Growing our Futures program wins CAUCE award

Kathleen Brown

A program that nurtures native plant landscaping opportunities for adult Indigenous students will be honoured by the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE). 

Growing our Futures: Community Training in Native Plant Landscaping—a Royal Roads Professional and Continuing Studies program—will receive a CAUCE Program Award for non-credit programming over 48 hours at the association’s annual meeting and conference in Vancouver on May 25. 

The Growing Our Futures program provides community-based, culturally sensitive, hands-on training to adult Indigenous students interested in the use of native plants for ecological restoration, landscaping and food production. The program incorporates cultural activities with additional student support provided by a life coach and community Elders. Students receive a certificate in Native Plant Landscaping from Royal Roads University on completion of the program.

“It has been a real privilege to do this work in the community, working with a great team of instructors and these talented students on the traditional territory of the Scia’new People” says Tim Brigham, program lead. 

With funding from the Vancouver Foundation, Growing Our Futures was delivered in the fall of 2016 in collaboration with the Scia’new First Nation on their traditional territory in Beecher Bay. The training program enabled community members to participate in landscaping and restoration training geared for future employment in the Spirit Bay residential development taking shape on Scia’new traditional lands. Spirit Bay is a 10-year, 500-unit development in which the Scia’new Nation is a majority partner. 

The CAUCE Program Awards recognize excellence in university continuing education programs in Canada and aim to nurture the concept of scholarship of practice inherent in the program development process.