Giving back to the communities the Firelight Group works with is one of the founding principles that underpins all of the work that we do. Outside of our usual scope of work, we support programs and projects which are culturally, politically, or ecologically important to Indigenous communities through our Social Return Program. Twice a year the Social Return Program funds community-based projects or programs with partial or full funding up to $15,000. The projects that we fund must have high cultural significance by design and must meet at least two of the following criteria: community-based; of cultural or ecological importance; legacy project; giving back to the community.
The Firelight Group is pleased to announce that we will be funding the following four projects through our Social Return Program in 2017:
- Dasiqox Tribal Park, “Talking to the Land” – As a part of cultural revitalization activities, the Yunesit’in and Xeni Gwet’in First Nations will be facilitating language learning and traditional knowledge sharing to reinforce place-based relationships and to provide community members with opportunities to practice Tsilhqot’in ways of life on the land. Intergenerational nature walks for community members will focus on teaching community members Tsilhqot’in place names and medicine picking, and will also assist in the creation of two new language resource documents to support educational activities in the future.
- Matachewan First Nation, “Elder Teachings on the Land” – Matachewan First Nation will be expanding its cultural programs to include a cultural teachings course that will assist the community in maintaining and promoting Indigenous Knowledge and ways of life through a hands-on experience on the land. Matachewan First Nation families and youth will partake in fundamental Elder teachings that will include hunting, calling and tracking, trapping, ceremonies, camping, survival skills, gathering food and medicine, and drumming
- Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation, “Preserving Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in knowledge and practice: Documenting the construction and use of a fish wheel in the Yukon” – Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation will produce a film and written document on the construction of a fish wheel (a device for catching fish that operates much as a water-powered mill wheel) as part of broader efforts to revive and preserve Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in culture and practice. The film and written document will focus on how to build and use the fish wheel, Indigenous knowledge of salmon and salmon runs in the Yukon River, and the importance of intergenerational knowledge transmission of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in culture and heritage.
- Tłı̨chǫ Government, “Tłı̨chǫ puberty rites of passage and ceremonies” – This project will build on work previously completed with Tłı̨chǫ Elders to document and distribute information pertaining to Tłı̨chǫ women’s puberty ceremonies and rites of passage, which Elders have described as being important for young women to know in order to survive on the land and to carry forward the Tłı̨chǫ way of life. This project will produce a community report that raises awareness about puberty ceremonies for Tłı̨chǫ women and will help bridge knowledge transmission between younger and older generations.
The next deadline for Social Return Program applications is September 29th, 2017 at 5pm PST. If you have a project that meets our criteria, please email Sarah Reid for an application.