School District’s indigenous heritage Giving Tree Project funded for information plaques

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With red cedar trees having been planted at every Delta School District school and district site, as a way to build understanding, and show appreciation and respect for local First Nation culture, a $4,000 grant from Delta Foundation will help further the scope of this Giving Tree Project so a three-foot post can be installed next to each cedar with an information plaque to educate students and the community about the significance of the cedar. Each plaque will include a QR code linked to an educational video and will showcase art created by Karl Morgan, local Tsawwassen First Nation carver.

Building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy and mutual respect is one among the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action that has inspired the Delta School District to develop the Giving Tree Project.

“All of our schools have hosted a celebration of their tree,” Diane Jubinville, District Vice Principal Indigenous Education says, “and students have spent time learning about why the cedar tree is the heart of the culture for many First Nations along the coast of British Columbia. What is so special about the Giving Tree project is that it is far reaching and will provide a lasting legacy. We are extremely grateful to Delta Foundation for its generosity. The cedar trees and educational posts will stand for generations to come and serve as visual reminders of the important pathway to reconciliation.”

A team from the Delta School District’s (DSD) Giving Tree Project received the $4,000 donation on April 28, 2021 from some Delta Foundation (DF) board directors at a ceremony next to five newly planted cedar trees on the grounds of the School District’s Boundary Bay Annex in Boundary Bay, where the Farm Roots Mini School is located.

With hands up to say “hay čxʷ q̓ə” (thank you), participants in the donation ceremony included (l to r): Cody Forbes and Heidi Wood (DSD), David Rushton (DF), Paige Hansen (DSD), Richard Shantz and Walt Hayward (DF), Nathan Wilson (DSD), Gail Martin, Ulf Ottho, Marion Janssen and Peter Roaf, Delta Foundation President (DF) – photo by Brad Sherwin

Delta Foundation President Peter Roaf say, “There are so many aspects about the Delta School District’s Giving Tree Project that have meaning for our local community. So, for those of us representing Delta’s community foundation, we could not be more pleased to support it, in the cause of education, environment and First Nation heritage. Our community, now and well into the future, will benefit from this project.”