Running for FUNds with RAVEN champions
Why run for FUNds?
On April 2, 2022 a group of runners took to the trail at Elk Lake to raise funds and awareness for Indigenous sovereignty and marine life conservation. The Run for FUNds organizers, Kayci and Sarah are both settlers, living on Lekwungen territory, learning about ongoing colonialism in Canada. They shared with us a little more about the event and their inspiration for hosting it.
At the start of the pandemic, many of us felt the intense impacts of being on lockdown and Sarah says her “anxious energy got channelled into physical exercise.” She started running and eventually Kayci joined her as a running buddy.
As they started to run longer and longer distances, they decided to sign up for a 10 km race. After paying the base fee to enter the race, they looked into where the money was going — assuming it was to raise money for a charity. “The full fee went towards putting on the race. And you had to pay above that to choose an organization that you wanted to donate to. Obviously there are all these costs associated with putting on a run — but I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t a fundraiser for the run.” Kayci says.
With the support of their family, friends, and community to cover the costs of putting on the race, the Run for FUNds was born: a run where the entire registration fees have been donated to RAVEN. Having finished their second annual race, the Run for FUNds donations this year went to the Heiltsuk campaign and the Gitxaała campaign.
Along for this year’s run was RAVEN’s own, Ana Simeon — who had this to say about the fundraiser: “[Sarah and Kayci] implemented RAVEN’s entire checklist of best fundraising practices. [They] had everything. It was an amazing run with almost 80 people and a very thoughtful approach. To start with, someone was invited to lead stretches so people didn’t get hurt or pull their muscles. There was an amazing food station, thanks to corporate donations. And then to finish it all off there was an afterparty — the event was really well named: it was fun!”
Standing in Solidarity with Indigenous Sovereignty and Marine Life
Kayci and Sarah are both passionate about holding up Indigenous voices and stories in their activism. “Within the last five years I started to understand the privileges that I have to live on these lands and what kind of space I take as a settler.” Kayci says, which has prompted her to learn more about colonialism and the ongoing impacts of the Indian Act.
Kayci’s infectious passion for being in solidarity with Nations who are standing up for their rights lit a fire in Sarah too, who sees fundraising as a way white settlers can help without causing harm. “It’s so important to be uplifting Indigenous voices instead of trying to spread our own.” she says.
As geography majors with an interest in sailing, Sarah and Kayci have learned a lot about ocean life and ecosystems, and “caring about our marine resources is really important to us to” says Sarah, which is why they chose to fundraise for the Heiltsuk and Gitxaała campaigns.
RAVEN is so grateful for the champions like Kayci and Sarah who find unique ways to fundraise for Indigenous sovereignty.
Thanks to everyone who ran or supported the fundraiser and to all the event sponsors including: Country Grocer, Thrifty Foods, Hoyne Brewing, The Lemonade Stand, Westwood Mixer, and Bean Around the World.