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Kelly's newest workshop focuses on Allyship. What does it mean to be an Ally, and how can we work towards being an Ally to Indigenous People.

Understanding the history of Canadian/Indigenous peoples, and the effects that history has on Indigenous people today, is only the first step in creating culturally safe workplaces, service providers and societies in general. For those who want to continue to help heal the past and create a better future to leave for our children, we need to look openly and honestly at Allyship.

This program transcends factual learning about Indigenous issues and encourages participants to examine their own actions and motivations. It is an invitation to look at privilege and power and how those things can be used to support marginalized groups, instead of perpetuating an inequitable society.

Participants in this full day workshop should already have a solid background in Indigenous issues in Canada.


Below is a listing of the most commonly requested workshops. They can be tailored for presentation to audiences from 20 to 500, as needed. They can also be tailored to the required format; key note address, plenary session, workshop, etc. Optimal time frames have been supplied for each session, though that as well is adaptable to your needs.

Workshops can also be developed in direct consultation with you, designed to meet your specific needs.

Foundations of Cultural Competency

Full Day

This training is the introductory foundation to an examination of First Nation/Aboriginal issues in Canada today. The main purpose is to provide participants with the tools they need in order to begin to establish healthy , viable relationships with First Nation/Aboriginal communities and clients. It has been modified and improved over 15 years of interaction with audiences totalling close to 10,000 from diverse backgrounds. It has been described by participants as the most concise, clear and accessible training they have ever received.

Canadian history as it pertains to Aboriginal people is not pretty. In this presentation, Kelly takes great care to prepare participants to view history from a balanced, guilt free perspective. Understanding how participants react to information informs the presentation to ensure it is accessible. This way, participants can look through the horrors of assimilation to the resulting conditions with a basic understanding and a desire to participate in a new, healthier future.

Once a preliminary causal understanding is met, participants then examine current forces affecting health and wellness in First Nation/Aboriginal communities, and the realities of life both on and off reserve. This leads into a discussion on the tools needed by outside agencies in order to create the necessary relationship with Aboriginal communities.

This training is equally effective to all levels of service provision, and is of value to administrators, managers and front line staff.

Aboriginal Perspectives and Relationship Building

Two Days

An expanded version of Aboriginal Awareness - A Historical Perspective, this workshop expands on the foundations to provide tools for building relationships with Aboriginal indivduals and communities. Particpants will examine historical causes of trauma and the resulting impacts on today's perspectives.

By completion of this training, participants will have a number of tools to use to create healthy, lasting and effective relationships with Aboriginal persons, communities and agencies.

An Aboriginal Perspective on Health

2 hours

Study after study has shown that Aboriginal people in Canada describe a much lower standard of health than the rest of the population. In order to improve the health status of Aboriginal people, we need to study the causal effects, and the lingering effects of historical trauma. This workshop focuses on the implications of colonization on the health of Aboriginal people, and discusses the next steps to a pathway of greater health and wellness.

This workshop is perfectly suited to any and all people working in health care provision or planning. The above graphic recording was done during a presentation of this workshop in November, 2008.

The Gifts of the Seven Grandfathers - A Modern Perspective

2 hours, or key note address

A lot of people are talking about the Seven Grandfather Teachings today. I think we're missing the most important message. They are not teachings, but rather gifts. Gifts to the First Peoples of Turtle Island for them to use to achieve healthy, balanced lives. We don't have to earn them, we don't have to be worthy of them, we don't have to go looking for them, they are gifts for us to use every day. And it's about time we started.

This presentation focuses on the gifts we have as a people and how to utilize them in a modern context. Uplifting and hopeful, it's a broad strokes blueprint for recovering from the past and embracing the future. Equally effective for people of all races and backgrounds, it can be the first brick in a bridge to reform relationships that are in tatters after generations of assimilation policies.

Healing the Residual Effects of the Residential School System

3 hours

The multigenerational trauma associated with the residential school system has been well documented. The impacts of that system on the survivors and their families have been extreme. To fully appreciate the resulting conditions, it is important to look at the impacts on Aboriginal communities and nations. Through the use of a traditional teaching of the life cycle, this workshop will examine the dismemberment of family relationships and community wellness in order to move towards healthier Aboriginal nations.

Harnessing Traditional Wisdom in Governance Models

3 hours

With the struggle towards sovereignty, the difficulties in adapting traditional governance models into 21 century structures are abundantly apparent. That doesn’t preclude the harnessing of traditional wisdom to create a model for wellness. This workshop will examine the Clan System and it’s basis in the notion of “a plurality of wisdoms”, as a template for healthy relationships and working structures.

Agency Wellness - A Traditional Model

Full Day

This workshop will help your team create a model for wellness that is unique to your agency. By utilizing the Clan System model, your team will create their own Clan System, where everyone feels equally valued and can see their contribution to the health of the organization. Empowering and enlightening, this may be the most effective staff and board training you can buy.

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