Mandatory residential school awareness at Aurora College

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Staff and faculty at Aurora College will be receiving training sessions on the effects of colonization and residential schools in the NWT.

Aurora College and department of Education, Culture and Employment employees participate in a traditional cleansing ceremony led by Dene Elders Eileen Beaver and Henry Beaver, at the close of the Residential School Awareness training session at Thebacha Campus on August 28 and 29. photo courtesy of Aurora College

The awareness training, facilitated by Education, Culture and Employment, is expected to be completed by the end of September. The one-day experiential learning sessions aim to create understanding of the effects of residential schools and give all employees at the campus in Fort Smith the tools needed to support students.

The sessions include the opening and closing with traditional Indigenous ceremonies, history of residential schools and supporting Canadian legislation and policies, stories and experiences of survivors, a sharing circle and a blanket exercise.

Aurora College president, Jane Arychuk stated, “As the effects of residential schools and colonization in the NWT and Canada impact many Aurora College students, their families and their communities, the decision was made that all staff and faculty should attend training to help them to better understand these effects, and in turn, be better able to support our students.”

Sessions took place Aug. 28 and 29 at the Thebacha Campus in Fort Smith, May 25 and 26 in Inuvik and Aug. 17 in Yellowknife. Sessions will be held in Yellowknife in September and in other communities as required.