Patricia Dawn has tossed her hat in the ring and hopes to be elected as a trustee in the Cowichan Valley school district.
She said that, as an advocate on the front lines in the community, she has witnessed the homelessness and opioid crisis rise exponentially.
“Our children see this daily as they travel through our school district,” she said.
“This affects their well being. They can’t ‘unsee’ this human crisis.”
Dawn said schools are the “village social centre” where families attend daily.
“Yet do they trust in us?” she asked.
“I wish to listen and learn from the families and community. I seek to work at the pace of relations; building together. We can have courageous conversations woven with respect and acceptance, creating understanding and reigniting our humanity, beyond the confines of systemic funding criteria.”
Dawn said that, as a mother in recovery from addiction, she has walked the “Red Road” of sobriety for 20 years.
She said she has raised two children, both of whom have graduated from high school and are now in college.
“Yet we have survived precarious housing for years,” Dawn said.
“I bring insight and lived experience in overcoming this crooked path. Due to the relationships in this community, the care and service of teachers, counsellors, friends and neighbours and the richness of human kindness, we have survived.”
Dawn said in these uncertain times, the district’s children need the community to rise together and “reweave our modern village, reclaiming family wellness”.
“I’ve been a part of changes that occur when we ‘sit together in a good way, aligned as one heart, one mind’,” she said.
“We are the ancestors of tomorrow. Let us offer our children of all nations a future they can be proud to walk in. It is an honour to be considered for your choice [for school trustee].”