For example, Michael covered how The Canadian Constitution Act 1982 section 35 (1) recognizes and affirms Aboriginal and Treaty rights, and recognizes First Nations, Métis and Inuit as the three distinct groups. He explained how these terms, themselves, are colonial constructs, and when possible, it’s best to be specific when referring to a community.
Michael noted that a key part of personal accountability is cultural humility. This involves making a commitment to continually explore and question our own values and cultural identities and how they’ve been shaped by society. We should also be questioning how our identities impact our beliefs, as well as the stereotypes and biases we hold. This isn’t an easy process – but it’s important.
A few ways to start doing this work on a personal level include seeking out learning materials and engaging with Indigenous peoples, while deferring to their expertise on topics most impacting them. Institutionally, leadership can support this process by offering development resources, for example, by inviting experts like Michael to run Indigenous Cultural Awareness training for staff and leadership.