For more than a century, Indigenous children across Canada were forcibly removed from their homes and placed in residential schools where they were banned from using their languages and culture, and they were taught that their traditional customs were inferior. The damage done by the residential school system as well as the constant racism and oppression that has been inflicted on our Indigenous people has caused intergenerational trauma that has had a profoundly negative impact on our Indigenous people and communities. It is important to understand our collective responsibility because so much harm has been done in our names and on our behalf as Canadians. It is essential that Enactus Lambton be part of the reconciliation process.
As Mike Bellegarde, Community Economic Developer, Saskatoon Tribal Council, recently said: “The team at Enactus Lambton really proves that the word reconciliation can be more than just a buzzword. They are reconciliation in action.”
The imbalances facing Indigenous communities are systemic and profoundly harmful. These communities are brimming with potential and they face barrier after barrier when it comes to realizing that potential. Project One Circle is an agricultural and entrepreneurial project focused on, and culturally tailored to, Indigenous communities across Canada that officially launched in October 2019.
Since 2012 the Enactus Lambton team has been building, implementing and refining the key principles used in Project One Seed. We are now using those same proven principles in Project One Circle.
At this point, Enactus Lambton has been invited into 30 Indigenous communities for Project One Circle. In broad needs assessments with Indigenous communities, the team has repeatedly heard that food security, economic development, employment and a return to agriculture with land-based learning is at the forefront of their goals. As a result, Project One Circle has been designed around these main goals. However, the Enactus Lambton team conducts a thorough needs assessment in every community they begin working with, ensuring that community’s specific needs, wants and goals are at the centre of the project.