WIHS is co-created with Whiteswan Environmental (WE), an equity-driven, Indigenous-led 501(c)3 since 2015. WE promotes knowledge democracy for all people through the spread of the Coast Salish’s people’s beliefs and practices regarding the natural environment. WE's programs and services work to educate and strengthen relationships between bio-regional native and non-native government and non-government organizations, as well as academic institutions to reconnect Coast Salish youth and community members with their culture and ancestral homelands to ensure our Schelangen (way of life) will thrive.
"WE believe that by integrating and respecting our Schelangen (way of life) and the Western science/STEAM curricula, there will be inter-generational indigenous education on the ecological health issues of the past, present and future, therefore creating a resurgence of the Keepers of the Tradition and Protectors of the Circle of Life or the next generation of historians and conservationists."
Shirley Williams is a WIHS Co-Founder.
Shirley says: 'Sixteen years ago, I became a licensed nurse. Those years were spent working within the scope of my western licensure. Now, like a salmon swimming upstream, I am focused on what I consider Indigenous Public Health for my own community, which is a federally recognized tribe of Lummi Nation. Today, because of Seli7 etse Sxwo’le – Spirit of the Sxwo’le (reef-net), I address root cause of trauma, and our ancestral homeland of the Salish Sea is my medical office.'
WIHS is strategic partners with Animals As Natural Therapy. Animals as Natural Therapy (ANT) offers healing mental health programs for at-risk youth, veterans, & elders. Our programs are based on the knowledge that animals can teach important life skills, such as: respect for self and others, healthy boundaries, self-management, empathy, and clear communication.
ANT’s mission is to strengthen the community by developing healthy, resilient individuals through animal-facilitated education, with special attention to at-risk youth. ANT serves youth, veterans, and elders through horses, mobile therapy animals, leadership & anti-bullying workshops, and team-building experiences. Visit ANT here.
Bellingham Youth Media Project
The Bellingham Youth Media Project is an innovative educational outreach organization aimed at encouraging middle and high school students in the Bellingham/Whatcom County area to use media to tell their stories. Our media educators also work closely with teachers to help create curricula that infuses technology in creative and meaningful ways, regardless of the content area.
Our workshops, summer and in-school classroom programs provide mentoring and instruction in multimedia production and digital/media literacy education to help students and teachers boost their creative confidence, and to better understand and navigate digital landscapes.
Our project-based curriculum offers hands-on training in digital photography, video and audio production, social media skills and media literacy. In addition to technical skills, our school partners and workshop participants gain valuable leadership and 21st century career skills to put them on a path to higher education and life-long success, armed with the knowledge of how to be critical producers and consumers of media.
We encourage participants to create multimedia projects that raise awareness of issues concerning personal identity as well as community issues, and to inspire calls to action! Visit Bellingham Youth Media Project.