Our Stories: a few of our proudest moments
The practice of public engagement is the best job in the world, and we are so lucky to have it. We believe the people we get to meet, who care about the issues under discussion, whose communities and families matter to them – they are a gift. Here are a few of our proudest moments.
On our feet, we turned a how-to demo into a safe space for sharing.
Transformation is everywhere, if we only look. "I wasn't expecting to see transformation that day," Kim recollected.
"We were teaching a group of Hydro Aysen employees about effective dialogue techniques by working with highly emotional topics. What was intended to be a how-to demo quickly became a safe space to dig into long-standing, deep-seated issues within the team. The barriers and boundaries of typical co-worker conversations were dropped out of the circle emerged a transformational dialogue that was just waiting for the right conditions to emerge."
We created a community of champions, empowered to ask for what they need.
Steph shares, "We were working with the North Shore Tribal Council who provides health and wellness programs and services to seven Indigenous communities around Lake Ontario. On the surface, this project was about envisioning how healthcare services were delivered to communities. In reality, the conversation ran much deeper. We delved into understanding what health and wellness meant to individual community members. This enabled a small team to reach out and empower the entire community to champion their own care."
Together, we helped build the framework for the community to feel empowered to bring about their own change, in the way they needed it.
We were told the issues were too painful to bring people together.
On our first visit to Sandy Bay, SK we were told we could not bring community members together to talk about the pain their aboriginal community had endured over the past 90 years. Our contacts explained that the issues were too painful to bring people together, and we were advised we needed to work one-on-one. Following this advice, we slowly built relationships.
At the last meeting, 400 community members gathered in the school gym and spoke together about the past, the present and (most importantly) the future. Together, this community had created a shared story of where they had been, an understanding of the strengths and challenges they experience today, and a vision of where they wanted to go.