Stepping Into the Circle

A Call to Conversation and Workbook for Exploring Indigenous Knowledge

 

Welcome! These resources are designed for all staff, all cultures and all women and seniors who participate in Sharing Circles. These resources are meant to serve as a first step in staff, volunteer or organizational development on Indigenous history, culture and knowledge. It is intended to enhance the learning and growth of the shelter and communities in which they serve. We are inviting all ACWS members to embark on this learning journey together with colleagues, community partners and the women, children and seniors that we serve so we can continue to build meaningful relationships, not only with those around us, but more importantly with ourselves so that we can be better helpers. 

Designed for both individual learning and use with Sharing Circles of staff or women. Download a module, read the introductory material, watch the webinar and complete the self reflections or group discussion questions. 

The ACWS In Conversation with Lewis Cardinal webinar series and the companion workbook, Stepping into the Circle, are two of the ways the Alberta Council or Women’s Shelters is working to fulfill our Statement of Principles, Values and Commitments to Actions for Indigenous Women, Girls and their Families. The Statement was created in response the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report and the 94 Calls to Action, and serves as the foundation of relationship between the ACWS, First Nations Women’s Shelters, and for the Indigenous women, girls, and their families, that are served by all women’s shelters in this province.

 

Introduction
Stepping into the Circle: A call to conversation
and workbook exploring Indigneous knowledge
 
Workbook Intorduction and How-To 

 

Download

Module 1

Foundations of Indigenous Worldview

“According to tradition, the government and law of
Native culture were designed to produce harmony and peace.”
Caroline Yellowhorn, Elder.
Understanding differing worldviews can provide a
basis for understanding actions, reactions, and
interactions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous
peoples and communities. In the video Lewis talks
about the importance and sacredness of relationships,
Ceremony and the importance of Creation stories.
Lewis talks about how what we do today effects
those around us and the next 7 generations. The
module further explores key tenets of Indigenous
worldviews, how they shape cultural, political and
social practices of Indigenous and non-Indigenous 
societies, and how understanding our own and other’s
worldviews is essential to building trusting, productive
relationships.

View Webinar

Download Module

Module 2
Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women: 
Inquiry and Action
 
A conversation about the MMIW inquiry and
action with Elder Tina Fox and Stephanie Harpe.

View Webinar

Module Coming Soon

Module 3
Treaty Relations: First Nations
Perspectives, We Are All Treaty People
 
A conversation about First Nations perspectives 
on treaty making, what it means to 'be in treaty', and
how undersanding treaty relationships affect our 
relations with Indigenous individuals and communities. 
 

View Webinar

Module Coming Soon

Module 4

Building Relations Part 1: Lessons From Lewis

Lewis Cardinal has been building bridges between
Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in different
capacities throughout his life. Join Lewis as he shares
some of the lessons he has learned (some the hard way),
explores the core communication principles, and answers
your questions about practical steps to take to build stronger
bonds between communities, organizations and individuals.

View Webinar

Module Coming Soon

Module 5
Indigenous Women in Indigenous Societies
 
Professor Tracy Bear joinsLewis for a conversation
about how Indigenous societies function, the integral role
of women, how colonizationintentionallydisempowered
women and how Indigenouswomen and communities
are reclaiming their traditions.

View Webinar

Module Coming Soon

Module 6

Building Relations Part 2: Stories From Community

Karen MacKenzie from the Edmonton Police Commission
and Elder Betty Letendre will join Lewis for a conversation
about how non-Indigenous organizations are working to build
more positive relationships with Indigenous organizations
and the Indigenous communities they serve. 

View Webinar

Module Coming Soon

Module 7
Comtemporary Indigenous Women's Leadership
 
Elder Ruth ScalpLock, Dr. Cora Voyageur and 
Stephanie Harpe will join Lewis for the final conversation
in our series all about Indigenous women's leadership.
Contemporary history, modern movements and how
shelters can support future Indigenous women leaders.

View Webinar

Module Coming Soon
Module 8
Circle Process
 
“We do not all have to agree, but it is important that we all listen.”
Circle process is an old practice that many tribal people used as
a means of communication. It is a way to hold space for those
that feel voiceless and a way for those to be heard in a good way,
without judgments or blame. In the video Dr Maggie Hodgson, 
Sharon Steinhauer and Mary McDermott share their experiences
participating, facilitating and teaching Circle Process and offer
guidance for incorporating Circles into shelter programming.
The module serves as a support to help learners understand Circle
Process and become more comfortable using Circles in shelter
with staff and women.

View Webinar

Download Module

 

Project Background

This training webinar series will incorporate an Indigenous lens, with a specific emphasis on Indigenous women (who make up more than half of the provincial women’s shelter population) who are disproportionately affected by sexual victimization, domestic violence, inequalities, discrimination and poverty[1].  Additionally, training will provide education about the history and impact of intergenerational trauma (the collective spiritual, emotional, and psychological wounding over the lifespan and across generations) on Indigenous peoples in order to support family healing[2].

 

Project Purpose

Support members to:

·       Increase the awareness of Indigenous history, knowledge, and cultural traditions among shelter staff and volunteers at all levels; and

·       Increase the level and quality of relationships with Indigenous women, their families, and communities.

 

 


[1] Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters. (2015). Supporting the Health of Victims of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse through Community Programs. Public Health Agency of Canada.

[2] Cunningham, A., Baker, L., & Gorman, K. (2014). Walk Proud, Dance Proud: Footprints on a Healing Journey. Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters.