The Songhees Nation is the winner of the prestigious Award for Innovation and Community Partnership for 2019, announced Tuesday by Camosun College.
“The partnership between Camosun College and Songhees is long-term, special and multi-faceted,” says Ron Rice, Camosun board chair. “On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am very pleased that Songhees Nation will be the recipient of this award, in recognition of their commitment to innovation and educational excellence.”
The Songhees Nation will be presented with the award during a ceremony April 4, with a performance by the Lekwungen dancers.
“This award recognizes the strength and wisdom of our people and our many innovative accomplishments,” says Songhees Nation Chief Ron Sam. “We look forward to continuing to develop a community vision that is focused on the future and that works closely with valued partners like Camosun College.”
The school said the Songhees Nation has demonstrated leadership on many innovative initiatives, including the development of the 55,000 square foot state-of-the-art Songhees Wellness Centre, the creation of the Songhees Innovation Centre to assist in the development of business and technology opportunities for the nation’s youth, and the launch and success of the Songhees ‘Seafood & Steam’ food truck that highlights local Indigenous cuisine.
Songhees has also collaborated with Camosun on many joint partnerships, including the new joint Aboriginal Culinary Arts Tourism and Hospitality Management program, new Math and English upgrading programs for students planning to enter post-secondary education, introduction to trades programs targeted at youth and entry level ship repair as part of the Aboriginal marine training and employment program.
“Our partnership with Songhees is unique and is greatly valued by both sides,” says Camosun President Sherri Bell. “For well over a decade, we’ve worked closely together developing and delivering joint education programs, learning from Songhees elders and promoting a mutually beneficial partnership that focuses on innovation in the community and through shared educational initiatives.”
The award acknowledges individuals or partners who approach projects, initiatives, relationships, work or service in new and innovative ways.