Graphic pattern background

Skookum: From Social Innovation Lab to a Skookum Surrey Community

| News


In June of last summer, our skookum community gathered at the Skookum Lab Sunset Celebration. It was a celebration and reflection of our three-year social innovation journey. With COVID restrictions in place, the celebration moved to Zoom. The Sunset Celebration included songs, gifts, and planning for our future as a community. We also took some time to reflect and respect the work that went into growing our urban Indigenous network in Surrey.

Skookum lab was a social innovation lab developed to address Indigenous child and youth poverty in Surrey. It was very successful at disrupting the systems that create and sustain Indigenous child poverty in Surrey. There is much more work to do, yet this social innovation journey has brought us to a place where the urban indigenous community is stronger more connected, and resilient, and better equipped to make Surrey a great place to raise an indigenous child.

One of the lessons of Skookum lab is that “Indigenous social innovation” is about revitalizing old ways of doing things, in tandem with innovating new ways in urban Indigenous communities. We want to continue our learning, activism, and social innovation, but not through Skookum Lab.  A social innovation lab is developed as a time limited process to ignite change. Now that we’ve done that, it is time for connected and passionate leaders within the community to move it forward. With the support of the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee, Skookum Surrey can continue the good work of making Surrey a great place to raise an indigenous child.

What is Skookum Surrey?

Our Vision:
“An urban kinship network of engaged, connected, and empowered people that reflects the rich diversity of the Indigenous community living in Surrey.”

Our Mission:
“Improve the urban Indigenous experience in Surrey by cultivating community, providing safe and meaningful opportunities to engage on matters that affect us, and by creating space for positive connections to other Indigenous people, families, and services.”

Our Commitment:
“As we do our work, we will strive to live in a good way with the land based First Nations that have called this land their home since time immemorial.”


We would like to thank the Vancouver foundation, Vancity community foundation, Indigenous services Canada, and CMHC for the support offered to Skookum Lab.

All Our Relations: Honouring the Host Nations

SUILC recognizes that we operate on the unceded, ancestral, traditional and current territories of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Kwikwetlem, Qayqayt, and Tsawwassen First Nations.