Blue Sky Community Healing Centre is a recognized community cultural and Spiritual service provider that offers cultural sensitivity training to professionals, businesses, organizations and government agencies that want to initiate or foster a respectful working relationship with their Aboriginal clients and customers (note: ask me about the preferred terminology to use).
Our service is unique because it offers straight-forward, practical, and objective suggestions about how to better serve Aboriginal customers. We carry knowledge and experience working with and travelling to Aboriginal communities that could assist you to better understand some Aboriginal world views. These workshops are non-judgmental and open to people of any ethnicity, since we believe education is the key to promoting mutual understanding. We provide a comfortable environment to learn and exchanges experiences. Professional workshops can be tailored to specific needs and certificates can be provided at the end of the workshops.
During previous workshops, there have been participants from the City of Thunder Bay, university and college educators and administrators, mining companies, business owners, health providers, environment specialists, library services, Aboriginal communities and organizations, legal services providers, energy corporations, independent contractors, and, many more.
- Introduction to the Aboriginal Community
- Residential School System and Unfamiliar Impacts
- Anishinaabe Cultural Practices
- Overview of Anishinaabe Values
- Business Opportunities with the Aboriginal Communities
- Traditional Crafts
- Two Spirited Community (carrying both a female and male Spirit)
- Overview of Ancient First Peoples and Archaeology in Northern Ontario
Introduction to the Aboriginal Community
Provides an overview how to improve business relations with Aboriginal individuals and communities as well as deliver more informed services to them. This overview includes pre-contact to post-contact timeframes in this region; governance; spirituality; on-the-ground community situations; how important respect is; and, other valuable tools to assist you to develop a relationship with Aboriginal individuals and communities.
Residential School System and Unfamiliar Impacts
The goal of this Aboriginal cultural awareness module is to provide the participants with an objective overview of the Indian Residential School system and ongoing impacts of residential school that may be unfamiliar to many people. This overview will provide: a brief history of the residential schools up to the last closure (day schools included); speakers to share their personal stories; discussion on intergenerational affects; and discussion about some of the major social issues including displaced anger and loss of identity.
Anishinaabe Cultural Practices
As our group believes that it is their responsibility to educate, this module was developed to share some of these teachings with all cultures including topics such as: preferred terminology; how traditional ceremonies are conducted today; significance of offerings; traditional medicines; sweat lodge; significance of gifts; tobacco protocols; and significance of sacred items, etc. The final ceremonial activity will be preparations for an offering to the water and things that live there.
Overview of Anishinaabe Values
Since contact with Aboriginal people first occurred approximately 350 years ago in Ontario, non-Aboriginal people have been intrigued with what the Aboriginal people saw as important. Presentations concerning some examples of Anishinaabe values such as: traditional ecological knowledge; traditional languages; wisdom of the Elders; traditional spiritual ceremonies; oral history; traditional homelands; how cultural values are being documented today; and, the role of families within governance. In true Blue Sky spirit, the workshop will be opened up for a dialogue about Anishinaabe values.
Business Opportunities with the Aboriginal Communities
It is Blue Sky’s continued commitment to illustrate to both the Aboriginal as well as to the non-Aboriginal populations how we can all work together, including through economic opportunities. These presentations will include topics such as: organizations that are supporting this kind of work; tips on protocol measures; tips on how you make those initial contacts with Aboriginal communities; what do I bring with me to a meeting?; how you greet people when you arrive in the community; what is the best way to conduct a successful meeting; what will be expected of you once the meeting is over; and other valuable guidelines. We will also discuss successful business partnerships with Aboriginal communities.
This particular cultural awareness workshop provides an informal way to learn about Anishinaabe culture. Blue Sky is very proud to share teachings on how to create some traditional Anishinaabe crafts. These guided sessions provide the participants with some hands on learning and their own personal finished product to take home with them.
Two Spirited Community (carrying both a female and male Spirit)
There are some very enlightened traditional teachings about two spirited people and Blue Sky is happy to share these teachings including topics such as: what does it mean to be two spirited; looking at the diverse categories (i.e. gay men, lesbians, and transgendered); some of the social issues that the two spirited community faces; the traditional teachings about them; how very special the two spirited people are; and, how we can help to provide support to our two spirited brothers and sisters.
Overview of Ancient First Peoples and Archaeology in Northern Ontario
Archaeologist and Board Member Jill Taylor-Hollings (PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta; occasional Sessional Instructor, Department of Anthropology, Lakehead University) will provide you with an overview about the ancient Indigenous Peoples who first arrived in this region approximately 9,000 years ago. These presentations will include information as learned from archaeological evidence about: the subarctic landscape; pre-contact culture history; hunting and other technologies; economies; and the importance of seasonal aggregations.