by Maria Trujillo
Photos by Monika Czyz
Norma-Jean McLaren wearing the blanket she was honoured with.
Nathan Edelson and Norma-Jean.
One of the most beautiful things that I learned and will cherish from Norma-Jean’s class, “Cross-Cultural Planning: Educating the Heart,” is the importance of humility in planning. Norma-Jean would often remind us that we had to unlock the already-existing strengths of the communities we would be working with and to understand that people are the experts of their own community. On March 17th, SCARP celebrated Norma-Jean’s career along with her past students, community friends, and SCARP professors. The documentary film “The Spirit has No Colour,” which Norma-Jean initiated and co-produced, was played.
Norma-Jean received many honours. Her good friend, Dalannah Bowen, sang her a beautiful song (Nature Girl), and Jerry Adams honoured her with a blanket from the Circle of Eagles. Two of her former students, Dr. Aftab Erfan, SCARP Instructor, and Michael Anhorn, Executive Director, Vancouver – Burnaby Region of the Canadian Mental Health Association, gave thanks for the many teachings that they had learned from Norma-Jean through her course and in their friendship with her. It was an honour to be in Norma-Jean’s class last term. Thank you for the many teachings.