Posted on February 22, 2024

New training program tackles anti-Indigenous racism

Vancouver Community College (VCC) will be offering a new training program focused on anti-racist facilitation.

Addressing Anti-Indigenous Racism in Adult Learning Environments is a pilot program (combining both in-person and online instruction) that’s designed to help facilitators and educators address Indigenous-specific racism in their work and teaching.

This VCC Award of Achievement program, delivered in partnership with the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC), begins March 4 and runs for six weeks.

“Indigenous-specific racism is a troubling dynamic that extends into virtually all sectors of Canadian society, from the classroom to the team meeting to the boardroom,” says Cheryl Ward, the reconciliation project team lead at BCAAFC.

“This program will help people develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills required to effectively respond to anti-Indigenous racism in their organizations,” adds Leslie Varley, BCAAFC Executive Director.

David Kirk, VCC’s Dean of Curriculum & Pedagogy, says reconciliation begins with building relationships, developing understanding, and allowing for Indigenous Elders and community members to collaborate on classroom initiatives or projects in the community.

“As my Elders have shared with me over the years, it is how we connect and interact with people that is the most important thing. This new pilot project with the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres is so important in VCC building relationships with Indigenous communities moving forward with our commitment to reconciliation,” he says.

Who should take this program?

Those who are new and practicing facilitators teaching in adult education environment with particular focus on Indigenous facilitators working at the community-based level should consider attending.

It’s both for racialized and non-racialized facilitators, particularly those working alongside Indigenous facilitators in an interracial co-facilitation setting, who may be dealing with anti-Indigenous racism in their teaching/facilitation.

What are the prerequisites?

There are no prerequisites for taking this micro-credential.

All interested applicants are eligible to apply. However, given the limited space, there will be a selection process before applicants are accepted into the program.

What credentials are awarded for completion?

Upon successful completion of all the three courses, the participants will receive an Award of Achievement, which carries VCC’s name and is recognized across Canada.

What is the cost of tuition?

Tuition is $3,200.

Sponsorship for tuition and accommodation costs for the pilot program may be available for qualified applicants affiliated with a local BCAAFC. Sponsorship decisions will be made by the BCAAFC on a case-by-case basis. Please inquire for more information.

Learn more about Addressing Anti-Indigenous Racism in Adult Learning Environments.