BLOG: Indigenous Training

CUPS is currently based in downtown Calgary which is located on the traditional land of Treaty 7. This territory includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Piikani and Kainai First Nations), the Tsuut’ina, and the Stoney Nakoda (Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations). Calgary is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III. We would like to thank the First Peoples of the land for their hospitality that enables us to continue our work within the community of Calgary.

CUPS recently held Indigenous Training through the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary. The purpose of this training is to build a knowledge base for staff around Indigenous people’s lands, traditions and beliefs. These trainings occur multiple times each year at CUPS to ensure that all new and current staff receive updated training on a regular basis.

The harmful treatment of Indigenous people within Canada has perpetuated trauma since Europeans landed on this continent. Examples of this treatment include, but are not limited to, harmful policies such as denying Indigenous women status as an Indigenous person, the creation of residential school and reserves, renaming Indigenous individuals using European names, restricting off-reserve movement, forbidding Indigenous people from speaking their language, and denying Indigenous people the right to vote. As a nation, we continue to grapple with the impact of colonization on Indigenous people. In a recent statement, Premier Rachel Notley acknowledged and apologized for the lasting trauma from government policy that dictated the removal of an unknown number of Indigenous children from their homes to be placed in the care of non-Indigenous families:

“It hurts just to imagine the heartbreak experienced by these families, along with the loss of language, culture and sense of belonging. Survivors can never replace what was taken, and I am sorry. We must acknowledge these wrongs and the toll they have taken, and thank survivors for their courage in speaking up.”

At CUPS, we continually we strive to acknowledge this trauma and embed trauma-informed care within our agency’s policies and procedures. We believe that providing training focused on Indigenous people’s history and current experiences, as well as the effect of government policies, will help staff understand the lasting impact of colonization. Thus, CUPS will continue to become more trauma-informed in order to offer more appropriate services and programs that meet the specific needs of the diverse populations that we serve.

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