Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find some commonly asked questions from people who are interested in taking the training.
- What is Cultural Competency?
- What is Indigenous Cultural Competency?
- What is the Indigenous Cultural Safety Training (ICS)?
- What is Core ICS training?
- What is Core Indigenous Cultural Safety Health (ICS) Training?
- Is there additional training?
- What can I expect to get out of the course?
- How does this training relate to my work- or how will this training help me in my work?
- Is there a certificate?
- Is this training accredited?
- How is the course structured?
- Who is eligible to take the training?
- How was this training developed?
Cultural competency means being effective in cross-cultural relations. It requires the kind of self-awareness that allows us to recognize that who we are influences the way we see, understand and work with others. It means adapting our knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and skills to become a more effective and trustworthy ally with people of another culture. Cultural competence is not a skill to master but rather a life-long learning process that leads to providing a higher quality of care. (Adapted from- Obomsawin, R., 2007).
What is Indigenous cultural competency?
Indigenous Cultural Competency refers to knowledge, enhanced self-awareness, and skills that enable service providers to work more respectfully and effectively with Indigenous people. Knowledge includes information on the concept of culture, the cultural diversity among the Indigenous peoples, and understanding the context and legacy of colonization. Self- awareness means examining one’s own cultural assumptions, beliefs, and attitudes with respect to Indigenous people. Skills involve developing enhanced strategies, tools, and techniques that will contribute to positive working relationships.
What is the Indigenous Cultural Safety Training (ICS)?
The ICS training is a unique, facilitated on-line training program designed to increase knowledge, enhance self-awareness, and strengthen the skills of those who work both directly and indirectly with Aboriginal people. The goal of the ICS training is to develop and promote individual competencies and positive partnerships
Skilled facilitators guide and support each participant through dynamic and interactive learning modules. Participants will learn about terminology; diversity; aspects of colonial history such as Indian residential schools and Indian Hospitals, time line of historical events; and contexts for understanding social disparities and inequities. Through interactive activities participants examine culture, stereotyping, and the consequences and legacies of colonization. Participants will also be introduced to tools for developing more effective communication and relationship building skills.
There are five core ICS training programs:
Core ICS Health
Core ICS Mental Health
Core ICS Child Safety
Core ICS Justice
Core ICS Training is intended for those working in non-health related field (such as justice, policing, child and family services, education, business and government). There are five core modules that explore foundational issues of cultural competency.
The five modules include:
- Culture and Canada's Indigenous People
- Colonization and it's Legacies
- Images of Indigenous People
- Cultural Competency at Work
What is Core Indigenous Cultural Safety Health (ICS) Training?
Core ICS Health Training builds on the foundation provided in Core ICS with a specific focus on health care issues for health care professionals working with Indigenous people. The Core ICS Health is specific to those who work in the health care field and the goal is to improve access to health services and health outcomes for Aboriginal people.
The training is designed for non-Aboriginal health professionals working in PHSA, Regional Health Authorities, Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport, Ministry of Health and their partner agencies. The curriculum is intended as an introductory training and is supplemented by the Nation and region-specific training provided by regional health authorities or Indigenous groups. This training is not intended to teach individual Nation-specific content but rather be a foundation for understanding the broader issues impacting services for Indigenous people.
Is there additional training?
For participants who have completed any of the BC ICS Core Training(s), we have additional training called From Bystander to Ally.
This training is a facilitated, interactive module that helps you explore how you can become an effective ally when you think that racism, bias, or stereotyping is impacting the service an Aboriginal person is receiving. You will learn about ways to assess a situation that you suspect has elements of bias or racism and then develop some strategies to use that will be effective for you. It is our hope that you will find these tools useful and in using them, you will be a powerful agent for change - personally, and professionally.
What can I expect to get out of the course?
The ICS training is a unique, facilitated on-line training program designed to increase knowledge, enhance self-awareness, and strengthen the skills of those who work both directly and indirectly with Aboriginal people. The goal of the ICS training is to further develop individual competencies and promote positive partnerships.
How does this training relate to my work- or how will this training help me in my work?
The training provides a space to explore and discuss how to enhance services to Indigenous people.
Here are some comments from ICS participants:
"I think this is something that I will carry forward with me no matter what work or possible future position I may hold down the line". E.J.
"It already has shifted the way I engage with clients in terms of learning new ways to ask questions and I have brought up this training and concepts learned from it in our practice council and have encouraged others to participate in it". R.O.
"I see it as ongoing learning that contributes to my learning and will continue to influence my relationships with aboriginal people and organizations in my work and in my life". J.M.
"I enjoyed the facilitator’s responses and how she was very open and understanding to our responses. I like the online approach and how you can go at your own pace. Also, it was good to see where others were, as it helped to keep me on pace with them. I like how it related to health care settings". R.M.
"This course was so important to me. It consumed me. It engaged me on many levels. I talked about it to colleagues, friends, family. It made me re-evaluate my assumptions and beliefs". J.W.
"The amount of information was incredible. The facilitators are so knowledgeable and helpful. The course has made me so much more aware of issues faced by Aboriginal people now and the historical context of the experiences they encounter". V.S.
At the end of the training, you will receive a certificate of completion.
The Core Health program meets the accreditation criteria of The College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been accredited for up to 16 Mainpro+ type credits.
The British Columbia Core Health and Core Mental Health training meet the accreditation criteria of The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association for 9 continuing education credits.
The Core Health program is an Accredited Self-Assessment Program eligible for up to 8.0 Section 3 Credits as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. This program has been reviewed and approved by the UBC Division of Continuing Professional Development.
Skilled facilitators guide and support each participant through dynamic and interactive learning modules. Participants will learn about terminology; diversity; aspects of colonial history such as Indian residential schools and Indian Hospitals, time line of historical events; and contexts for understanding social disparities and inequities.
Through interactive activities participants examine culture, stereotyping, and the consequences and legacies of colonization. Participants will also be introduced to tools for developing more effective communication and relationship building skills.
The ICS Core training takes approximately five hours to complete (depending on prior knowledge and learning style) over a six week period of time.
The ICS Core Health training takes approximately eight hours (depending on prior knowledge and learning style) to complete over an eight week period of time. At the end of the training you will receive a certificate.
I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. K.B.
Anyone is eligible to take the training. Anyone directly employed by a provincial health authority or the Ministry of Health is qualified to take the training without a fee.
Indigenous people (First Nations, Metis, Inuit) who live in British Columbia who work in Health or Mental Health are eligible to take the trianing at no cost. Anyone else can take the training for a fee.
The Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Program (CCS) was developed by the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) Aboriginal Health Program. Leslie Varley (Nisga'a) Director, and Cheryl Ward, (Kwakwaka'wakw) Provincial Lead, oversaw the development and implementation of this training.
The training was created in response to the Transformative Change Accord First Nations Health Plan requirement to increase cultural competency within Health Authorities through Action Item 19: First Nations and the Province will develop a curriculum for cultural competency for health authorities.
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