Giving Urban Aboriginals a Chance

by on Monday, 21 November 2011 6120 hits Comments
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Victoria Aboriginal Friendship Centre (VAFC), Victoria City, Vancouver Island

The Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society is a charitable welfare organisation with a specific mission to support the needs of 'Aboriginal people making a transition to the urban community. It aims to be holistic and cultural, providing social services; support in health, education and recreation, family support and maintenance of traditional values. Since Taiwan also has a significant urban Aborigine population, this was also an excellent chance for our students to see how successful the First Nations people have been in reconciling their dual identities in the city? Are the urban aborigines maintaining and even reviving their culture in this global city? How extensive was the support compared to that in Taiwan?

Filmed and edited by C. Phiv, subtitled by Vica Zhuhan

"The Victoria Aboriginal Friendship Centre was a social work centre of sorts, providing support for various issues often encountered by the First Nations population. For example they provide child-raising counseling for mothers, to avoid a situation where the government doesn’t recognize them as suitable parents and takes over childbearing responsibilities. They also provide services for the same young Indigenous people who had been forced away from their parents as children and were now trying to return to society as adults. This included a halfway house in which they were provided accommodation and a family setting, to give them encouragement. Finally there was also support work from community elders."
Ibu Isliduan (Department of Indigenous Languages and Communication, National Dong Hwa University, Bunon Nation)

"...Mr. Bruce Parisian described to us their bitterness that the local Indigenous people are forced to leave their communities for the city in search of jobs. It struck me, because the same situation also happens in Taiwan. This centre was created by a group of less than ten Indigenous peoples. But they still managed to raise huge funds from civil society and the government. I really admire their efforts, and I think we can learn a lot from them."
Rimuy Watan (School of Nursing, National Yang-Ming University, Atayal Nation)

friendship_center_dance

Photos: Top: Richard Chen Down: Shu-ching Hsueh

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 17:33
Cerise Phiv (張俐紫)

Former Managing Editor of eRenlai.com

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