The Literacy Circle: Sharing humour, warmth, and wisdom through storytelling.

The Literacy Circle welcomes Indigenous Residential School and Multi-Generational Survivors, elders and adults, to build on their English literacy skills through Storytelling.  Classes are held in a safe and encouraging environment. 


Our wish is to reach as many Learners as possible.  


Please help spread the word.

The Learners at The Literacy Circle would like to welcome you to listen to

their stories and their learning journeys.

Some videos mention painful memories of residential and day school experiences.
Also standby for heartwarming and joyful stories of trust and bravery.






* Most Indigenous peoples share similar worldviews which include a deep respect and reverence for elderly community members. 

TLC recognizes and acknowledges that the language used across territories may differ, however since the roots of TLC are in Snuneymuxw traditional territory, we defer to the Snuneymuxw protocol of spelling ‘elders’ with a lower case ‘e’.

The Literacy Circle ~ Learning for Life

The Learners who completed 2 full years of TLC English classes (l to r) : Joanne, Kathy and Louisa

The Education Component

The Education Component supports the learning of reading and writing through storytelling. Learners share their stories and, with Instructor teachings, write them to then share with their families, friends and classmates. Each adult and elder is individually assessed to determine literacy and comprehension skills. Learners are paired into appropriate groups and work with their teacher to build their skills.

June 2023. Learners, Teachers and the Learner's Advocate pose proudly on Grad Day!

The Learning for Life Component

Cell phone, computer literacy tutoring and basic math teachings are also available at The Literacy Circle. The Learning for Life Component also provides opportunities for a variety of experiences including field trips. Past trips include: visits to the local library; concerts (like Snotty Nose Rez Kids); live theatre plays and dance focusing on Indigenous narratives; museum and special tours focusing on Indigenous archives; and art galleries.

Learner's Advocate, Amiththan (l), is sharing a laugh with Learner, Joanne (r)

The Learners' Advocate Component

The third component offered is the Learners' Advocate. The Advocate assists Learners in breaking down systemic and literacy barriers in day to day life. This individual oversees transportation, the delivery of lunches and school supplies. They also advocate for the Learners' non-educational needs to be met whenever possible including helping learners to fill out forms for housing, medical services, food security and transportation. The Advocate connects Learners with Indigenous Liaison nurses and cultural workers.

Class Venues and Schedules

In Snuneymuxw territory (Nanaimo BC) classes are held at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

Classes are finished for Spring 2024 and will begin again in September. Please sign up as a Learner on the Join Us page on this website or call (250) 924 - 3314 to register in Nanaimo.

In Lekwungen Territory (Victoria BC) classes are held at the Saanich Centennial Libary at Pearkes Arena. TLC is working with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre and classes will be ending on June 13,2024 for a summer break.
Classes will be once a week in the Fall.
Sign up on the “Join Us” page of this website, or call Lisa M. at VNFC at 250.361.5405 to register.
Enrolment is ongoing - call to sign up and join anytime!
Classes are free and include writing supplies,
tea and appetizers

The Literacy Circle Society

The Literacy Circle Society is a not-for-profit society.  The Literacy Circle ~ Learning for Life program offers an opportunity for Indigenous elders and adults to learn English literacy skills in a supportive environment.

The Literacy Circle Society acknowledges and gives thanks to the Snuneymuxw and Lekwungen people, on whose traditional lands we learn, teach and live. We raise our hands in gratitude for their ongoing protection of the beautiful land we share.   

Raven Artwork - Bettina Lewis

Want to get involved?

We are working to bring this program to other communities. Please fill out forms on the Get Involved page if you want to participate.

Intake forms available for interested elders, teachers, and community volunteers.

The Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action are being brought to life by these generous funders and partners: