Program Information

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Thanks for your interest in Skills for Solidarity. As this is an ongoing program, it is important that you register so we can send you resources and keep you updated on when the next panel is happening. Please register here.

Welcome to Skills for Solidarity! This self-paced online program explores the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada, both historically and present day, and the ways in which we can build new relationships and work in solidarity on campaigns and issues that we care about.

Through five panels and workbooks, this program will deepen your learning about our shared history. This is the beginning of a journey – it is our hope that you will leave this program with more questions about what it means to work in solidarity.

Coordinators

A number of people have been instrumental in the design and implementation of Skills for Solidarity.

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Anna McClean

Program Coordinator

Anna is the Training Coordinator at Leadnow. Her background is in popular and experiential education, and she is passionate about being part of projects that empower people to create positive change in their lives and their communities. She loves creating educational spaces where people are encouraged to ask themselves big questions and unpack how they relate to complex issues, which is why she is thrilled to be part of launching Skills for Solidarity. After completing her Masters in Education at the University of Alberta in 2010, Anna began working at the Pearson Seminar on Youth Leadership before joining the Leadnow team as a volunteer in the fall of 2011. As Leadnow’s Training Coordinator and BC Regional Organizer, she works on developing resources and trainings to support Leadnow volunteer organizers on their campaigns and projects.

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Ryan Baillargeon

Web Designer

Ryan specializes in using technology as a tool to help the Leadnow community take easy, effective action on a range of important issues. He runs his own design and strategy consultancy, Grassriots.

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Amara Possian

Program Support

At Leadnow, Amara coordinates the participatory design of our longer-term strategies for an open democracy, a fair economy, and climate justice, and bridges online and offline action while managing the 2015 Election campaign. She loves working on projects, creative actions, and campaigns that bring together unlikely allies and she is excited about Skills for Solidarity’s potential to start an important conversation about a renewed relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada. She serves on the board of the Center for Story-based Strategy, and just wrapped up a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo, where she explored the intersection of social justice, social innovation, and solidarity.

We have also been very fortunate to have had the support and assistance of many people throughout the development and implementation of Skills for Solidarity. These are listed in the “History and Inspiration” section of the website.

Learning Objectives

This is an introductory program that provides an overview of a shared history that is centuries long. Throughout the program, you will explore what solidarity work looks like in the context of the colonial relationship between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada. While you will not walk away knowing exactly how to do solidarity work – this is a constantly evolving process informed by your organizing context – you will gain the tools that will allow you to ask good questions as you engage in this work.

The theme of each program module is massive on its own and we are not able to cover everything in five 90-minute panels. However, the goal of the program is to provide an introduction to the themes – it’s up to all of us to continually explore and learn about them throughout our lives.

By the end of this program, you will not know everything about our nations’ histories. You will not be able to check a box or hold up a certificate that shows you know how to engage in solidarity work.

However, you will have a stronger understanding of the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada, a better understanding of your own role in that relationship, and a toolkit that helps you continue exploring your ever-evolving role in this work.

Program Outline

  1. Personal Story

    An exploration of the impacts of colonialism through sharing personal stories of Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples

  2. Our Shared History

    History, decolonizing history, understanding colonization as a system

  3. Mythbusting

    Challenging prevalent myths and demonstrating ways in which our shared history impacts present-day realities

  4. Working Together Towards a New Relationship

    Explore what settler accountability to Indigenous communities looks like in practice and the challenges and possibilities of building these relationships

  5. Where do we go from here?

    Explore opportunities for continuing to engage in this work and questions to keep asking ourselves as we move forward

Learning Activities

This program is self-paced. Each module consists of an online panel with 3-5 panelists and an associated workbook.

Online panels

Panels are 90 minutes in length, with 3-5 panelists speaking for 10-15 minutes each, followed by a Q+A session (with questions from participants who participated in the panels during the summer of 2014).

Workbooks

Each panel has an associated small workbook of questions compiled by the coordination team in collaboration with the panelists. The goal of the workbooks is to allow you to deepen your learning on the themes presented during the panel.

Participant Experience

As you go through the program, you may feel surprised and challenged by what you are learning. You may experience discomfort at some of the concepts being presented, or the questions being asked of you. Doing solidarity work and becoming aware of the ways in which we are all part of structural systems of power includes a lot of personal self-reflection. It can be uncomfortable.

It’s important for us to feel this discomfort because it’s necessary for change. However, solidarity work isn’t about feeling guilty. It’s a process of continually asking critical questions and being open to making mistakes. It’s about listening, acting, reflecting, and continually learning.

If you would like to speak with someone about what you are experiencing as you go through the program, please reach out to skillsforsolidarity@leadnow.ca and check out the Additional Resources section for valuable information and articles.

Communication with the Coordination Team

If you would like to be in touch with the coordination team, please email skillsforsolidarity@leadnow.ca.

Additional resources

See the Additional Resources page for links to articles, websites and videos that will help deepen your learning on the program themes. We continually add new resources so keep checking back.

Register

Skills for Solidarity is an online education program that will open up a conversation about the shared history between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and ways to renew the relationship between nations. Sign up below and we'll send you an invite to the online panel and the discussion with participants like you.

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