University of Calgary

Gaining knowledge of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples

UToday HomeMay 24, 2012

By Jacob Quinlan

In early May, 34 student took a four day program to learn more about Canada’s Aboriginal people and get training on Aboriginal relations. Photo by Jacob QuinlanIn early May, 34 student took a four day program to learn more about Canada’s Aboriginal people and get training on Aboriginal relations. Photo by Jacob QuinlanThe university has launched the first-ever Aboriginal Relations Leadership Certificate program, for people whose careers may lead them to interconnect with Aboriginal communities.

In early May, the 24-hour certificate program, held over four days, offered 34 students and new alumni the opportunity to learn more about Canada’s Aboriginal people and provided training on Aboriginal relations.

Aboriginal people are one of the fastest growing populations in Canada, and having knowledge about this group is fast becoming a desirable asset for employers.

Upon finishing the certificate program, students will have a better understanding of contemporary Aboriginal issues and a foundation of knowledge that they can use in their careers in order to work more effectively with Canada’s Aboriginal communities.

Started as an ATCO initiative, the University of Calgary’s Career Services and the Native Centre developed the program unsure of the response they would receive.

“We were quite shocked with the demand of the program,” says Chris Fry, the Aboriginal Relations Program Assistant with The Native Centre. Within 20 minutes of first advertising the student priced program—$50 covered the registration fee—the class was full, and a waitlist grew to 120 eager students.

Fry says the program was well received by students. The program is module based with a variety of different speakers and activities that allow students to interact with each other and have class discussions. This horizontal learning style allowed the students to learn from each other and not just the readings.

The overwhelming success of the pilot program already has Career Services exploring the possibility of expanding into new directions, and they hope to have another class up and running for the end of August.

Visit Career Services for more information on the program.

If you wish to be put on the waiting list please, email csstdnt@ucalgary.ca