Camosun launches shared Indigenous leadership program
June 6, 2022
Camosun College launched a unique, unparalleled program that addresses the need to practice trauma-informed relational, cultural, and strategic leadership when working with Indigenous communities and/or leading change in non-Indigenous organizations.
The Advanced Certificate in Ways of Indigenous Leadership & Learning program builds expertise in Indigenous leadership practices that reflect real-world and very current opportunities and challenges. As more organizations and institutions work towards reconciliation processes in Canada and beyond it becomes more critical to provide training to Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders that seek to make positive change.
“The world is experiencing some seismic shifts,” says Dr. Todd Ormiston, Executive Director of Eyēʔ Sqȃ’lewen – The Centre for Indigenous Education & Community Connections (IECC) at Camosun College. “The reveals of unmarked graves on the grounds of former Indian Residential Schools, The Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and recent studies such as Reclaiming Power and Place have made it glaringly obvious that social, economic, educational, and cultural change needs to occur in Canada.”
This 20-month part-time program is a partnership between Eyēʔ Sqậ’lewen and the Te Reo Māori and Pacific Studies department at Ara Institute in Christchurch, New Zealand. This blended program with NZ is primarily online, with an opportunity for students to gather together ‘in person’ each year. In year one, students will travel to Victoria for three weeks and in year two, students will travel to New Zealand for three weeks. Teachings will include classroom and on-the-land applied learning at both sites, with a focus on relational, cultural, and strategic elements of Indigenous leadership.
“There are parallels in New Zealand and shared histories of colonization, but some parts of the stories and some responses in New Zealand are different, such as Maori responses to the Treaty of Waitangi” adds Dr. Ormiston. This program enables students to learn collaboratively, from Indigenous scholars and cultural knowledge keepers in Turtle Island (North America) and Aotearoa (New Zealand).
“The WILL program gives learners the opportunity to know about and practice the kinds of leadership necessary as we move toward an Indigenized, decolonized future. We know we have hope. These future leaders can take us there.” says Dr. Ormiston.
Learn more at camosun.ca/will.
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