Canadore College has embarked on a seven-week Indigenous interprofessional cultural safety training program for students and health care professionals.

Biigiiweyan, which means “coming home,” is a pilot cultural safety training program that the school says redefines interprofessional training. The weekly sessions use Indigenous ways of knowing and relating, as well as live actor simulation, to train health care students and professionals to work together across disciplines to offer culturally safe health care to Indigenous peoples.

“The program explores Indigenous approaches to healing and wellness,” said Patricia Chabbert, business and Indigenous relations manager at Canadore College, “and supports healthcare post-secondary students and current practitioners in connecting with Indigenous health services and practices in our community.”

Thirty applicants from around the community, including from the North Bay and Parry Sound District Health Unit and the North Bay Police Service, as well as students and faculty from Canadore College and Nipissing University, will attend the seven-week training.

Sessions will be delivered in the Indigenous gathering space within The Village, the college’s wellness community focused on collaborative interprofessional education and the integration of Indigenous, Eastern and Western healing and wellness practices.

A wide range of topics will be covered, comprising of project introduction; colonization; Indigenous worldviews, healing and wellness practices; respect, relationship, reconciliation and accessing health resources and services; spiritual wellness practices; cultural safety, advocacy and transformational change; simulation and debrief discussion circle.

The Biigiiweyan program is funded in part through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and is one aspect of Canadore’s overarching cultural awareness strategy. The college has been delivering Walk-A-Mile to college employees and external partners, such as Ontario Northland, for over three years.

If you are interested in developing your cultural safety strategy and training, please contact Patricia Chabbert at patricia.chabbert@canadorecollege.ca or 705.474.7600 x. 5196.