This five-week online course will introduce you to Indigenous principles and practices for community work that build upon strengths and assets for action. We offer you an open and safe space to learn from one another’s lived experiences and stories of community building. Our goal is to provide you with community-building tools and methods to meet the needs of present-day Indigenous families, communities, and Nations. By the end of the course, you will identify changes you want to see in your community or organization and create an engagement plan to begin putting your plan into practice. Keep in mind that community building is a long-term endeavour that braids together many voices, visions, and partners. Our approach is informed by more than a decade of working with Indigenous graduates, mentors, and Elders and emphasizes the abundance of gifts, talents, and contributions that are alive in all Indigenous communities.
- Rediscover your community through a lens of abundance.
- Examine historical and colonial impacts on Indigenous community-building and identify decolonizing practices for engagement.
- Challenge and reflect on the assumptions and practices that can help or hinder you in creating and sustaining meaningful community change.
- Explore Indigenous examples of community-driven development.
- Practice participatory tools and methods for uncovering community strengths and putting them into action for community projects or advocacy efforts.
Using online tools such as Zoom and Moodle, our weekly sessions offer a variety of ways for you to learn and reflect, through:
- Mini-talks, presentations, case studies and guest speakers.
- Pairs, small and large group activities and experience-sharing.
- Learning by doing – applying tools and methods between sessions.
- Critical questioning and reflection.
Level of Commitment:
We expect that you will spend 6-8 hours per week on this course. Your commitment includes attending all weekly two-hour live online sessions; these sessions will not be recorded. You will be assigned 1-2 readings/videos/podcasts with reflection questions to complete before each session. At the end of each of the five sessions, we will give a realistic “practice” exercise to understand better how each principle or tool can work in your context.
Integrating your new tools and principles will be a gradual and cumulative process. The final assignment will be to create a community engagement action plan. We will also produce a resource collection of your Indigenous community development stories for broader educational use in future programs.
Who Should Apply?
If you have little or limited experience and familiarity with community-based initiatives, and you demonstrate a motivation to create positive and meaningful community change please apply. You may be a community-builder, advocate, volunteer, or leader. The maximum capacity for this course is 20 participants in order to optimize your learning experience and connection through smaller working groups.