OC employees embrace Four Seasons of Reconciliation

By Public Affairs | July 9, 2020

British Columbia, Okanagan Nation Alliance and Canadian flags

Since introducing an opportunity in April to engage in Indigenous cultural sensitivity training via an online program, more than 110 Okanagan College employees have completed the Four Seasons of Reconciliation learning modules.

Producers explain that Four Seasons of Reconciliation “promotes a renewed relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians through transformative learning about truth and reconciliation.” As Okanagan College continues to engage in the process of developing an Indigenization strategy, this online resource, which takes about three hours to complete, has served as a starting point for many employees who want to better understand some of the issues that underpin the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action for our nation, and to think about where post-secondary education and Okanagan College fit into the picture. 

Gitan Rakhra, working on the Penticton campus, completed the program and noted:

“I see this course as a first step in shifting our perspective and ways of being in the world. I look forward to a day where we accept the realities of systemic racism in Canada as a baseline concept. Then together we can move forward, meaningfully. I am grateful for new insights this course has offered, such as the concept of broken treaties.”

“The Four Seasons of Reconciliation course offers significant knowledge that is missing for so many of us. As we navigate uncertain times, I am reconciling within myself both a fear of the unknown, and a deep gratitude for this moment, where so many of us are questioning, awakening, and unsettling ourselves. That is in the first place, how many of us came to take this course. Working from home, amidst a global pandemic and creating the space to focus our energies on what Truth and Reconciliation really means.”

“Going through the Four Seasons of Reconciliation course provided me with more information about First Nations peoples in Canada, their history, and current circumstances, and provided me with a different lens to view many aspects of the  current relationship between First Nations and Canada,” observed Criminal and Social Justice Professor John Mott. “It has prompted me to look more closely at some of my own attitudes and to ask myself how I can make some changes in the courses I teach to incorporate some aspects of First Nations’ legal systems into my courses to help dispel some of the harmful stereotypes that I grew up with.  It was news to me that the founding fathers of the United States modeled the US Constitution after the Great Law of Peace which were the legal articles that structured the Iroquois Confederacy’s Great League of Peace; the first democracy in North America.”

Four Seasons of Reconciliation is still available as an online course through Moodle for employees who are interested in engaging in the cultural sensitivity training that provides important insights into Canada’s history with Indigenous people. You can access the course by going to the employee course registration page. The CRN you’ll need to register is 90411 and the course code is BAED100. The course will be made available to you through Moodle.

Tags: Continuing Studies, Indigenization



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