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Blue Quill First Nations College
Edmonton, AB
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The training covers four consecutive days (9:00 am - 4:00 pm), and is facilitated by a team that includes Indigenous Elders, appropriate ceremonies and protocols, knowledgeable team members, and is held on the land. The training provides a basic grounding in Indigenous worldviews and wisdom systems and will enable non-indigenous and Indigenous service providers to acquire a deeper understanding of how to provide services to Indigenous children and families in ways that are helpful and appropriate.

The practice of omanitew  to celebrate your visitors, to make space for them physically and spiritually - is a core teaching and way of life in the iyiniw (First People, People of the Land) community.  We need to make sure our visitors have the best, both while they are with us and when they leave. Our role is to honor their presence, provide emotional, physical, spiritual and mental support and to ensure that, when they leave our place, they leave with everything we can provide to enable them to continue their journey. We believe that the practice of omanitew is only possible within the context of ceremony, and that our provision of services  our practice  is ceremony. We suggest that, in accordance with the teachings and practices, this is a more relevant concept then cultural competency. That is, to practice omanitew with our clients. To celebrate when they enter into our programs, to make ceremonial space for them within our programs, and to provide them with the best we can for them to continue their journey once they leave.

Many human service workers have received a very western-based education. This is not, in itself, a bad thing. It does become problematic however when a majority of service users, as in Childrens Services, have iyiniw ancestry. Human service workers working with iyiniw clients should have an advanced knowledge of iyiniw worldviews, beliefs, and values (Beecher, Reeves, Eggertsen & Furuto, 2010). It has been our experience that this learning can occur, and that both iyiniw people and non-iyiniw people benefit, in surprising and unexpected ways, when they have this learning. We believe that a more intentional process of educating human service workers would be of benefit to everyone, especially to the iyiniw children and families in care.

Facilitators: The course is being co-taught by Dr. Leona Makokis, Elder and Past-President, Blue Quills First Nations College, various Elders and team members, and Ralph Bodor.


Blue Quill First Nations College (View)
85 Half Moon Lake Estates
Edmonton, AB T0A 3A0



Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!


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