Trust and communication is the key to any relationship. Building relationships with Indigenous communities requires some navigational tools. For beginners a good place to start is learning the terms of reference and current terminology being used in Canada to identify Indigenous people across this country. Even though these terms are not political correct, learning this will help you find past and present information relevant to the Indigenous narrative. Please understand that Indigenous People are very diverse; we come from many Nations. Second please unpack your privilege, any personal bias and preconceived notions you might have before you engage. Third is communication; please listen and allow the community to lead the conversation. Walking into communities with solution based attitudes can be perceived as negative before knowing the full narrative of the community.
Unfortunately learning Indigenous terminology in Canada is only chipping at the surface. There is so much more to learn about Indigenous Nations throughout North America. For instance who are First Nations, Indigenous, Métis, Inuit, Non-Status, Urban Indigenous, Native American and Multiracial Indigenous people? And where are they? Please be mindful that timelines are attached to these collective nouns colonizers and governments have used to identify Indigenous People over the past 527 years.
Just a heads up in case you wondering we don’t all live on “The Reserve.” A lot of the Indigenous populations throughout North America have migrated and transitioned to urban areas like Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, San Francisco, Washington D.C, Los Angeles and many many more cities.
In the spirit of Ally-ship I want to help you with the Indigenous narrative. I want to help you engage Indigenous People and communities in an authentic way. A way of respect, relevance, reciprocity, responsibility and trust. A way we can all move in a direction together. Gitchi-Meegwetch (Greatest Thank You)!
- Cultural Lens-Strategic Planning
- Anti-Indigenous Racism
- Indigenous Diversity & Inclusion
- Ceremonial Pedagogy
- Engaging Indigenous Communities
- Community Consultations