Camosun Students Fundraise for Exciting New Songhees Partnership

With the success of last year’s event to build on, Camosun students in Culinary Arts, Anthropology and Hospitality Management are preparing to host the second annual Cooking for Reconciliation dinner at the Songhees Wellness Centre on Friday, March 29, 2019.

The inaugural event, “Food Sovereignty and Reconciliation” was held on March 23, 2018 and celebrated Indigenous cuisine and culture. Guests enjoyed a multi-course meal at themed tables representing different aspects of nature (land, sea and beach) and their connection to local food systems. Students organised all aspects of event logistics. The delicious food served included salmon, clams, venison and other local specialties, many of which were foraged locally using sustainable practices.

The dinner was extremely popular with all 100 tickets selling out quickly, and the $3000 raised helps support Songhees students in an exciting new interdisciplinary Camosun program in partnership with Songhees Nation.

“I was really happy in how Camosun and the Songhees came together and worked together and made it happen,” says Lyle Henry, from Songhees Education and Training department. “It was really, really nice and everyone worked as a team.”

The new combined Camosun Songhees program, in Aboriginal Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Hospitality Management, offers 24 Songhees students Professional Cook level 1 certification, applied tourism and hospitality courses, and essential, real-world work experience after graduation.

In late 2018, student organizers joined Songhees leaders at the Songhees Wellness Centre for a special cheque presentation ceremony to support Indigenous students in the new program. “The dinner was a great success,” says student organizer Yuuri Daiku. “We wanted to come here in person to celebrate our partnership and to give you the cheque.”

“As a student it was an honour to be part of this event, and we have really taken a lot of pride in it and we learned a lot,” says student organizer Cecilia Sagaste at the ceremony. “I was really touched and now coming back for the cheque presentation, I feel really at home.”

The student team also presented a binder with event photos and a full report from the event, documenting the real-world, applied learning aspects of the student’s experience organizing the dinner.

“I want to thank Camosun for making a special trip to come here and do this nice presentation,” says Danny Henry, Director of Programming and Services at Songhees. “Camosun and Songhees are becoming family now, and it’s like a birth with a lot of students coming out of this process. We need family members like Camosun College to help us get to where we want to go and our students to get to where they want to be.”

Hospitality Management Chair Carl Everitt was pleased with the dinner’s success. “I just want to say thank you to Songhees for allowing us to have this learning opportunity,” he says. “It’s been a great success and it continues to build the relationship and positive partnership between Songhees and Camosun. I’m very pleased that the dinner will become an annual event.”

Original article from Camosun College