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Welcome to 101 Ways to Make Friends – the e-newsletter of the Personal Support Networks project

July 1, 2009
Welcome to our July issue of the e-newsletter!   

Happy Canad Day!
Happy Canad Day!

It was a huge leap for me to see myself as part of a national movement, and it’s one that I’ll always be grateful to People First for facilitating.   Our country is so big, even our province is so huge, that it’s hard to remember that we’re part of something more…   as a past Provincial Advisor to B.C. People First I was able to accompany self-advocates from B.C. to national events where they introduced me around to their friends from every province of the nation and I got to hear stories of what it’s like to live in places very unlike our own.   Part of what I got to hear was about how different kinds of communities include people with disabilities. 

Check out People First of Canada / Personnes D’Abord du Canada and do try to watch their new film, which I understand will be entered into festivals (it’s an amazing, moving film made by and with self-advocates who were trained in every stage of the craft). 
Susan and I have been fascinated by a couple of our recent visits to communities that are so different from Vancouver, where we’ve both worked most of our adult lives.   Terrace was amazing and the folks there are doing some great work!   Squamish, as well, was a really interesting place to hear about – the agencies there working between Whistler and Squamish, so travel is a huge consideration.   They organized a great group of families, folks from schools, self-advocates, management and staff, and CLBC workers.  
But the highlight of the month had to be BCACL – what a great conference!   Our session there was attended by about 55 folks, mostly self-advocates, who had such great ideas.   One of the things that many of them had in common was supporting their elder family members, as well as volunteering in seniors’ centres.   
How powerful to be in a room of folks with disabilities as they shared stories of how they help others.    The other thing that I did and really enjoyed was graphic facilitation for a session led by Shelley Nessman and Barb Goode, on “What are the Parts of a Good Life?”   What fun to try to keep up as folks from all over the province yelled out suggestions about what makes their lives great.    Barb said I could publish this photo:
Aaron and Barb Goode in front of the map of BC with "parts of a good life" jig saw piece drawings

Aaron and Barb Goode in front of the map of BC with "parts of a good life" jig saw piece drawings

Have a great month!   Leave comments about anything you like or have thoughts about, and feel free to send photos, art or articles about relationships that you’d like us to send out in this newsletter.
Susan and I are not traveling for the summer – she is with her children, touring the east coast, Ottawa and Quebec.   We will start up our workshops again in September.  
For the summer, we’re excited about the upcoming David Pitonyak workshop that we’re hosting.   See the article here and do consider joining us – if you do, say hello.  
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Richard Hansen permalink
    July 16, 2009 2:03 am

    My name is Melody Isvik and I am writing on behalf of my friend Richard Hansen who would like to contact you to place an order for “101 Ways to make friends”.
    His address is (editor removed) He doesn’t have a credit card or email address so if you could tell him how much the book with shipping and handling would be, he will get a money order and send it to you at the address you provide. Thanks for your help. Melody on behalf of Richard 🙂

  2. July 16, 2009 11:13 pm

    thanks for you note Melody; hello to both you and Richard.

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