The Indigenous Learning Series
Pîkiskwêtân is a Cree word that means “let’s talk.” It reflects the vision behind the Indigenous Directions Learning Series as a safe space to foster earnest discussion and engage participants in reflecting on and sharing their experiences living and working alongside Indigenous peoples.
Pîkiskwêtân, the Indigenous Directions Learning Series, is a continuous series of decolonizing and anti-racist Indigenous awareness training and professional development workshops. It is intended for members of the Concordia community who wish to build cultural competence and gain the necessary skills and knowledge to work effectively with members of the Indigenous community and provide culturally safe services and programs to Indigenous students.
The goal of these workshops is to address a need to provide better awareness and understanding of the diverse cultures and socio-political realities of Indigenous peoples in a safe space and in a manner that accurately and truthfully conveys the experiences, perspectives and cultural diversity of the Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
The series takes a scaffolded learning approach that slowly introduces topics and concepts. It will help learners progressively develop critical thinking on Indigenous matters over a period of time. Learners will be provided with opportunities to learn about First Nations, Métis and Inuit and gain a better understanding of the meaning and the implications of reconciliation, decolonization and indigenization.
Virtual workshops offered winter/spring 2021
To ensure that learning content is relevant and aligned, some of the workshops are offered to all Concordia employees while other workshops are tailored to specific members of the Concordia community.
Please check who the workshop is for before registering.
Monday, January 25 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
This workshop seeks to clarify the concepts of decolonization, indigenization and reconciliation, how they are different from each other while at the same time are mutually supportive of the goals in the Action Plan. It will explore ways that the Concordia community can positively contribute to Concordia’s decolonization, indigenization and reconciliation goals.
It presents Indigenous perspectives and discusses obstacles to decolonization, indigenization and reconciliation such as resistance to change, racist attitudes towards Indigenous peoples, academic freedom, power and privilege. It also provides a detailed explanation of the territorial acknowledgement and discusses the protocols for a respectful and effective delivery.
Friday, February 12 from 2 to 3 p.m.
This workshop introduces participants to Concordia’s territorial acknowledgment and explains the importance of recognizing the land which Concordia is built on. The wording of the Acknowledgment is explained and participants are provided with the necessary knowledge and skills to understand when an Acknowledgment is appropriate and needed. Participants will also learn how to deliver a Territorial Acknowledgement that is honest, respectful and meaningful.
Friday, February 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
This workshop is designed to help participants examine their personal values and biases and learn to interact respectfully and effectively with Indigenous peoples. The four components of cultural competence will be explored:
- Awareness of one’s own cultural worldview
- Attitude towards Indigenous peoples
- Knowledge of Indigenous peoples’ cultural practices and worldviews
- Cross-cultural skills
Friday, March 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
For student services providers and faculty
This workshop is designed to provide participants with a glimpse into the experiences of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students in post-secondary education.
- tokenism and racial prejudice in the classroom;
- community expectations;
- the importance of culturally safe spaces on campus; and
- barriers to academic success.
The workshop will also seek to address myths and stereotypes tied to Indigenous education with a particular emphasis on the funding opportunities available to Indigenous students. A panel of students will share their personal stories.
Friday, April 9 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
For managers and supervisors
This workshop is designed to help managers and supervisors acquire the tools and skills to effectively hire, retain, mentor and progress the careers of Indigenous employees. Participants will be invited to explore unconscious biases in the hiring, retention and performance evaluation of Indigenous employees.
The workshop provides an overview of the workforce availability of Indigenous peoples and the daily challenges they face in the workplace.
- how to recognize and put a stop to workplace micro-aggressions, harassment and discrimination;
- reasons for attrition;
- strategies to effectively manage dubious claims of Indigenous identity;
- tokenism; and
- having difficult conversations with Indigenous employees.
The workshop will also seek to dispel myths and stereotypes about Indigenous employees and how Indigenous ways of knowing can bring different and exciting new perspectives and dynamics in the workplace.
Thursday, April 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
This workshop seeks to present progress to date on the recommended actions and communicate priorities and goals for the upcoming year. Offered on a yearly basis, it allows participants to get information on the indigenization and decolonization efforts at Concordia. Participants will be invited to ask questions, provide feedback and share ideas with members of Concordia’s senior administration and the Indigenous Directions Indigenous Council. The ultimate goal of the workshop is to highlight the Indigenous Directions Action Plan and the work of the Indigenous Directions Leadership Council and to reaffirm Concordia’s commitment to decolonization.
Friday, April 23 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
For senior management, deans and university librarian, department chairs and associate university librarians
This workshop helps participants gain a better perspective of the many additional hats that Indigenous faculty and staff are expected to wear by their institutions and the toll that the additional workload can take on their health and well-being. The workshop will be dedicated to issues that primarily affect Indigenous faculty but that are also experienced by Indigenous staff.
Discussions will focus on:
- underrepresentation and university hiring practices;
- balancing community expectations vs. institutional commitments;
- tokenism, pigeonholing and the suppression of cultural values and ethics;
- additional duties without compensation;
- mentorship and supervision of Indigenous students;
- institutional support and promotion concerns; and
- obstacles to research funding.
Friday, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
This workshop is designed to provide participants with the necessary tools and skills to successfully engage with Indigenous communities, collectives and organizations. Topics include: Indigenous protocols, the role of Elders, consultation versus engagement, building long term trust relationships and leveraging the right expertise.
Friday, May 28 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
This workshop is designed to provide historical and contemporary perspectives on the politics of being Indigenous.
- government assimilation policies;
- treatment of Indigenous people in the justice system;
- cultural appropriation;
- representation in the media; and
- the misappropriation of Indigenous identity.