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Learning Journey

In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, the CSCNS embarked on an organizational learning journey beginning in the fall of 2018. At the completion of that program and through various initiatives since, the CSCNS is steadfast in its commitment to deepening a better understanding of the truth of Canada’s shared history with Indigenous peoples, and to taking a leadership role to co-create shared learning spaces across the province to create dialogue, education spaces, and meaningful movement toward reconciliation.

As part of this responsive action, our goal is to continue to increase individual and organizational awareness about local Indigenous communities, build capacity to support and mobilize the non-profit sector. We believe that by helping to build a critical mass of citizens and change makers through education, dialogue, and right relations with Indigenous communities that genuine shifts in the ways we work in organizations, on  boards, and as communities that we collectively create a step closer towards reconciliation.

We further believe that true transformation happens at the level of self, systems, and society. These sessions are designed to enhance personal reflection and to begin to open a dialogue on how to implement change in our organizations. As such, we strongly encourage organizations to have both their staff and board teams participate in the Learning Journey together. Ideally, participants will learn progressively throughout the program so as to build on their knowledge. Because sessions are recorded, participants can watch and re-watch in a way that suits their schedule, though being on the live call will allow for further interaction.

We are excited to launch a 12-part Decolonization Learning Journey for the non-profit sector in partnership with Unama’ki College of Cape Breton University. This free education series will be delivered entirely on-line via live webinar, with recordings and resource materials available after each session. The series will be spread out from June to December of 2020 and will be launched in 4 series of learning, with each series consisting of 4 sessions.

Upcoming Sessions

Series 1:
Pre-Contact and Early History

  1. The Mi’kmaw Creation Story and pre-contact way of life with Stephen Augustine
  2. Netukulimk, Harvesting, Sustainable Ways of Living, and Seven Generations
  3. Contact and Historical Conflicts, Treaties, and Significance of Indigenous People’s Day
  4. Indian Reserves, the Indian Act, and Confederation

Series 2:
Indigenous Rights, Governance, and Residential Schools

(beginning September 2020)

Series 3:
National Inquiries, Two-Eyed Seeing, Education and Language, and Social Challenges

(beginning October 2020)

Series 4:
Now What - Incorporating reconciliation learning into our work and everyday lives

(beginning November 2020)

Proudly partnered with
Unama'ki College

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With the support of the Departments of
Communities, Culture, & Heritage
and Labour & Advanced Education

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Your Hosting Team for the June Sessions


Recorded Sessions

Missed the live session? All the recordings of our past sessions are available to access below!

The Mi’kmaw Creation Story and Pre-Contact Way of Life

With Stephen Augustine

The L'nu or Mi’kmaw Creation Story describes the creation of the world. The Creation Story establishes the morals, principles, and values between the Mi’kmaq and their environment. L'nu people have always negotiated their survival through ceremonies and developed significant relationships with plants, animals, water, fire, and air.

Stephen Augustine
Associate Vice President, Indigenous Affairs and Unama'ki College

This session was recorded on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 at 1:00pm (ADT)

Netukulimk, Harvesting, Sustainable Ways of Living, and Seven Generations

With Clifford Paul

All activities between L’nu and the natural world are governed by netukulimk. Netukulimk is based in respect for the land, waters, plants, animals, and fish. There are laws of nature within netukulimk that dictate when it is appropriate to hunt, fish, or harvest. Harvesting practices have changed from those that were employed before European arrival, and there has been a gradual evolution of how L’nu hunt and fish as a result. Mi’kmaw harvesters use modern equipment; however, the interaction with nature remains the same. They continue to employ lessons learned from their Elders, offer ceremonies, prayers and medicines, and teach the younger generations the rights and responsibilities required to harvest with respect. Netukulimk and Mi’kmaw natural law play a significant role in how L’nu approach sustainability.

Clifford Paul
Moose Management Coordinator, Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources

This session was recorded live on Tuesday, June 9th, 2020 at 1:00pm (ADT)

Contact and Historical Conflicts, Treaties, and Significance of Indigenous People’s Day

With Stephen Augustine

Indigenous people have lived in North America since time immemorial. There is significant diversity between Indigenous nations. Before European arrival, neighbouring Indigenous nations engaged in treaty-making, formalizing and defining relationships. Political, military, or trade endeavours established alliances between nations; however, conflicts were not absent between these nations. During early exploration, Europeans claimed the rights of sovereignty, property, and trade in the regions that they seemingly “discovered.” In 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived in North America; after this time there was an influx of Europeans from England and France in search of resources. Contrary to the fishermen before them, European explorers were not solely in search of resources, but became increasingly interested in the territory.

Stephen Augustine
Associate Vice President, Indigenous Affairs and Unama'ki College

This session was recorded on Tuesday June 16th, 2020 at 1:00pm (ADT)

Indian Reserves, the Indian Act, and Confederation

With Cheryl Knockwood

Treaties are agreements made between two, or possibly even several nations or governments, and are meant to govern the relationship between parties. Between 1725 and 1762, the British Crown, the Mi’kmaq, and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people signed a series of Treaties of Peace and Friendship. Within these treaties, L’nu and Wolastoqiyik did not give up the title and rights to their land, nor did they give up their status as sovereign nations.

Cheryl Knockwood
Governance Coordinator, Membertou Heritage Centre

This session was recorded live on Tuesday June 23rd, 2020 at 1:00pm (ADT)


Additional Resources

Looking to continue your learning?
Click the link below to find additional resources we've compiled to support your Decolonization Learning Journey!