Raising the Villages
Mawiomi W'Jit Mijuwajijk

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The quality of early childhood affects the quality of the future population and the prosperity of the society in which these children are raised.

-Dr. Fraser Mustard


Talking to Children about COVID-19

A lot is happening quickly in relation to COVID-19. It’s normal to feel worried and overwhelmed. Children may feel worried and overwhelmed too.

This is an excellent read for parents! We suggest everyone who is a caregiver to children takes a few minutes to read it here.  

Join the Early Learning Global Movement!

Join the Early Learning Global Movement by taking part in the exciting launch of the film Brain Matters. This transformative feature documentary will change our understanding of what it takes for children to get the best possible start in life and to reach their full potential. The Brain Matters’ producers are gifting the film to the world to reach the widest audience possible, in order to boost global awareness, and support changes in public and business policy, which is at the heart of their mission.

Since June 2019, Brain Matters has been winning international acclaim by the Early Childhood Development (ECD) community and is being screened all over the world.  The overwhelming positive reactions and reviews confirm that Brain Matters can be a unique advocacy tool to promote the ECD cause worldwide.  The  aim is to raise global awareness for ECD and to promote real change and investments among world leaders.

Please support the Early Learning Global Movement via these 3 easy steps:
1- Watch the film Brain Matters on YouTube, leave a comment, and share
2- Sign and share the petition
3- Stay connected to the Early Learning Global Movement powered by Brain Matters with fun, free, and educational resources and apps

You can also find Brain Matters on Facebook to like/share their content.

Raising the Villages is on board, are you?

Raising the Villages' Mawiomi w'Jit
Mijuwajijk movement...

... started in January 2017 to address childhood poverty rates and represents communities across western Cape Breton. In 2016 childhood poverty had reached 26% across Cape Breton, and in Inverness County 32% of children entering school were assessed as vulnerable through the Early Development Instrument (EDI). Through Raising the Villages, we aim to positively affect outcomes in health and well-being for our youngest citizens and the seven generations to come and contribute to population health through active participation in regional coalitions and networks.

In our fourth year, the movement’s aspirations are two-fold: we continue to celebrate what is working well through sharing and encouraging community conversations, while at the same time advocating to fill important gaps in local services.  For healthy development in the early years our youngest citizens need to feel a sense of inclusion through positive social interactions that are inter-generational, a consistent healthy diet, access to positive community supports and referrals to improve the health and well-being of their family unit, and stimulation that encourages growth through books, music, and play (indoors/outdoors). A welcoming community space that is inclusive (reducing social isolation) and where various languages are spoken and cultures shared (increasing a child’s understanding of community) would provide this, and so much more.

The Early Years, Starting Strong – creating welcoming spaces to connect and belong.

Our youngest citizens deserve a regionally coordinated response to meet their needs.  Now is the time for continued action as we advocate, network, and take steps towards creating a Regional Early Years Coalition Coordinator position to support and connect local communities, and launch the first Welcoming Community Space Pilot Project to demonstrate what this environment can look, feel, and sound like, to better support our youngest citizens throughout this unique stage that is a vital opportunity for their healthy development.  

Raising the Villages Mawiomi w’jit Mijuwajijk is a regional call to action for all of our children.  

Raising the Villages' Action Principles

These four Action Principles form the basis of Raising the Villages' Declaration.  The signing of our Declaration by community leaders and First Nations' Chiefs was the pinnacle of our Planning for Action Summit in January 2018.  These principles continue to guide us moving forward, as we have progressed from a planning stage to one of action.  The principles are based on the information we gathered in 2017 through various community conversations and direct our five local coalitions to take action in their communities.  We will use the knowledge we have acquired and the commitment gained from the signing of our Declaration to create the welcoming communities and spaces our children deserve in order to connect and belong from the very beginning of life.   For more information on our Planning for Action Summit, please scroll down on our Gatherings page.

Welcome to the movement.  The time is now.

Raising the Villages' has been responding from the very beginning to the #1 priority of the One Nova Scotia Coalition's Collaborative Action Plan The Early Years: Starting Strong, and specifically the section Community-Led Initiatives for Early Years, Welcoming our Youngest Children which you can read about on page 18 in their report.

Our great thanks goes to...

Raising the Villages moves forward with great momentum, and with sincere gratitude to our generous funding partners for the opportunity to work within local communities in western Cape Breton.  We would like to offer our great thanks for the support we have received, allowing us to collaborate with like-minded organizations and individuals as we work towards offering each of our youngest citizens an improved start within the welcoming arms of their community.

We would also like to recognize... 

Rosie Syliboy and Mawita'mk for their invaluable contributions to Raising the Villages.  Thank you ever so much for the large parts you have played to get this movement off the ground, in spreading awareness of the cause, and for being a part of our vision!

Raising the Villages would like to acknowledge that...

We are located in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. Through Raising the Villages - Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk we are weaving back together our lives, from our infants to our elders and from across all cultures, to deepen our respect and understanding for each other. 

Weskewitaiek Mi'kma'ki, mna'q koqa'tasinuk maqmikew ta'n asutmi'tij Mi'kmaq. Weja'tekemk ta'n wenaqita'kl wtann -Mawiomi wjit mijua'jijk pemi-apaji toqitaiek, weja'tekemk knijanaq misoqo kisiku'k aqq weja'tekemk ms~t ta'n telo'ltimk, wit me'ki mekite'lsultinow aqq weli-nstatultinow.

Tha sinn stèidhichte anns an àite seo, Mi’kma’ki, tìr nam Mìogmac nach deachaidh a géilleadh. Thro’n iomairt, A’ Togail nam Bailtean - Mawiomi W’Jit Mijuwajijk, tha sinn a’ fighe ar beathannan ri chéile ás ùr, bho ar leanabanan gu ar eildearan agus thar gach chultar, gus am meas is an tuigse againn  dh’a cheile a dhoimhneachadh.

Nous sommes situés à Mi'kma'ki, le territoire non-cédé du peuple Mi'kma'k. Grâce à Raising the Villages - Mawiomi W'Jit Mijuwajijk, nous tissons ensemble nos vies, de nos enfants à nos aînés et de toutes les cultures, pour approfondir notre respect et notre compréhension de l’autre.

Enjoy a selection of photographs collected on our journey so far, offering an insight into the people and places that make our local communities unique.

Have you liked our Facebook page? 

Keep up to date with Raising the Villages' updates on our Facebook page.  Please show your support by liking and sharing our Facebook page, and posts, as often as possible.  Thank you, wela’liek, tapadh leibh, merci.