1. Our funding—Our financial resources are severely limited. All our funding is project–based: this means we have no core funding for activities outside individual projects. We must be careful not to raise expectations—in many ways, our funding base is even more tenuous than that of the language communities. As well, as we have noted before, funding guidelines may restrict what we can do with the money. So for example, if we want to partner with groups on a research project, both groups need access to suitable funding. Despite our funding limitations, however, we have successfully supported many literacy initiatives.
  2. Our limited human resources—Another aspect of any new, or changing, role we might assume is the capacity of our own organization. We are a small non–profit organization with an Executive Director, four program staff and an administrative assistant—and limited capacity. We have, however, a broad range of expertise in family literacy, language development, resource development, research, training, advocacy and public awareness.

6.2 A framework for change

In the short-term, some of our work will not change. For example, our work with early literacy interventions such as the family literacy training and the family learning kits will continue, because it is still necessary to support children's learning to help them within the school setting. Other aspects of our role and the activities that people have suggested are an enhancement of what we do now, perhaps with a broader focus. For example, we already deliver proposal-writing workshops that we can easily enhance to respond to the needs people identified. We already produce a list of funding sources: we can easily make the list more comprehensive. When we are planning, we need to separate out those activities from ones that require more fundamental change, like the way we make decisions related to Aboriginal literacy.

All our current projects respond to identified needs, but what we do in the projects and how we do them, we largely decide internally by ourselves. Working with Aboriginal language groups will mean a different way of making decisions. Sometimes they will initiate a project that we will play a supportive role in. At other times, we might initiate the project, but members of the language communities will be involved in setting priorities and in making decisions about what to do and how to do it. For us, this means finding an appropriate mechanism for that to happen.