How to be a Better Settler #8: Cultural awareness training is for EVERYONE

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Not just for those businesses and organizations that work “for” or “with” Indigenous people.

Because guess what: Indigenous people are–spoiler alert–everywhere. There are Indigenous people working in your organization. You have Indigenous clients. Your neighbour is Indigenous. The business down the hall or in the building next door is Indigenous. You hire Indigenous people to do work your biz can’t do, like media, communications, catering, crisis management…you name it.

You just may not know it. Because not every Indigenous person is walking around with a big “I AM INDIGENOUS” sign on their chest (and the reasons for that are the subject of another post…).

And this is why you, your business, your organization, your community needs cultural awareness training. If you are not Indigenous, you need to become more aware. You need to learn about your blind spots. You need to learn about how you can become a better settler, just by learning more about Indigenous people nationally and locally. You need to educate yourself.

Imagine how forward-thinking it would appear to people inside and outside your organization to have Indigenous cultural awareness training even if you don’t target Indigenous people as part of your strategic plan. Not because they are some special interest group you have defined as one that needs to be better analyzed, understood and supported to meet some particular business aims or regulatory obligations, but because you understand that you are all part of the same community, and that learning about Indigenous culture and our shared history is just the right thing to do? Also, it’s a really great opportunity to make connections and form relationships.

Imagine how people would talk about your organization and your business. Imagine how people would think that you get it, or you’re starting to get it.

Wouldn’t that make you feel really good?

And wouldn’t that recognition probably make the Indigenous people you are in contact with feel good too?

Think about it.

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