B.C. is just around the corner and temperatures are rising across the province. We’re signing off with a reminder of the importance of staying cool and healthy in the heat and being watchful for the signs of heat-related illness. Find helpful tips and information from HealthLink BC here.
Until next edition..
CLBC’s Update for Individuals and Families. June,2023