My name is Ocean Kneeland and I am delighted to be in the role of Executive Director for the Raffi Foundation for Child Honouring.
I live on the ancestral lands of the Cowichan Tribes and am grateful for the opportunity to live, work, rest, and play in this place of immense beauty and diversity. I am a new grandparent (Oma) and parent to three amazing children. I hold a master’s degree in early childhood education and have worked for over ten years as a Professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education and Care at Vancouver Island University, including three years as Program Chair. I have also worked in a variety of roles within the early years sector, including early childhood educator, child care consultant, Strong Start facilitator, education assistant, administrator of a large campus-based child care centre, and executive director for a young parent program. I am fluent in three languages (English, French and Spanish) and enjoy finding opportunities for cross-cultural learning.
As a child, I was raised and mentored by parents, family members, and teachers who cared deeply for the Earth. My early years were spent on a small farm in the Laurentian Mountains of Quebec, where my parents grew a lot of their own food and worked closely with the land to live in sustainable ways. I played outside a lot, throughout the seasons, and developed a close relationship with plants, animals, rivers and lakes, rocks, and other beautiful and wondrous things. I learned about the interconnectedness and sacredness of Life – something that is truly worth loving and protecting – for the benefit of all.
As an adult, I came across the Covenant for Honouring Children and its nine principles: respectful love, diversity, caring community, conscious parenting, emotional intelligence, nonviolence, safe environments, sustainability, and ethical commerce. I was immediately struck by the clear message of hope and possibility for creating a world that honours and respects both the child and the Earth. I was inspired and motivated to enact the principles in both my personal and professional life.
As Executive Director, I look forward to increasing awareness of the Covenant for Honouring Children and its nine principles, promoting the Child Honouring course, sharing relevant research and resources, building partnerships, and creating multiple opportunities and projects with individuals, communities, and countries across the world to put the principles into practice – both locally and globally.
If you’d like to connect with me, please get in touch by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in community,