WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN INDIGENOUS AWARENESS TRAINING PROGRAM
JANUARY 22, 2014
Do you know what to look for in an Indigenous Awareness training program? We found an independent checklist* and put ourselves and our program, Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples™, against it. We are proud to say that we exceed all areas outlined on the checklist. Take a look:
1. A program that includes a needs assessment.
We discuss the client’s needs for the training from the first inquiry. We look to ensure that your goals are met for each training session. If requested we can take a formal needs assessment of the anticipated participants to gain insight into their expectations and questions before the training session.
2. A well-researched, fact-based program.
Our book, Working Effectively with Aboriginal Peoples™ is in its 3rd edition. In addition to our training the book has been used by post secondary institutions for their courses. Libraries and bookstores regularly order copies for their collections. Between the experience of Bob Joseph and the research skills of Cynthia Joseph, LLB, the book is a best seller.
3. A program that deals with contemporary Aboriginal issues, such as economics, education, social conditions, treaties, taxation, self-government and land claims.
We feel that it is important for participants in our training to understand the historical and legal importance of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada to fully understand the contemporary Aboriginal issues that affect Canadians, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. We provide honest and straightforward answers to questions about whether Aboriginal People living on reserves get free housing or free post-secondary education. Whether Aboriginal People pay taxes in Canada. Whether there is a connection between Aboriginal unemployment and Aboriginal health and social problems.
Within the history section of our training we explain the history of treaties through the present BC Treaty Commission and the Specific Claims Commission. We explain the importance of self-government and the forms that governance has taken to date.
“Having an interest in the progression of industry – aboriginal relations, this course has given me an informed and interesting appreciation for the issues on the table today and in the future.” J. G. • Moose Mountain Technical Services
4. Professional facilitators well-versed in the subject matter.
Our facilitators are Indigenous People who have first hand knowledge of the communities and are entrepreneurial people having their own businesses and having worked for large corporations. They have been facilitating Indigenous awareness training for over 20 years combined.
5. Aboriginal speakers and resource people who can share experiences and perspectives.
Bob Joseph is an Aboriginal person, or more specifically a status Indian, and is a member of the Gwa-wa-aineuk Nation. He is an initiated member of the Hamatsa Society and the son of a hereditary chief who will one day in accordance with strict cultural laws become a hereditary chief.
Flavio Caron is the son of an Ojibway mother and Italian-Canadian father, Flavio has grown up in two worlds, and is thankful for what they both bring to his perspectives on life, business and happiness.
6. An environment where participants can ask sensitive questions and explore differing perspectives.
“A good overview of a complex area. Appreciated the matter-of-fact delivery of sensitive topics.” A. M. • Shell Canada Limited
“This workshop was highly informative. Including the perspectives and experiences of First Nations… sets this workshop apart from other Aboriginal awareness training programs.” R.D. • Enbridge Pipelines
7. A program that does not evade difficult issues-such as racism-but addresses them in a non-threatening way.
It is important when training to address difficult issues, such as racism, in a non-threatening way. From our experience racism flows from an ignorance of the facts. Once provided with rational, fact-based information participants are able to understand the history of a difficult issue and see solutions in a different manner.
“Workshop leader knowledgeable, sets excellent pace and his presentation style is calming and enjoyable, assisting understanding of material.”
S. G. • Hunter Dickinson Inc.
8. Good resource materials that can be used in the session and then as reference tools.
As mentioned earlier our best selling book, Working Effectively with Aboriginal Peoples™ is presently in its 3rd edition. Every participant at our training receives a copy of our book to use as a continued reference.
9. A conducive facility, ideally a location that augments participants’ understanding of Aboriginal peoples and issues.
We have found that by providing the training in the client’s preferred location participants can feel more comfortable as they are within their own environment. If it is preferred we can arrange for an alternate facility. We have been honoured and excited to arrange immersion programs for clients up to a week in length. These programs took participants out of the office and into the Kwakwaka’wakw territory of the Broughton Archipelago of northern Vancouver Island, in to the Haida territory of Haida Gwaii, and the Sto:lo Nation territory of Chehalis.
10. Positive evaluations and references from previous participants.
At the end of each training session we provide an evaluation for participants to give us their input. The quotes posted above are a sample of the comments we have received from our evaluations. You can see the types of comments received and the clients we have trained by checking out our website testimonial page.
*The independent checklist was created by and originally posted on the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development website.
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