Indigenous Orientation Toolkit

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An Immigration Partnership Winnipeg Priority

One of Immigration Partnership Winnipeg’s (IPW) major strategic priorities is to enhance bridges between the Indigenous and newcomer communities through the creation of new opportunities and the further development of current practices that enable and facilitate cross cultural learning, understanding and support to promote cultural safety. As one initiative to achieve this priority, IPW, in partnership with the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, the University of Manitoba Community Service Learning & KAIROS Canada, is developing an Orientation Tool for newcomer communities on Indigenous history, culture and contemporary realities.

We believe that at the very early stage of their arrival, if not prior to their landing, newcomers should be educated about Indigenous perspectives on the history of Canada. Bringing the historical aspect during the settlement orientation is extremely important as a preventative measure to having internalized oppressive beliefs about Indigenous people.

It is important to set the frame right by having newcomers understand the history of Canada and some of its devastative effect on Indigenous Peoples. The Indigenous Orientation Toolkit seeks to build awareness, de-bunk myths and develop understanding of Indigenous issues for newly arrived immigrants and refugees and those who help them settle in Manitoba.

Objectives of the Indigenous Orientation Tool

  1. To facilitate an opportunity for newcomers to understand Indigenous history, culture and contemporary issues early in their settlement process
  2. To debunk stereotypes and negative perceptions that many newcomers develop towards Indigenous peoples
  3. To assist in fostering a better understanding between communities that could contribute to building bridges and creating lasting social and cultural ties between indigenous and newcomer groups
  4. To facilitate a positive role for newcomers to play in implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action #93
  5. To pave the path for creating welcoming, fair and inclusive communities for all

The Indigenous Orientation Toolkit will be a result of many consultations with community leaders, elders and activists from the Indigenous and newcomer communities, as well as input from partner agencies. Furthermore, this project seeks to foster safe spaces for dialogue, with the primary objective of educating newcomers on Indigenous issues as a precursor to enabling the process of relationship building between communities. This Tool will serve as a training curriculum that will be delivered by Indigenous trainers to settlement workers, ethno-cultural community leaders, EAL teachers and newcomers themselves during their initial settlement stages.  It will include many inter-active and accessible modules that will provide context, stories and concrete information on Indigenous issues to our newest community members.

Meet the

Indigenous Orientation Toolkit

curriculum developers.

Nicki Ferland & Connie Wyatt-Anderson

Toolkit Themes

Askii Akawa Asotamaatowin

(Land and Treaties)

Canada is a nation founded by colonial settlers, but long before the colonists arrive Indigenous peoples lived in harmony with the land. This workshop explores the initial colonization of Canada, focusing on the spirit and intent of the treaties and discusses how these agreements have impacted the relationship between Indigenous peoples and European settlers

Gawiin Bimikawesiwan

(Assimilative Policies)

Throughout Canadian history, a series of assimilative policies were instated by the government and these policies have had an extreme impact on Indigenous culture. This workshop will explain what these policies were and explore how they have brought about the contemporary concerns faced by many Indigenous peoples.

Gonezǫ Agót’é Gogha

(Resilience & Resurgence)

Assimilative policies in Canada have sought to subdue traditional Indigenous cultures and aspects of Indigenous culture have been completely lost. Despite these efforts, Indigenous cultures have persevered and there is a resurgence of traditional teachings. This workshop discusses the importance of culture and explores the contemporary resurgence of traditional principles.



Traditional Indigenous teachings place great emphasis on family structure and support, which differed greatly from the patriarchal worldview of colonizing Europeans. This workshop explores traditional teachings and worldviews in relation to family structure and discusses the impacts of colonization on family units and views towards gender roles and raising children.



The Metis Peoples are a separate and distinct first nation founded in Manitoba. Metis culture and worldview has had an extensive impact on Manitoban history and culture as a whole. This workshop will explore the unique culture of the Metis people and discuss both the history and contemporary experiences of the Metis people.


(Worldviews & Spirituality)

Traditional teachings and culture vary widely between different First Nations Groups, and yet there are aspects that share similarities between Nations. This workshop explores some universal teachings, as well as discussing the importance of making distinctions between separate First Nations communities.


(Connection to Land)

Traditional Indigenous teachings focus greatly on the importance of land and water and these elements play a great role in spirituality, language, and world view. This workshop discusses the importance of natural resources to the culture of Indigenous peoples, including our responsibilities to the land and how colonialism has impacted our relationships with the land.

Thank You To Our Partners