Are you curious about Canada’s Indigenous cultures? If you are, that’s a good thing — learning more about the rich histories of these diverse communities is integral to ensuring equality and diversity. What’s more? You can bring these same values into the workplace and contribute to a collaborative company culture!
These days, employers tend to look beyond the surface of relevant skills and experience to find top candidates who are interested in learning more about the world around them. Celebrating diversity and being knowledgeable about Canada’s multicultural landscape can make for a great employee who supports equity and appreciates all cultures in the workplace.
In celebration of Aboriginal Career Week at TalentEgg, we wanted to give you top 5 ways to learn about the traditions, histories, and philosophies of Canada’s Indigenous peoples.
1. Connecting with your school’s Aboriginal Services
Almost every college and university has an Aboriginal student services department like the First Nations House of Learning at the University of British Columbia, which regularly hosts events such as lectures and traditional feasts that are open to the public. These programs are often lead by Elders, who are seen as role models and advisors in their community for their deep knowledge of Aboriginal culture and history. Your school may even have an Elder in Residence with whom you can schedule appointments! Visit your campus Aboriginal Services office or explore their website and social media for more information about Indigenous programs and events at your university. These resources are an amazing way to learn more about Indigenous communities!
Here is a quick list to get you started:
2. Going to your city’s Native Canadian Centre
Interested in taking part in weekly opportunities to learn about Aboriginal cultures? Try going to your local Native Canadian Centre! These organizations offer a wide variety of educational programs on Indigenous cultures, including classes on languages and Aboriginal martial arts. For example, for a small membership fee ($10 for domestic students, $50 for international students), you can join the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto and participate in their Ojibway, Mohawk and Cree language classes! Native Canadian Centres may also have traditionally themed events such as Big Drum Socials where you can meet members of the community.
Check out these organizations that offer educational programs on Aboriginal culture:
3. Attending an annual pow wow
Do you enjoy festivals? If you do, definitely consider going to a pow wow! Pow wows are traditional gatherings that showcase Aboriginal art, music, dance and food from several Indigenous cultures. They usually take place during the summer months across Canada. To find the date, time and place of a pow wow near you, check out the listing on Beaded Dreams.
4. Celebrating National Aboriginal Day
Every year on June 21st, our government celebrates National Aboriginal Day. Many organizations, including university campuses, celebrate NAD, making it a great way to learn about Indigenous culture. For a full listing of NAD Indigenous events as well as the history behind the commemoration, try exploring the official website which gives you a full listing of all NAD events in Canada, province by province!
5. Reading online resources on Indigenous culture
If you’d like to read up on Indigenous cultures online, here are three digital resources that will give you a glimpse into Canada’s Aboriginal heritage:
- Government of Canada, Indigenous History: This page gives you an overview of key events in the history of Indigenous peoples, including the making of treaties and reconciliation efforts.
- Library and Archives Canada, Aboriginal History: Here, you can find out more about how Indigenous peoples have played a crucial role in defining Canada’s identity as a nation.
- Toronto Aboriginal Research Project, Final Report: The TARP Final Report is an extensive document detailing sociological and cultural information about Aboriginal peoples in Canada today.
Feeling inspired yet? Don’t wait — go out there and learn! It’s likely to set you on an incredible educational journey that will open your eyes to many cultures that you may not have learned about before. Getting to know Canada’s Indigenous cultures is a great way to support diversity and cross-cultural understanding, which will help you support inclusivity in the workplace and at school. You’ll also meet new people, accumulate fresh knowledge, and gain experiences that will help you become a stronger person and professional.