8 things to look for in an Indigenous relations trainer

A quick search on Google for "Indigenous awareness trainer" resulted in 67,500,000 results. So, what criteria does one use when trying to choose someone to deliver Indigenous relations training to your team? Here are eight aspects that should figure prominently on your checklist.

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The UN Declaration and Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in BC

During the 2019 federal election, the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration) was included in four (absent from the Conservative platform) of the five party platforms but did not garner the degree of discussion it warrants. Canada, as an official supporter, without qualification, of the Declaration carries a responsibility to honour that commitment.

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6 Suggestions for Effective Negotiations with Indigenous Communities

Effective negotiations with Indigenous communities require your team to have a deep understanding of the community with which you hope to work. This deep understanding of the community will be invaluable at the negotiation table because it will give insight into some issues that may be sticking points for the community. If you understand why the community has an issue, then it will help you find creative solutions that are amenable to both your organization and the community.  

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The Evolution of Indigenous Relations in the City of Kamloops

Tammy Robertson, External Relations Manager for the City of Kamloops has an ambitious goal: for the City of Kamloops to become a role model for Indigenous/municipal relations. The relationship between the City and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, over a short period of 18 months, has evolved from one of much uncertainty into one based on mutual trust and respect. They’ve gone from annual community-to-community forums with little outcome to working collaboratively on significant community projects and actively looking for additional opportunities to collaborate on projects.

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Reactive vs proactive racial bias training

I was recently included in a conversation on CBC’s The Current about the efficacy of anti-bias training. The host, Anna Maria Tremonti had three guests with different perspectives weigh in with their opinions. I was in pretty esteemed company - Javeed Sukhera, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University, and Frank Dobbin, a professor of sociology at Harvard University. Click the link below to read the transcript of the interview:

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Working with Indigenous Communities: ONT SPCA Launches Year of the Northern Dog Campaign

The abundance of dogs in both non-Indigenous and Indigenous communities in northern Canada is an escalating animal welfare issue. This article takes a look at the initiatives of the Ontario SPCA to work with Indigenous communities to provide animal welfare services and programs to facilitate a solution. The Ontario SPCA and partners have just launched “The Year of the Northern Dog” campaign to bring awareness, attention, and action to the overpopulation of dogs in the north

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Communications with Indigenous leaders - Letter Writing Tips

When communicating cross-culturally there are certain sensitivities around language used in the letter and expectations placed on the recipient of the letter. In this article we focus on some guidelines for writing a letter to request a meeting with an Indigenous leader and provide some tips, as well as some do’s and don’ts.

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A Look at Indigenous Relations in Canada for 2018 and Beyond

In 2017, Canada marked 150 years since confederation. To celebrate or not to celebrate was debated and discussed in the media, in Indigenous communities, and around dinner tables. The concept of not celebrating confederation was a profound shock to some but due to the benefit of the debates, awareness was raised that Indigenous Peoples have lived on land now known as Canada for far longer than 150 years. From those debates, a parallel but different celebration was launched - Canada 150+. The debates, discussions, and conversations triggered by the Canada 150 and Canada 150+ celebrations also brought insight to some regarding the impact those 150 years had on Indigenous Peoples.

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ayisīnowak: A Communications Guide a respectful cross-cultural collaboration

When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report was published in 2015 it revealed the reality of residential schools, the damage the schools have done to the survivors, their families, their culture, their identity, and the ongoing impacts of that damage. The TRC Report also included 94 calls to action (CTAs) for governments, institutions, and organizations to support reconciliation.

The TRC Report has motivated many in the public and private sectors to look within and find ways and means of enacting the relevant CTAs. Since 2015, there have been some inspiring and heartening examples of reconciliation actions, particularly in the recognition of traditional or treaty land acknowledgement at the beginning of government and corporate meetings, art events, sports events, and educational facilities.

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Some Indigenous Protocol Examples

Updated: January, 2017

We are at an interesting juncture in Canada in terms of Indigenous relations. On the one hand there is an awakening and awareness on the part of mainstream Canadians, the media, and governments that is contributing to a landscape of reconciliation. This awareness and awakening is causing many to accept and reconcile, rather than hide from, uncomfortable truths about the history of Canada and how Indigenous Peoples have been treated. It is also generating calls by Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians for the removal of tributes to historical figures who were particularly ruthless in their treatment of Indigenous Peoples. On the other hand, there are some Canadians who struggle to make a name for themselves by clinging to and broadcasting their colonial ideals and beliefs. I don’t want to give any airtime to the latter - they simply don’t warrant any attention.

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