Thursday, November 10, 2016

Indigenous Education Initiative @ CFN

CFN is proud to introduce a new initiative that addresses the historic injustice and historic trauma that have contributed to deep social, cultural, economic and spiritual challenges for Canada’s Indigenous people. The negative impacts of specific historical experiences such as colonization, residential school system, loss of cultural identity have had negative impacts that are very well known to and felt by the Indigenous people of Canada. And historic trauma proponents suggest that, people who were not born before colonization, can still be impacted by its negative effects. In the face of such overwhelming evidence, it is interesting that fewer newcomers to Canada understand the depth and breadth of these devastating and everyday experiences faced by Canada’s Indigenous population. In other words, there is absence of information in newcomer communities on Indigenous issues in Canada, which in turn poses a problem for individuals and communities interested in discussing changes in the lives of Canada’s First Nations people (Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2005). One of the recommendations made in the Truth and Reconciliation is for the information kit for newcomers to be revised “to reflect a more inclusive history of the diverse Indigenous peoples of Canada including information about the Treaties and the history of residential schools” (TRC, 2015, p.10). This initiative seeks to narrow the information and knowledge gap that exists in newcomer populations in Calgary through educational workshops on Indigenous matters by forging meaningful partnerships with Calgary-based organizations to address challenges that Indigenous people face.
Evening Indigenous Education Workshop @ CFN

Our ultimate goal is to support efforts aimed at ending cycles of systemic discrimination and abuse faced by Indigenous people through culturally appropriate educational workshops on Indigenous issues, meaningful partnerships that seek to create alliances for public education and awareness among partners and within the broader community.

This initiative will combine culturally-appropriate educational workshops on matters identified by Indigenous people as relevant to newcomers’ understanding of the history of Canada’s Indigenous community. This series of workshops for Centre for Newcomers’ staff, service users and newcomer communities will include issues related to historic injustice and trauma; Indigenous peoples’ rich history and culture. A suite of workshops series will be developed and offered to all Centre for Newcomers’ staff and to all service users of the Centre’s programs. These workshops will be offered by Indigenous scholars and elders in formats consistent with Indigenous cultures and values.

Workshop Facilitator U of C Assistant Prof Dustin Louie
The rationale is that engaging in ongoing public dialogues, enhancing professional development and training for public servants, strengthening intercultural competency in Indigenous matters are all part of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action aimed at addressing historic trauma and historic injustice of Canada’s Indigenous peoples (TRC, 2015)

For more photos of our recent workshop CLICK HERE and for more information on the initiative please contact the Centre for Newcomers.

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