New continuing education offerings aim to deepen understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing

Brock’s new continuing education programming is intended to not only teach participants about Indigenous ways of knowing and being, but to also encourage them to share what they’ve learned with others.

Offered in partnership by the Hadiyaˀdagénhahs First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Centre, the Office of the Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement, and Brock University Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS), the new courses are now accepting registrants, with the first program set to get underway in January.

“The PCS programming is an opportunity to deepen the general public’s knowledge about Indigenous ways of knowing and being, decolonization and reconciliation,” says Robyn Bourgeois, Brock’s Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement. “My hope is that this knowledge will empower people to take action in their homes, workplaces and communities to advance decolonization and reconciliation.”

Programs include:

  • What is Indigenous?: Focused on when land acknowledgements are appropriate, who should deliver them and how to be genuine with the delivery.
  • The Land: Learn how to prepare land acknowledgements, think critically about their purpose, use them in appropriate settings and deliver them with meaning.
  • Immersive Leadership Workshop: Becoming leaders who can be good kin: A one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect with Becoming Kin author Patty Krawec, participate in learning circles and “unforget history.”
  • Indigenous Ways of Knowing, Being and Doing: Aims to build understanding and respect for Indigenous ceremonies. Participants will be present for two types of ceremonies and will be guided through participation from an Indigenous person.

The learning opportunities, which were launched during a special event Oct. 12, are intended for anyone interested in deepening their knowledge of Canadian Indigenous culture and practices to create a more inclusive workplace and community, such as:

  • Change makers of inclusive spaces in organizations or communities.
  • Non-Indigenous people wanting to show respect for Indigenous ways of being.
  • Individuals who want to personally grow through respect and listening.
  • Organizations looking to engage with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
A woman inspects a Pualuuk made from caribou while sitting at a table in a presentation.

Participant Diana Moser inspects a Pualuuk made from caribou during the Indigenous programming launch event on Thursday, Oct. 12.

To encourage Indigenous participation in these learning opportunities, proceeds from Brock’s Indigenous PCS offerings will be used for scholarships to offset costs for Indigenous participants.

The new programming enhances the ongoing efforts of the Hadiyaˀdagénhahs First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Centre to engage with the Brock and wider communities.

“We hold a variety of events and activities throughout the year that encourage people of all backgrounds to learn more about Indigenous knowledge and culture,” says centre Director Cindy Biancaniello. “Brock’s Indigenous continuing education programming is another opportunity for us to build connections in the community and to continue the crucial conversations that must happen in order for true change in society to take place.”

Through consultation with the community, local organizations, alumni and other stakeholders, the PCS team recognized the need for individual and organizational training on how to meet the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Actions, and also how to foster social change, says April-Dawn Blackwell, Associate Vice-President, Professional and Continuing Studies.

“Together, we can collaborate to achieve shared goals toward a better future,” she says. “We have the deepest gratitude to our colleagues in Brock’s Hadiyaˀdagénhahs First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Centre and the leadership of the Office of the Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement and the Provost and Vice-President, Academic for making this opportunity possible.”

In addition to the courses now being offered, custom training related to Indigenous education programming is available, Blackwell says.

Details on all courses are available on the PCS website.

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