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Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Aboriginal Awareness Training develops deeper respect, greater understanding and better workplaces

New employee sessions begin in September and will run throughout the year


Being respectful in the workplace can mean many things, but at Saskatchewan Polytechnic we have defined it to mean that we care about one another. Looking to foster more compassion and empathy amongst colleagues, the Human Resources department has refreshed our Aboriginal Awareness Training program that is open to current full-time or part-time staff. Sask Polytech has been offering Aboriginal Awareness Training in different capacities since 2003.

"We want to provide awareness and dispel any myths and misconceptions about Indigenous peoples and create a positive workplace for everyone," says Misty Brabant, representative workforce consultant. "Our workforce is incredibly diverse and we want to make sure we are providing an understanding and welcoming environment."

Currently offered a few times throughout the academic year, the program provides participants a general history of Indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan and Canada, as well as a discussion regarding Indigenous belief systems. It also provides an opportunity to discuss and explore the impacts of residential schools on generations of Indigenous peoples to help foster a culture of understanding and acceptance.   

"Sharing knowledge with other people is a great way to stop judgment and dismantle misconceptions about the people we teach and work with," says Brabant.  "It's a very proactive initiative Sask Polytech is doing. It's important to have people understand one another."

There are plans to develop the program into a mandatory aspect of the new employee training, making sure the lessons and information are shared with everyone who works at Sask Polytech.

"We want to make sure our workforce represents the communities in which we work, teach and learn," says Betty Mutwiri, director of Human Resources, Strategy Development. "Saskatchewan Polytechnic strives to be a great place to work and by developing programs like this one we can ensure that everyone who works for us has a great experience."

If you'd like to learn more about the program, or find out how to sign up for the next session, please contact Misty Brabant, representative workforce consultant, at misty.brabant@saskpolytech.ca.

This is the fourth instalment of a four-part series highlighting the core values at Saskatchewan Polytechnic: excellence, respect, integrity and sustainability.

Respect: We care about one another and about our workplace. We foster an open and inclusive environment that embraces diverse cultures, heritages and opinions; we learn, work and support each other as one team.

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