Participant Profile – Graeme Bethell, Cultural Perspectives Training
I was encouraged to take Cultural Perspectives Training by a friend of mine but was a little reluctant at first. I caved and enjoyed a very fruitful day of learning and reconnecting to my core principles. I did not foresee that it would reconnect me to my own Maori Indigenous heritage to the degree that it has.
We all need to do our part in the healing process by recognizing the impact of the atrocities the Indigenous people of Canada have endured, first by the British and followed by the government of Canada, through legislation and confiscation of land and culture. The genocidal practices designed to destroy communities by forcing people onto reserves, separating children from their families and the subsequent emotional, physical and sexual abuse they experienced.
I believe our government needs to do the right thing and steps should be taken immediately to correct past transgressions both provincially and federally. The steps should address healing, caregiving, education, training, and economic development with supportive oversight and capacity development where it is needed.
Reconciliation means developing and delivering rightful restitution for all of the wrongs that have occurred to Indigenous people in Canada. It means restoring the natural resources, traditional lands and financial compensation for what was historically confiscated and taken away from them. This can only occur after recognizing and acknowledging the full effects of what transpired. Self-determination is central to recovery.
My taking action to support Reconciliation gave me a feeling of satisfaction and relief. I have always had a community focus in my life but I had drifted off course somewhat and this training has refocused my efforts and given me voice. Since taking Cultural Perspectives Training I have been reaching out to work with First Nations communities and organizations to help where I can.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about participating in CPT?
Do it. It can only benefit you. It may even make you emotionally stronger.
What do you wish other people knew about Indigenous Perspectives Society?
I wish they knew this training is available to everyone. It was a great day of learning.
Cultural Perspectives Training is 7 hours of in-class learning complimented by 8 hours of online learning completed over 4 weeks of study.
To register for the February 28, 2017 training session visit http://ipsociety.ca/cultural-competency-training/cptraining/