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3 Inspiring Innovations From Our Native Communities

2012 November 29
by Worldwide Hippies

By Ashoka,forbes.com – You might not have noticed, but November is Native American heritage month and thus a great opportunity to take a look at how Native Americans continue to contribute to society today. I appreciate the goals of this month and after spending time looking over many of the innovations and winners that came from the Ashoka Changemakers ‘BC Ideas’ competition, I realized that whether US-based, Canada-based or elsewhere, it is important to consider local and community-based innovations that are driving our societies in new and more holistic directions. After all, innovations are borderless and the advances made to our north could affect how we address the issues facing Native American communities today.

Today, the BC Ideas competition announced their 33 investment winners. With a focus on sourcing local innovative solutions from across the province of British Columbia – a close neighbor to both Washington State and Alaska – there were more than a few winners that caught my eye. For example, TASK, Signs of Safety for Families, and First Nations Renewable Energy Forum are all different but their models use the common themes of focusing on core challenges and taking the time and effort to design and implement solutions that will have impact for the long term.
TASK, for example, targets aboriginal learners. Rather than addressing a specific age group, it offers its services to people ages 15 to 51. By targeting and focusing on the specific needs of at-risk learners, the individuals are able to learn skills that will put them on a path for future success and enables them to take advantage of new opportunities. Read more…

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