Dads_Talking_Stick.png

Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples™

Let this blog be your guide

3 Things to know about Alberta Carbon Tax Exemptions and First Nations

Carbon tax is a form of pollution tax. It levies a fee on the production, distribution or use of fossil fuels based on how much carbon their combustion emits. The government sets a price per ton on carbon, then translates it into a tax on electricity, natural gas or oil. Because the tax makes using dirty fuels more­ expensive, it encourages utilities, businesses and individuals to reduce consumption and increase energy efficiency. Carbon tax also makes alternative energy more cost-competitive with cheaper, polluting fuels like coal, natural gas and oil. [1]

 

Read More

Topics: Indigenous Awareness

A Definition of Smudging

Sacred smoke created from burning medicinal or sacred plants is an aspect of many cultures and religions the world over. In North America, it is a practice common to Indigenous Peoples and is called smudging. Many, but not all, Indigenous cultures in Canada smudge but may have different beliefs associated with the smoke, and different ceremonies and protocols. In this article we are giving a general definition of smudging.

Read More

Topics: Indigenous Awareness

Reconciliation and Indigenous Libraries in Schools

 


Education for reconciliation

  1. We call upon the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada to maintain an annual commitment to Aboriginal education issues, including:
  2. Developing and implementing Kindergarten to Grade Twelve curriculum and learning resources on Aboriginal peoples in Canadian history, and the history and legacy of residential schools. [1]

In late 2016 a newspaper article about a Nanaimo school that was building an Indigenous-authored collection of books for the school library caught our eye. The school had a small nucleus of books but wanted to build up their collection with titles that would appeal to all reading levels and that accurately depicted Indigenous history, Canadian history, Indigenous culture. The school, John Barsby Secondary, went a step further and commissioned Snuneymuxw carver Noel Brown to build a bookcase to house the books.

Read More

Topics: Reconciliation, Indigenous Awareness

Indigenous cultural competency trainer Criteria

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls-to-Action (CTAs) are galvanizing  the government, corporate and private sectors in Canada to learn about the wrongs of the past and work towards a better future for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples. The CTAs, released in June 2015, have inadvertently triggered an opportunity for entrepreneurial types to set themselves up as Indigenous awareness and cultural competency providers. The high demand to fulfill the CTAs is creating the opportunity for “new to the field” trainers.

Read More

Topics: Indigenous Awareness

Snapshot of Indian Act denial of status for Indigenous women

 

“When an Indian woman marries outside the band, whether a non-treaty Indian or a white man, it is in the interest of the Department, and in her interest as well, to sever her connection wholly with the reserve and the Indian mode of life, and the purpose of this section was to enable us to commute her financial interests. The words "with the consent of the band" have in many cases been effectual in preventing this severance….The amendment makes in the same direction as the proposed Enfranchisement Clauses, that is it takes away the power from unprogressive bands of preventing their members from advancing to full citizenship.” [1]

Read More

Topics: Indigenous Awareness

Indigenous Peoples terminology guidelines for usage

We’ve talked about the definition of Indigenous Peoples and the constitutional significance of Indigenous or Aboriginal. In this article we drill down on guidelines for usage. Terms for Indigenous Peoples have evolved over time and are continuing to evolve.


The First Peoples of this land now known as Canada formerly had unique communities with unique names - there wasn’t a need for collective nouns or complicated terminology. With European contact and ensuing colonization, the government required people to be defined and labeled for ease of governing.

Read More

Topics: Indigenous Awareness

What is the definition of Indigenous Peoples

We’ve talked about the constitutional implications of Indigenous or Aboriginal so now want to tackle the definition of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and who uses this term and why.


First, as it stands, there is no generally accepted definition of Indigenous Peoples in a global context. Some countries refer to Indigenous Peoples as the people who were there first at contact. Others refer to Indigenous Peoples as the nomadic peoples within their borders.   

Read More

Topics: Indigenous Awareness, Indigenous relations

National Aboriginal Day or National Indigenous Day

 

The implications of choosing Indigenous are significant. In October 2015, Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau used the term Indigenous in his victory speech when he made reference to his government’s intention for a "renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples that respects rights and honours treaties".

Read More

Topics: Aboriginal History, Indigenous Awareness

Indigenous cultural competency in virtual platform

 

Thanks to the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions calls to action; and specifically section #92 which states: 

       92. Business and Reconciliation

We call upon the corporate sector in Canada to….

iii. Provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

I’ve noticed a big influx of people looking for training to support their efforts at reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. This push of course comes with challenges and the ones we’ve heard about include "not having money for travel to take training" and "which trainer to choose" as everyone is a trainer these days.

Read More

Topics: Reconciliation, Indigenous Awareness

Indigenous cultural competency self-assessment checklist

There’s a growing interest in Indigenous cultural competency in Canada and it’s very heartening to witness this change in attitude in government, the corporate sector and in the general public. I am certainly seeing it reflected in the wide diversity of clients seeking cultural competency training for their organizations. My client base was formerly composed of a few core sectors but no more. I am really enjoying the opportunity to meet people from many walks of life but who share a common interest of wanting to learn more about Indigenous Peoples in Canada. 

Read More

Topics: Indigenous Awareness