NIȽ TU,O’s New Planner helps keep young adults connected to Coast Salish Culture
NIȽ TU,O’s Culture & Care Daily Planner provides Coast Salish cultural, wellness, and financial and budgeting support in an easy-to-use format.
In the Fall of 2023, NIȽ TU,O Child and Family Services Society released a brand new, exciting tool to support Coast Salish young adults and community members: the NIȽ TU,O Culture & Care Daily Planner.
Designed specifically to meet the needs of young adults, this flexible, undated planner is no ordinary way to organize one’s days and weeks.
Instead, it is intentionally designed to provide the user with daily Coast Salish culture. The materials for the Planner draw from the scholarship of renowned knowledge holders J’SINTEN (John Elliott), YELḰÁTŦE (Earl Claxton Sr.), ŚW̱,XELOSELWET (Tiffany Joseph), and TELTÁLEMOT, the daughter of Ivan and Madeline Morris, who were fluent in Hul’q’umi’num’ and SENĆOŦEN and lək̓ʷəŋən respectively.
The planner is also beautifully illustrated with the artwork of Coast Salish artists: Jeannie Chipps, Jeremiah (Ish) Peters, Bradley Yuxwelupton Dick and Doug LaFortune.
Themed around four pillars of Coast Salish culture; of which, the first pillar is Language. To help preserve traditional language, the Planner is full of phrases and words in SENĆOŦEN, Hul’q’umi’num’, and lək̓ʷəŋən, including greetings and the names of animals from Coast Salish territory.
To facilitate deeper learning and preserve oral teaching traditions, Knowledge Holder TELTÁLEMOT and her grandson SIX̱NOMET created audio recordings of these phrases. Users can access these recordings via QR codes scattered throughout the Planner, or online at www.niltuo.ca/speak, creating an immersive & interactive cultural experience.
The second pillar is the 13 Moons. The Planner includes a comprehensive guide to the 13 W̱SÁNEĆ moons and Hul’q’umi’num’ months to help users stay in sync with the natural rhythms of Coast Salish life.
The third pillar is place names, shown on a map of Southern Vancouver Island. The meanings and traditional spellings of each place is explained.
Importantly, the final pillar is Care Rooted in Culture. This pillar shares the wisdom of the ancestors through stories that provide teachings on care and self-care. To this end, the Planner includes several wellness tools.
For example, early in the planner, the reader will find a visual representation of holistic health and wellness which maps out the many aspects of holistic wellness in a series of concentric circles.
The aspects include the Core of Wellness at the center of the circle, followed by the Aspects of Wellness, Values of Wellness, Context for Wellness, Determinants of Health and, finally, the importance of Community. Inspiration for this model comes from the wisdom of Elders, Knowledge Holders, and Traditional Healers.
The framework is meant to empower the reader to become the best version of themselves through their own unique journey.
Later on, the reader is greeted with weekly interactive EN I,SOET ŚELOQ – or, Wellness Wheels, which help young adults assess their level of satisfaction in each of the key wellness areas. The wellness areas include:
- ŚW̱ELO₭E, I, ŚĆÁLEĆE (Family and Friends),
- S₭O (Significant Other),
- ĆELÁṈEN I, SNEPENEḴ (Culture and Tradition),
- QENT TŦE S,HELI (Nurturing Spirit),
- QENT TŦE S,EȽTÁLṈEW (Physical Health),
- IYES I, ȻÍXIU,SEṈ (Fun and Recreation),
- ṮOṮEM TŦE SĆȺ (Career Satisfaction), and
- QENT TŦE ŚḰÁḰ LEȻEN (Stress Management).
The Planner also includes budgeting tools including a space to set financial goals and a built-in space to summarize spending and savings week to week. These tools help planner users cultivate security, plan for the future, and have peace of mind.
Finally, recognizing that “self-care is not separate from our cultural identity; it is an extension of our commitment to honor our ancestors, culture, and future generations” the Planner features an abundance of self-care activities and health tips – such as a daily healthy habits tracker, a weekly pause to reflect on self-care, designated spaces to draw and color, reflections questions accompanied by journaling opportunities, and some helpful resources, such as the number for the KUU-US Crisis Line Society.
NIȽ TU,O is hopeful the planner will serve as a powerful, culture-centered support to young adults moving into their next stage of life. This planner is one of several culture and community-driven initiatives NIȽ TU,O offers to Coast Salish Youth and families. Other recent initiatives to ensure Coast Salish families stay connected to culture and community include NIȽ TU,O’s collaboration with Threshold Housing Society to offer a culturally appropriate housing for the Indigenous youth it serves, and NIȽ TU,O’s Child and Caregiver Safety and Nurturance Toolkit created in collaboration with UVIC ‘s Indigenous Law Research Unit.
These projects are one small part of NIȽ TU,O’s ongoing work to keep Coast Salish children – whom have historically been overrepresented in the foster-care system – with their families and in their community by providing culturally-safe programs and services “built on a foundation of our SNEPENEK (teaching) of our SULKWAN (Elders)” in our 7 Nations.
A pdf copy of the planner is now available on the NIȽ TU,O website, https://niltuo.ca/ under resources.
Those interested in receiving a planner can reach out to NIȽ TU,O directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-544-1400.
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