Dorothy and James engage with potential partners and conduct field research in Seattle, WA and Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

As we have mentioned in previous entries, The Market Project desires to work toward holistic wellness for everyone that has undergone complex trauma. Complex trauma and cycles of oppression aren’t simply a result of human trafficking or war, but can also be a result of pervasive economic and cultural disadvantages. The aboriginal Canadian population on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada will most likely be the target population for The Market Project’s second pilot program.

Resulting from decades of oppressive colonial mismanagement and discrimination, First Nations people in Canada have some of the highest rates of poverty, substance abuse, suicide, and violence against females. This part of Canada additionally used to be home to numerous sawmills, fishers, and other industries that thrived from abundant natural resources. As time has gone on, however, much of that production has moved overseas and left native communities without a regular source of economic wellbeing. As these communities have struggled in a globalized environment, youth with little hope for life after high school turn to drugs, crime, or even suicide. We are looking to change that.

Dorothy and James’ trip to the Pacific Northwest was focused on doing field assessment work as in previous trips to Myanmar and Uganda. In Seattle, Dorothy and James met up with three therapists who have a similar passion for helping vulnerable communities in the PNW. One of the therapists runs the Northwest Family Life Center in Seattle. Two of her students, recent graduates from the Seattle School of Psychology and Theology, accompanied them to Vancouver Island. The graduates were able to offer unique insight into the trauma healing process as both were of native ancestry. The several hour journey from Seattle to Vancouver Island was spent in dialogue with the women. Dorothy and James cherished the time spent traveling for it revealed special insight into regional challenges and those specific communities.

Once in Vancouver Island, Dorothy and James spoke with the Tribal Council as to how specifically The Market Project can best serve the native communities. With their guidance and advice, we determined to start a supply chain business similar to the one in Uganda. We will focus on employing recent high school graduates, working with the local school systems to identify students who have participated in the school’s woodworking skills program. We will be able to offer a sustainable employment and economic independence and offer hope that there are positive ways to earn money after graduation. In addition to providing basic work opportunities, we will partner with Esperanza Ministries, a care organization located in Vancouver Island. For over 70 years, Esperanza has been providing community building services as well as care and shelter for women who have been victims of abuse or crime.

We are looking forward to launching our Vancouver Island program sometime in 2016.

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