Community Support Worker Training

May 26, 2022
Shining The Spotlight Issue8 WEBSITE 06

Indigenous women, girls, Two-Spirit, transgender, and gender-diverse (WG2STGD) people are disproportionately influenced by the effects of intergenerational trauma caused by the residential school system, Indian day schools, and the ongoing crisis of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. NWAC created a special training program to benefit those who are on this healing journey. The program is designed to provide tools, methods, and self-care strategies to community support workers (CSWs) and their staff who support individuals on these healing journeys.

After conducting a sharing circle, the research team, along with Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and CSWs, developed two- and six-hour training sessions for community support workers and their staff based on their recommendations.

Each training session consisted of three parts:

  • eugenics, genocide, and settler colonialism
  • Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and well-being; free, informed, prior consent; trauma-informed care; and integrating Western and Indigenous methods using Two-Eyed seeing approaches
  • allyship, reconciliation, and self-care

The section on the history of eugenics, genocide, and Canada’s involvement is emotionally and spiritually difficult. It explains how Indigenous Peoples became the target of settler colonialism policies and practices, but the content is an essential piece.

By giving CSWs and their staff information on the histories and legacies of settler colonialism and how this has impacted Indigenous communities, we hope to help CSWs support those who are experiencing intergenerational trauma, mental health crises, and gender-based violence. Our goal is to also integrate Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and well-being into their toolkit.