February 7, 2018
Family Service Toronto is engaged in indigenous cultural competency training (ICCT). For all full and part-time permanent staff in February, the three full-day sessions are led by facilitators from the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC). FST’s board of directors also engaged in ICCT at their retreat in January.
Motivated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, we seek to be part of the journey to reconciliation with Indigenous communities. This begins with the recognition that healing and reconciliation first require an understanding of the historic experience and current position of Indigenous communities in Ontario.
The intent of the OFIFC’s ICCT is for organizations to contribute to the development of necessary skills, knowledge, attitudes and values that support the development of meaningful and informed relationships with the Indigenous community. The full-day session focuses on the early relationship in Canada with Indigenous people, intergenerational trauma and an introduction to OFIFC’s relationship framework.
Facilitators will guide participants through a series of questions: who are Indigenous peoples?; where have they been?; where are they going?. Learning can then focus on answering the question “what are our responsibilities?”. These questions offer a critical pathway to action that strengthens cultural awareness, informs relationship building and begins to enhance organizational programs and policies.