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Cultural Competency For Faculty, Staff And Students

Cultural Competency

Cultural competency is about YOU understanding your own beliefs, attitudes and biases and how these affect your relations with Indigenous communities. This knowledge is critical to your own personal growth (and societal change) and how you respectfully engage with Indigenous peoples. Cultural competency is a lifelong process and is not something you engage in once. The resources below are focused on this topic and are a good place to start.


​​​​​​Guide to Acknowledging First Peoples & Traditional Territory

This document offers the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) recommended territorial acknowledgement.


United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


Leading with Diversity

A document consisting of cultural competencies for teacher preparation and professional development.


Residential Schools: A Reading List

A list representing only a selection of the growing number of books and articles that have been written about the history and legacy of residential schools in Canada.


Guidelines for Implementing Culturally Competent Nursing Care

The purpose of this document is to present universally applicable guidelines for implementing culturally competent care. These guidelines can serve as a resource for nurses in various roles; clinicians, administrators, researchers, and educators by emphasizing cultural competence as a priority of care for the populations they serve.

Ontario Treaties

A site dedicated to learn more about the treaties, treaty relationships and treaty rights that shape Ontario.


Beyond 94-Truth and Reconciliation in Canada

An up to date status report on each call to action, as well as extensive summaries explaining those status reports.


Ontario Human Rights Commission

The Ontario Human Rights Code is a provincial law that gives everybody the right to be free from discrimination in five parts of society, called social areas, based on one or more grounds. The five social areas are: employment, housing, services and facilities (such as education, health care, police, government, shops or restaurants), unions and vocational associations, and contracts or agreements.


Reconciliation Canada

Born from the vision of Chief Dr. Robert Joseph Gwawaenuk Elder, Reconciliation Canada is leading the way in engaging Canadians in dialogue and transformative experiences that revitalize the relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. Their model for reconciliation engages people in open and honest conversation to understand our diverse histories and experiences.


The Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres

Founded in 1971, the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) works to support, advocate for, and build the capacity of member Friendship Centres across Ontario. The Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres also developed and delivers Indigenous Cultural Competency Training.


Cultural Competency- Working with Aboriginal Peoples: A Non-Native Perspective

A published article by the Native Social Work Journal at Laurentian University, written by a Native Human Services Graduate Student. Eric discusses how the lack of historical knowledge plays a key role in how we systemically continue to oppress the lives of First Nations people and how social workers in Canada should be aware of the challenges Aboriginal people face.


What does it mean to be culturally competent?

This article presents the definition of cultural competence and why it is so important for people to have their culture and cultural backgrounds acknowledge, respected and valued. The article explains the three elements of cultural competence; Awareness or attitudes, knowledge and skills.


Culturally Competent Nursing Care

Culturally Competent Nursing Care, A Challenge for the 21st Century is an article from the magazine Critical Care Nurse that discusses the need for critical care nurses to develop cultural competence, present a model for development of cultural competence, and describe common pitfalls in the delivery of culturally competent care.


How to Strengthen Cultural Competence in Nursing Practice

This article discusses the importance of cultural competency in nursing. Respecting the different cultures of patients is an important and necessary skill. We are reminded that distinct cultural practices may influence the care plan and even how a patient perceives his or her illness.

Wawahte-Stories of Residential School Survivors (documentary)

Wawahte began as a book and later made into an educational documentary. This documentary combines archival images with elements from the Wawahte audio book. The result is a presentation that is more powerful and accessible than ever.


Cultural Safety: Respect and Dignity in Relationships

A five-minute video that introduces cultural safety related to concepts in an easily understandable way.

Ted hosts thought-provoking talks given at events all of the world. The ted site is where you can find some great indigenous content in video format. (The impact of Residential Schools on Aboriginal Healthcare)

Dawn talks about residential schools and their impact on the people and their families who were involved. She passionately makes a plea for a link between what residential school survivors experiences, and how their future healthcare needs have to match the impacts of that experience. (Advocating for culturally competent education practices)

Dr. Arlene Arias is a licensed clinical social worker and possesses a doctoral degree in educational leadership. As a co-founder of Radical Advocates for Cross Cultural Education she is also a staunch advocate in the Greater Waterbury community for education equity and social justice on behalf of minority populations. (Cultural Competence in Mental Health)

Dr. Jessica Dere explains how culture makes a difference when thinking about mental health and mental illness. Across mental health research, clinical care and teaching, there are profound rewards to be had by truly understanding individuals in context.

Historical and Contemporary Realities: Movement Towards Reconciliation

The Traditional and Cultural Significance of the Lands Encompassing the District of Greater Sudbury and Area by Susan Manitowabi.


21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality

This book is based on a viral article, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act is the essential guide to understanding the legal document and its repercussion on generations of Indigenous Peoples, written by a leading cultural sensitivity trainer.


The Marrow Thieves

In The Marrow Thieves, Cherie Dimaline creates a near-future world which distinctly echoes our own, current and past traumas that have come back to repeat themselves, fiction with a basis in reality that gives the narrative a sheen of hard truths, following the trials and tribulations of a relatable cast of characters and their struggles to survive, and live their lives with the love and safety denied to them. The high-stakes tension of each scene pulls the reader along through the story, with a core message about our dreams and culture, which despite losses, has the potential to heal, and the power to restore.


Treaty Promises, Indian Reality: Life on a Reserve

This book is a story of triumph over adversity and oppression. In this very personal account of life on an Indian reserve and in residential schools, Harold LeRat, with the assistance of writer Linda Ungar, relates the history of the Cowessess people based on stories told by elders, research he did in connection with the land surrender, and his own recollections. In many ways, this book provides a look at the Indian reality of the lives of many First Nations peoples and the development of reserves on the Prairies.

Harold LeRat, a treaty Indian from the Cowessess First Nation, speaks from a wealth of experience, his own and that of his ancestors.


We interrupt This Stereotype

We Interrupt This Program: Indigenous Media Tactics in Canadian Culture, a new book out from UBC Press, highlights examples of how this is starting to change by examining Indigenous artists, media makers and journalists who push back on the stereotypes and colonial interpretations, creating new narratives of — and for — themselves.

To purchase this book, click here.


Colonized Classrooms-Racism, Trauma and Resistance in Post-Secondary Education

In Colonized Classrooms, Sheila Cote-Meek discussed how Aboriginal students confront narratives of colonial violence in the postsecondary classroom, while they are, at the same time, living and experiencing colonial violence on a daily basis.

Sheila Cote-Meek is an Anishinaabe-Kwe from the Teme-Augama Anishnabai. She is Associate Vice President of Academic and Indigenous Programs as well as a professor in the School of Indigenous Relations at Laurentian


Cultural Competence: A Primer for Educators (textbook)

Cultural Competence: A Primer for Educators, 2nd Edition, shows the basics of multicultural education strategies in a short, easy-to-use education textbook. The author also offers insights into the psycho-social dimensions of teaching culturally diverse populations. Thorough yet concise, this is the guide you will need to ensure that you emphasize the importance of diversity in your classroom.


Truth and Reconciliation in Canadian Schools

Truth and Reconciliation in Canadian Schools by educator and author Pamela Toulouse, Anishinaabe educator, highly sought after speaker and motivator, provides current information, personal insights, authentic resources, interactive strategies and lesson plans that support Indigenous and Non-Indigenous learners in the classroom. This book is for all teachers that are looking for ways to respectfully infuse residential school history, treaty education, indigenous contributions, First Nation, Inuit and Metis perspectives, Seven Grandfather Teachings, and sacred circle teachings into your teaching.

Pamela Rose Toulouse is an Anishinaabe-Kwe from Sagamok First Nation and an associate professor in Laurentian University’s School of Education.



Indigenous Cultural Competency Training

The Indigenous Cultural Competency Training is a platform to establish a process of promoting cultural competency for Indigenous relations with Canada. The facilitation is delivered in a sensitive, respectful manner to address complex-issues from a historical narrative that is inclusive to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous attendees.


The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto Presents Indigenize Our Minds

The Indigenize Our Minds Education Outreach Program is a not for profit program committed to providing an Indigenous perspective to Indigenous history, culture and language in North America. All of the presentations meet the requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum and provides Indigenous Cultural Sensitivity training and customized presentations based on the requests of Organizations, Agencies and Businesses.


Indigenous Cultural Competence Course

The Indigenous Reconciliation Group offers one of the most successful and sought after course on the topic Indigenous Culture Competence course. Offered in 1-day and 2-day in person formats across Canada by Certified, ICC facilitators, the learning experience covers cultural competence, history of Canada, reconciliation and more.


Indigenous Corporate Training INC.

Provides training courses on-site or online to a team organizing or individuals. Offers Courses in Indigenous Awareness, Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Consultation and Engagement, Creating an Indigenous Engagement Plan, How to Negotiate with Indigenous Peoples.  


Kairos Canada

Kairos is committed to truth, healing and reconciliation for the past, and Indigenous justice for the present. Current areas of priorities include decolonization and reconciliation education, through KAIROS most popular teaching tool “the KAIROS Blanket Exercise, implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation calls to Action.