The Touchstones of Hope movement encourages meaningful collaboration with others, who like us, are devoted to ensuring that all Indigenous children and families are healthy and living with dignity and respect. These are the reasons why the Caring Society wanted to create a resource that would enable leaders to build momentum toward reconciliation in their own child welfare context by using the Touchstones guiding principles.
The Touchstones of Hope Tool Kit is divided into four main components: Starting a Reconciliation Journey, Traveling the River, Grassroots Reconciliation and Learnings. Each section includes an introduction and detailed explanation of who and what are needed in order to move forth with reconciliation.
When Starting a Reconciliation Journey, the Caring Society firmly believes that Aboriginal peoples are in the best position to decide what is best for their children, families and communities; this is why we suggest beginning with a Touchstones information session so that leaders can decide for themselves whether or not the Touchstones guiding principles and reconciliation process would be beneficial for them.
Traveling the River outlines the steps that will help diffuse information about the movement, for example websites and newsletters and steps needed to train individuals in facilitating the Touchstones community sessions.
Touchstones community sessions enable trained Touchstones facilitators to work with natural and elected leaders to create community specific visions and next steps so that all children and families in their communities and organizations are healthy. The process of planning and delivering these sessions is described in the section Grassroots Reconciliation.
The Learnings component provides a guide of how to research this type of initiative through a participatory process. This research methodology engages Aboriginal peoples and allows them ownership of materials. This section also provides evaluation tools and examples from the Northern British Columbia Touchstones of Hope movement.
Should you wish to learn more about the Touchstones of Hope Tool Kit or about starting a reconciliation process using the Touchstones of Hope, please contact:
Marc St. Dennis
Reconciliation and Research Coordinator