Indigenous Perspectives Society

Monthly Archives: October 2016

Cultural Humility – What does it mean?

Cultural HumilityIn a world that celebrates knowledge and expertise, we invest a lot of time and money in learning to increase our sense of knowing. Knowledge is powerful. We are told that when we go into a situation we need to know how to handle it, how to keep control, how to do the right thing, how to be safe. Knowledge protects us from our fear.

As a child, when I began to raise my head from playing with my toys and started to observe the world outside of my immediate familial relationships, which were themselves fractured and unreliable, I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to create what I was seeing. The world of social division, war, consumerism, and environmental destruction I was witnessing was a stark contrast to how I felt about those I loved and the beauty I saw, as imperfect as it was. Acquiring knowledge was the only way to make sense of any of it.

When I went to university I was on a quest. I wanted to find out how the world works, how it ended up the way it is and why. I studied anthropology, history, geography, sociology, philosophy, and political science in an attempt to piece together how we all ended up here behaving the way we do. I learned a lot. I learned so much that the year following completing my degree I was part know-it-all and part completely disillusioned. I remember a friend saying to me, “You think you know, but you don’t.” I disconnected for a while, not knowing how to best be of service.

Emerging from healthcare and social work interactions is a concept of Cultural Humility. It is a view that encourages people to cultivate self-awareness and realize their own places of power, privilege and prejudice. By reflecting on what has shaped our views, and what may have impacted the views of others, we can cultivate compassion and meet each person with our cups empty, to be filled with the information they share about who they are. We are only experts on our own experience. Sometimes the best education teaches us how much we don’t know, how much we can’t know, and with that knowledge we learn to be fully present.

About the Author

Alesha Hayes is the Business Development Coordinator for the Indigenous Perspectives Society –Creating Excellence through Training and Leadership. A non-indigenous ally, Alesha was born and raised in Secwepemc territory and now enjoys life in Lkwungen territory on southern Vancouver Island. For more information on Cultural Perspectives Training email her at and visit

IPS Awarded Another CARF Three-Year Accreditation

The Indigenous Perspectives Society staff have continued to strive towards excellence in all that they do. Check out this video of the staff while they were hard at work preparing for the CARF re-accreditation survey.

Check out our CARF video HERE!

Media Release

Indigenous Perspectives Society awarded three-year CARF accreditation

October 6, 2016

Victoria, British Columbia – CARF International announced that the Indigenous Perspectives Society has been accredited for a period of three years for its training programs: the Aboriginal Social Worker Training and the Reconciliation from an Indigenous Perspective Training. This latest accreditation is the second consecutive Three-Year Accreditation that the international accrediting body, CARF, has awarded to Indigenous Perspectives Society.

This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process and has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit that its programs and services are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality. For more information about the accreditation process, please visit the CARF website at

The CARF Survey Report summary states that “IPS is a highly respected organization” with the “skills and knowledge to further the training and understanding for persons working in communities throughout Canada. There is ongoing research and innovative thinking to work toward social change. This is evident throughout the several training courses offered by IPS.”

Linda Lucas, Executive Director said how honoured the Society is to receive a second three-year accreditation award from CARF. “The Society staff are doing a stellar job and I commend them for the work they are accomplishing in striving towards excellence in service delivery and operations.”

Creating Excellence Through Training and Leadership

About Indigenous Perspectives Society:

Indigenous Perspectives Society (IPS) is a not-for-profit organization that strengthens the voice of Indigenous communities through education and professional development. We have been providing Aboriginal Training, Policy and Research Services in British Columbia since 1994. Our training programs help foster a deeper understanding of Indigenous perspectives and cultural differences, and we help build successful partnerships and relationships with Indigenous communities, stakeholders and government partners. We also build capacity and support self-determination for Indigenous communities by providing leadership in research, policy development and contributing to social change.

For additional information, contact Linda Lucas, Executive Director at 250 391 0007 extension 222.