Being a part of the greater community and developing those relationships is an important part of the Workforce Development program. As such, throughout each Skills Development portion of the program, participants attend several events. For past cohorts, this has included:
- Job fairs
- Workshops at the Edmonton Public Library
- Indigenous sweats
- Pipe Ceremonies
- Walks to the funicular and around the area
- Visits to the Royal Alberta Museum
- Daytrips to Bissell’s Moonlight Bay Camp on Lake Wabamun
Our Indigenous Support Worker ensures that culture is closely interwoven into the daily Skill Development program. Aside from the events mentioned above, students start each day with a smudge ritual, prayers and songs. They also lead a sharing circle at the end of each week.
“The smudge really helps to set the day on a good path”
Cultural Workshops, including the Cultural Onion and Increasing Awareness of Cultural Stereotypes are also offered during the program allowing the group to bond over shared cultures and learn about new cultures together.
We’ve also incorporated teachings about the Medicine Wheel, movies about Indigenous culture and activities like bead-making into our curriculum.
Here are a few other things our students have learned:
- Indigenous plant knowledge
- Making traditional dream-catchers
- Protocols for tobacco and sweat ceremonies
- Ribbon skirt sewing
- Lanyard and Keychain assembly
Upon completion of the Skills Development program, participants are presented with a smudge kit
containing a smudge pan, sage, and matches, to acknowledge the efforts they each put forth to
make their journey successful and joyous.