Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre

[Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre]
[Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre]


Cultural Safety Training           

Indigenous Cultural Safety training workshops are available to any Queen’s University student/staff/faculty member and/or organization/student body.  The intent of these workshops is to remove the power indifference from interactions with Indigenous people and encouraging individuals to self-reflect and work towards building empathetic and collaborative relationships.  This is done through interactive activities, while engaging participants to re-frame their thinking and relearn the real truths and history of Indigenous people in Canada. 

In 2020-21, due to the global pandemic, these workshops will be run online


Cultural safety incorporates the following:

  • Cultural awareness, the acknowledgement of difference;
  • Cultural sensitivity, the recognition of the importance of respecting difference; and
  • Cultural competence, which focuses on the skills, knowledge, and attitudes of practitioners
  • Cultural safety involves self-reflection and an understanding that cultural values and norms of the client may be different due to unique socio-political histories.
  • Self-reflection leads to empathy, the capability to share another being's emotions and feelings, which in turns improves the therapeutic encounter with clients and their communities, leading to better health outcomes.
  • Empathy could also lead to advocacy and social justice work  on behalf of clients and their communities

Course Objectives:

  1. Learners will gain a better understanding of the historical, political and cultural issues that impact the health of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
  2. Learners will understand the connection between the historical and current government practices and policies towards First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples and the related impacts on their social determinants of health, access to health services and inter-generational health outcomes.
  3. Learners will understand Indigenous concepts of health and healing.
  4. Learners will, through a process of self-reflection, identify, acknowledge and analyze their own cultural values or considered emotional responses to the many diverse histories, cultures, world views, values, and contemporary events relating to First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis people. (Source: Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada)

The information will be presented in three modules:

  1. KAIROS Blanket Exercise - An interactive exercise depicting the impact of colonial and post-colonial policies 
  2. Terminology, Legal Definitions and Self-Identity
  3. Indigenous Paradigm and Relationship Building - identifying indicators to Reconciliation

The training is three hours in length.  However, there are several approaches to how it can be delivered.  Past variations include:

  • 3 hour inter-active presentation with staff/faculty or student class.
  • The presentation can be divided into two (one hour and a half) lectures.
  • One presentation that is an hour and a half in length.  However, this is detrimental to the quality of information presented and not recommended.
  • Two or more programs can amalgamate into one workshop with a customized length according to the allocated timeframe.
  • KAIROS Blanket Exercise delivered as a sole exercise.

If you require any further details, please contact Laura Maracle at