Bringing Reconciliation to collegeEducation
Indigenous world view, treaties and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action is becoming part of the education provided through Great Plains College.
Robin Bendig is Métis and the program coordinator for the college.
“There was definitely interest in the college to learn more about Indigenous community, culture, history,” she said
“Through working with Reconciliation Saskatoon I’ve been better able to enhance these initiatives, working with staff in the college.”
Most recently the college is engaging their staff and students, as well as community partners, through Indigenous Awareness Trainings held at all seven campuses across the province. The first one was in Kindersley in January. The number of participants varies, but at the training at the Warman campus there were 71 people registered.
During the workshop, Lyndon Linklater, a speaker from the Office of the Treaty Commissioner’s Bureau, shares his knowledge. The presentations are 3.5 hours long and includes time for questions.
Bendig seeks to hear back from the people who attend through evaluations and the feedback she has received is positive. One community partner wrote that the presentation was “a real eye opener,” and a student wrote that this presentation, “debunks myths.”
Reconciliation and Indigenous knowledge is an important piece for Bendig as the college moves forward. She said her personal call to action “is to bring greater awareness of Indigenous communities, culture, history,” to the campuses.
Even though Great Plains is just getting started as a college they have been busy. In the last year alone, they have: worked with others to participate in a Blanket Exercise, held a tipi raising, offered an Elders Workshop series in partnership with the Saskatoon Police Service, and formed an Indigenous Engagement Committee for Great Plains College, with representation from each of the campuses.
“We’ve grown so much in the last year, I can’t wait to see where we go from here,” Bendig said.
Anything that the Great Plains College hosts Bendig likes to actively promote to the community. Her goal is to encourage families to learn together in the future. For information on events you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org