About Surrounded by Cedar Child & Family Services
We are an urban Delegated Indigenous Agency located on the territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən people. We are grateful to the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations for allowing us to do our work in their territories.
As legal guardians to urban Indigenous children and youth in Continuing Care, and in our support to youth accessing the Youth Agreements program, and young adults accessing the Agreements with Young Adults program, our services are rooted in the belief that children are the most sacred gift given to our people and their safety and well-being must be honoured with the highest regard. We know that connection to spirit and identity through familial, hereditary and cultural linkages are the strongest protective factors in promoting safety and well-being for Indigenous peoples, and through this understanding, we strive to provide services and programming that ensures a meaningful connection to family, community and culture.
We offer several critical programs and services to urban Indigenous children and youth, including Cultural Programming, Cultural Continuity, Lifelong Connections, Child & Youth Counselling, and Intensive Youth Support. Our largest community event each year is the Aboriginal Back to School Picnic (BTSP) where we provide fun-filled picnic events along with backpacks filled with school supplies for Indigenous children and youth. At its inception in 2002, the BTSP provided provided supplies to 45 children and youth, growing to 2380 students provincially in 2020!
Understanding the colonial history that has impacted Indigenous communities across Canada, Surrounded by Cedar’s mission is to provide child and family services strongly rooted in Indigenous worldviews and cultural values while ensuring urban Indigenous children and youth grow up connected to family, community and culture.
We advocate for substantive equality for Indigenous children, youth and families – the achievement of true equality in terms of outcomes. We know that this can be achieved through the provision of equal access, equal opportunity and by providing programs, services and benefits in a way that meets the unique needs and circumstances of Indigenous people.
At SCCFS, we are working on transforming the return of Indigenous children to school from a day of historically remembered sorrow, created by the traumatic legacy of Canada’s residential schools into a day of celebration through our Aboriginal Back to School Picnic. The event aims to create a new Indigenous educational story for Indigenous children enrolled in kindergarten to grade twelve and their families. Its second goal is to address widespread Indigenous family poverty by providing free backpacks and school supplies, food, and cultural activities.
How your gift will be used
Your legacy will help us strengthen culturally safe services and programming for urban Indigenous children, youth and families through the following programs:
Aboriginal Back to School Picnic (BTSP):
Focused on transforming school experiences of Indigenous children and youth, the BTSP provides backpacks, school supplies and a fun-filled afternoon of entertainment to more than 2300 students throughout British Columbia each year.
Supporting urban Indigenous children/youth in care who come from Nations across Canada, our Cultural Continuity program ensures that our children/youth are connected to their ancestral territories and that meaningful cultural and language support are provided within the child/youth’s foster home.
In our belief that all children have the right to grow up connected to their culture, our cultural department offers programming throughout the year that nurtures cultural identity development while providing a culturally safe environment for this learning to take place.