The McLeod Lake Indian Band (MLIB) recognized the need for cultural awareness training to provide non-members, including industry and government officials, with essential insights into their history, cultural practices, and enduring commitment to their land. This initiative aimed to promote cultural awareness among those working within MLIB’s territory, fostering improved relationships and a deeper appreciation of MLIB’s values, priorities, and jurisdiction.
The goal was to develop a comprehensive cultural awareness training program that would encourage empathy, understanding, and constructive engagement, all while addressing sensitive topics such as intergenerational trauma, structural racism, and the impact of colonialism.
Resonant Strategic embarked on a collaborative journey with MLIB to create a holistic cultural awareness training program.
Our solutions encompass:
- In-Person Workshop: We designed a four-hour in-person workshop grounded in McLeod Lake’s history and values, incorporating best practices for adult learning . This participatory workshop challenged participants to explore cultural agility, cross-cultural appreciation, and subject position awareness, fostering empathy and understanding.
- Comprehensive Handbook: To complement the workshop, we developed a detailed handbook providing an in-depth narrative of McLeod Lake’s history, territory, cultural values, and journey to regain decision-making authority over their land. This resource serves as a valuable reference for participants.
- Engaging Videos: We produced a series of four videos featuring interviews with McLeod Lake Elders and key staff members. These videos provided firsthand perspectives on traditions, disruptions caused by colonialism, and the band’s commitment to justice and prosperity.
- Online Self-Directed Course: An online version of the training mirrored the handbook’s content, incorporating knowledge checks and quizzes to reinforce key learnings. Participants could engage with the material at their own pace.
- Certificate of Completion: Participants who completed either the online self-directed course or the in-person workshop receive a certificate of completion, recognizing their commitment to improved relations with McLeod Lake.
- Monthly E-Newsletters: To extend participants’ learning beyond the workshops, we created a series of 12 monthly e-newsletters. These newsletters foster continued awareness and education by delving into topics such as Canadian colonialism, structural racism, unconscious bias and Indigenous cultural revival.
The McLeod Lake Indian Band Cultural Awareness Training has delivered impactful results:
- Empathy and Understanding: The workshop and supporting materials have successfully engaged participants’ empathetic registers, fostering a deeper understanding of McLeod Lake’s experiences, challenges, and aspirations.
- Personal Commitments: Participants are encouraged to make personal commitments to change their behaviour in light of their newfound awareness. This commitment-driven approach promotes meaningful, lasting change.
- Safer Space: The training was designed to be trauma-informed and reduce harm, acknowledging its inherently challenging and potentially triggering nature. Skilled facilitators ensure participants feel safe while confronting complex topics.
- Bespoke Solution: Every component of the cultural awareness training was developed in collaboration with a steering committee from McLeod Lake, ensuring the content and themes align with MLIB’s unique narratives and priorities.