Training

In this section:

This has been one of the most helpful educational experiences in my career!
— B.C.
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.
I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.
— K.B.
Having the ability to at the very least recognize that my way of doing things or "the way things are done" is not the only way.
— K.B.
It shook my foundation.
— K.B.
It challenged my view of myself.
— K.B.
It was a course that had an impact on my personal life.
— K.B.
I am a better person for having been involved in it.
— K.B.
I will look more closely at my own world views and values to determine how these notions shape my understanding and interactions with indigenous clients and clients of different backgrounds.
— A.K.
I have drawn on this course material already in my practice and it has helped me feel more comfortable when Aboriginal clients talk about spiritual/cultural beliefs.
— L.S.
The information reinforced and strengthened my practice with Aboriginal people.
— L.S.
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 encourage others to participate in it.
— R.O.
Awesome program. I realize through this training that I have so much more to learn.
— K.Y.
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.
— R.M.
I felt very comfortable throughout and not judged for my feelings and thoughts.
— R.M.
The list of "do's" and "don'ts" was the best compiled list I've ever seen for working with First Nation's people. I will be using this list in my work from now on.
— G.M.
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.
The context from which Aboriginal people come has been such an eye-opener.
— V.S.
The quality of the content was fabulous.
— C.F.
The course was non-judgemental & didn't tell me what I was doing was wrong.
— C.F.
The course showed me a better way and provided insight into some of my current thinking and actions.
— C.F.
It will help me provide more in-depth analysis in research and writing about health inequities and how the social determinants of health produce differential outcomes for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations. All too often, I think I just make over-generalized statements about how Aboriginal health and well-being is disproportionate to non-Aboriginal health and well-being, without really explaining why or how that came to be the case. Also, I often lump "disadvantaged" populations (women, Aboriginals, and visible minorities) in one group, but because of this training, I will give more thought and analysis to each group individually - because they are inherently different and deserve appropriate care/attention.
— J.D.
I did some study during my degree but I learned more in these short modules that I ever had before.
— J.W.
It is one thing to learn about stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination and racism, it is another to see what it would be like to be the recipient of this in a clinical setting where respectful medical assistance should be the norm.
— L.M.
We have made 'Hand Washing' modules compulsory, but what could be more meaningful than ensuring that all health professionals are expected to have at least a basic understanding of cultural competency and how to make their practice meaningful. I was particularly impressed by this course's ability to bring history alive and demonstrate how colonization continues to affect indigenous health today. Thank you so much for the opportunity to take this course!!
— S.H.
I want everyone I work with to do this course - it is outstanding! I already felt like I had a lot of knowledge around Aboriginal issues, but this course weaves information together so effectively and I learned many new things.
— S.H.
Thank you so much for this wonderful course on Indigenous cultural competency! I really appreciate all the help, encouragement, and effort from the course facilitators! I wish I had started this course earlier so that I would have more time to process the information! But in any case, this is probably by far the most helpful and informative training on cultural competency that I have ever attended! I thank all the course developers, facilitators, and Vancouver Coastal Health for this wonderful experience! I look forward to more training on aboriginal cultural competency in the near future!
— C.C.
This was a very insightful training and I highly recommend it for anyone and think that more people that don't work with First Nations should take. I am first nations and didn't know about the history and it has changed my outlook. I think everyone should take this training!!
— L.L.
I thought it was absolutely invaluable. I learned more participating in this online course then many other courses I had previously been part of. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. I gained so much information and knowledge that I will take with me forever!
— R.T
Mostly, I had an honest look at my own thoughts and beliefs and where I need to make changes within myself. I also became aware of changes that need to be made in offices and working with aboriginal and non-aboriginal clients. (i.e: intake process, intake paperwork, outreach, etc)
— R.T.
I have also found it extremely enlightening and it has really deepened my awareness. Pleasantly surprised at how useful and educational it has been. I’m going to recommend to my principal that all of our staff should do it. Thanks for the opportunity!
— S.W.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find some commonly asked questions from people who are interested in taking the training.

What is cultural competency?

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 four core ICS training programs:

ICS CORE

ICS CORE Health

Core ICS Mental Health

Core ICS Child Safety

What is Core ICS training?

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:

  1. Introduction
  2. Culture and Canada's Indigenous People
  3. Colonization and it's Legacies
  4. Images of Indigenous People
  5. 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 the ICS Core Training, 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.

Is there a certificate?

At the end of the training, you will receive a certificate of completion.

Is this training accredited?

The Core Health program meets the accreditation criteria of The College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been accredited for up to 8 Mainpro-C 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.

How is the course structured?

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.

Who is eligible to take the training?

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 work in Health or Mental Health are eligible to take the trianing at no cost. Anyone else can take the training for a fee.

How was this training developed?

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.

Please click here for more information