Tillicum Lelum awarded federal dollars for knowledge project

NANAIMO – Elders share knowledge, culture and tradition with youth in the Passing on Knowledge project.

Aboriginal elders are sharing what they know with Nanaimo’s next generation thanks to a project supported financially by the federal government.

Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre has won more than $20,000 from the federal government’s New Horizons for Seniors Program to run its Passing on Knowledge project. The initiative, launched in April, sees elders share knowledge, skills, tradition and culture with youth just by having the two generations spend time together.

Executive director Grace Elliott-Nielsen calls it very important, with positive outcomes. Approximately 100 youth and 20 elders are involved in the project through different programs.

“All the issues that are experienced today by residential school and colonization is around the fact that identity has been lost and a sense of belonging. This is an opportunity for elders to replace that sense of belonging,” Elliott-Nielsen said. “That really needs to happen for our youth.”

Close to $142,000 was distributed through the New Horizons programs to Central Vancouver Island organizations with initiatives led and inspired by seniors. The dollars are aimed at encouraging seniors to share their knowledge, skills and experiences to the benefit of others and the community.