The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce's Indigenous Awareness Training is coming to Yorkton, and it has already been a huge success.
The Parkland College, which offers the training, will see employers and managers from the City participate in the course happening late next month.
The workshop covers the history of Saskatchewan's First Nation and Metis people from pre-contact to today, as well as treaties and the truth and reconciliation commission's calls to action.
Juanita Polegi, the executive director of the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce, said that she felt this course is important due to the number of young indigenous people entering the workforce. She wants to make sure that employers are properly educated.
Nick Crighton, the director of Indigenous Engagement with the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce and who leads the sessions, said that it is a chance for people to learn what they were not taught.
"People never had an opportunity to learn in school because they weren't in our Saskatchewan curriculum," he said. "Now with our access to information online, I think it's important to help to bridge that gap between the indigenous and non-indigenous community, because ultimately what I see, and what the hope is that we want to heal as a community together and what I start talking and dispelling some of these myths and opening up dialogue on this subject, I found that people realizing that we have more similarities than we have differences."
"I think a lot of the times a lot of our non-indigenous people sometimes feel like they've been guilted or they carry this heavy guilt with them when they start learning about the history," he continued. "I always try to remind people that they didn't enforce these policies, but they adopted the aftermath of what these policies have done and are continuing to do to indigenous people, and so the idea is how can we work together to move forward."
The course, which featured 18 available spots, is sold out, and Polegi adds that the first course's success will hopefully lead to more courses in the future.