Indigenous Cultural Competence Course

The IRG offers one of the most successful and sought after course on the topic – the ©Indigenous Cultural Competence course.  Offered in 1-day and 2-day in-person formats across Canada by Certified ICC facilitators, the learning experience covers cultural competence, history of Canada, reconciliation and more.

Excellent presentation style, expertise and ability to move through difficult content.” February 2017 session participant.

“A+++, love this – excellent and necessary information and challenge to do better.”  August 2017 session participant.

“Highlight is having a deeper understanding of the history which allows for open conversation about ways in which we can support one another.”  January 2016 participant.

The ICC course is an in-person 1-day or 2-day learning experience about cultural competence and opportunities to contribute to reconciliation.  Topics include an overview of Indigenous Canada, cultural competence or capacity, history of Canada including residential schools and the potential of intergenerational trauma, resilience of Indigenous communities, role of ally, challenging racism, and the opportunities to contribute to reconciliation. Based in mainstream and Indigenous knowledges of adult education theory and practice, and led by Certified ICC Facilitators, participants will learn from the expert facilitators as well as learn from and teach other through discussion and interaction.  The evidenced-based curriculum uses experiential and reflective learning approaches to cultural competence and safety, while upholding a strength-based perspective.

Why is it needed?

Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Murray Sinclair has noted that “Reconciliation is about forging and maintaining respectful relationships. There are no shortcuts.”  The ICC course is designed to support effective relationships, with the image of gathering around the fire to get to know each other, by first knowing our shared history on this land – a story of hundreds and hundreds of years.

The history of Canada has at times been hidden, from the original intent and long-term outcomes of the Indian Residential Schools, to the broken agreements and treaties between governments and Indigenous communities, to the ongoing struggles over competing definitions of Indigenous identity.  This is the history of Canada, and when it remains hidden, it’s too easy for some to blame Indigenous for their struggles.  When the facts of history are uncovered, and in safety people ask questions to learn more, then we start to build real relationship based in truth.

Once we share truth, we can start to consider reconciliation.  The Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, along with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples both set out some markers on the journey.  But with any journey, it starts with one step.  Many Canadians are considering what is their first step?  What can I do to contribute? How can I make a difference?

This is the Indigenous Cultural Competence experience – a safe place to remember the past so we know where we are today, so that we can honestly and thoughtfully think about where we want to go in the future.  An adult learning experience about your influence and potential to contribute, in supportive and strength-based discussions with others who share your passion to learn more, to do better.

Testimonials from Participants

“The highlight was knowing that there are people who are able and willing to make positive change.”

“I don’t have the words yet that would describe what this training has done for me. It is transformative and I thank you. There were so many highlights, perhaps the history and cultural competence discussions were particular highlights.”

“The highlight was learning more about the history of our own [Indigenous] people.”

“One of the best facilitators I’ve ever had at a workshop. Created a safe environment for the conversation to take place, opened up with personal stories and created a sense that it’s ok to be vulnerable.  Did a great job of balancing uncomfortable topics with moments of levity. Shared some of the most profound lessons/learnings I’ve heard.”

“I appreciated the rational optimism of Rose and many participants in their hopes for a better future. Most important was the idea that the colonial experience is a tiny fraction of Indigenous history of resilience and survival through the Ice Age.  That gave me so much hope!”

“I am a witness.  I also have some specific historical facts to spread the word. I have a better understanding of reconciliation. I have a responsibility.  I have much to learn.”

How to schedule an ICC course


Courses are generally purchased by organizations, this is a selection of organizations which have provided ICC to their employees recently:

  • Canadian Mental Health Association – Ottawa
  • BC Quality Council and Patient Safety
  • National Collaborating Centres of Health
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement
  • Northern Health, BC
  • Northern Health, Manitoba
  • Northwest Territories Health and Social Services
  • Nunavut Department of Culture and Heritage
  • Nunavut Department of Health
  • Nunavut Department of Education
  • Prince Albert Parkland Health Region, Saskatchewan
  • West Region Tribal Council
  • Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat
  • Community Foundations Canada

A note about the content – this curriculum and topics discussed include subject matter that may be disturbing to some.

@2017 IRG.  The ICC course and all related materials are copyrighted. All rights reserved.  Only Certified ICC Facilitators are authorized to give this course.