Indigenous Justice and Equity-Based Professional Development Learning  

Indigenous Justice and equity are core centrepieces in the organization’s current and future professional development learning strategy! They are both the cornerstones and the bedrock of the organization’s equity and anti-colonial/Indigenous Justice approach towards equitable outcomes and Indigenous rights, reconciliation and truth-telling. They are vital roadmaps to where we are headed and need to be!

Although in our early days, our agency’s future state depends on the aforementioned! Both approaches are vital to learning from our legacy as an agency and fields of practice (child welfare and children and youth mental health) towards restorative, corrective and liberating practices with regards to our past actions. They also demand that our present and future practices are done in a manner that is non-oppressive, safe, responsive and affirming.

As noted, the organization is in its formative learning stage. To date, our learning journey began with a critical understanding of implicit bias, socialization and child welfare and mental health practices from an anti-racist, anti-oppressive intersectional approach. Next, we grappled with developing a deep understanding of critical reflection and reflexive practice. Both practices challenge staff to constantly interrogate/question their attitudes, thought processes, values, assumptions, feelings, prejudices and habitual actions towards service recipients/other in order to adjust their approach, expressions, words, demeanor, documentation and attitudes (in real time) towards a more informed, inclusive and non-oppressive way of engaging and providing services. Although all identities and their intersection were explored (e.g. race, ethnicity, culture, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, faith, disability, age, etc..), a particular focus was given to race. Why? Our racial identity determines how we experience all other identities.

Our agency’s current focus is on gender, gender expression and sexual orientation and all associated forms of oppression (e.g. heterosexism, heteronormativity, transmisogyny, cisgenderism, etc.) towards safe, responsive and affirming practices. In the Fall of 2022, the agency’s training calendar is set to unfold. Staff will experience the following learning sessions over the next number of months.

It is noteworthy that each point of learning is interconnected and builds on the other. In other words, they are all interlaced as oppose to being separate/apart.


Agency Training Sessions

  • Gilbert Centre SAFER SPACES
  • Gdaankoobijiganaanig Connecting to our Ancestors (Developed by Rama in partnership with SMFC and ANESCO)
  • OACAS 3-Day Equity Course
  • OACAS Dismantling anti-Black Racism for Child Welfare Leaders
  • OACAS 2-day “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression” (SOGIE) Course
  • Critical Reflection and Reflexivity Workshop
  • Identity-Based Data Collection Learning Session
  • Francophone Inclusion Course
  • Disability, Inequities and Inclusive Practices
  • AR-AO Trauma-Informed Practice, Healing Centred Engagement: An Intersectional Approach