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Sunday, June 12, 2011

June 13: Communicating with First Nations People workshop

Workshop 4 on Monday, June 13

Are you interested in communicating effectively with First Nations people?

Hierarchy, time, communication, and belonging are all sources of cultural misunderstandings at work. You will use each building block to anticipate and resolve cross-cultural issues in the workplace. We will discuss the Indigenous Myths in Canada and go into the generalized ideas to the specific workplace misunderstandings. The presentation includes a condensed history of First Nations with an emphasis on the Cree and in particular the Maskwachees (Bear Hills) Cree. The presentation touches on many aspects of First Nations and Cree history such as the Creation Stories, Bering Strait Theory, Paleolithic and Neolithic archeology, Discovery Doctrine, Royal Proclamation, Hudson’s Bay Charter, Fur Trade and Exploration, War of 1812, Cree Expansionism, Manifest Destiny, Confederation, Treaties, Indian Act and finally the Residential School.

Target Audience: Decision makers, owners, managers, supervisors, coworkers, temporary immigrant workers, first, second and third generation workers, indigenous workers, Asian workers, ESL instructors, programmers, HR staff, community leaders and champions, anyone interested in recruiting indigenous people and learning more about the indigenous community.

Core Skill Set: Suspending judgment, interpreting and negotiating differences, strengthening cross-cultural relationships and practicing cultural reflection

Length: 2.5 to 3 hours

Facilitator: Bruce Cutknife from Maskwachees Cultural College.
Bruce Cutknife is a member of the Samson Cree First Nation in Hobbema Alberta. Bruce was born and raised on the Bear Hills Maskwachees community with Cree as his first language. He attended the Ermineskin Residential School up until grade 9 and then moved to Edmonton with a host non native family to complete High School. This was part of the integration and assimilation process from the Department of Indian Affairs.

In 1974 Bruce completed his High School in Ponoka Alberta, a small town near Hobbema.  After working a few years Bruce went back to school at the newly established Maskwachees Cultural College. Bruce started working in the Living History Program of the Maskwachees Cultural College for a number of years. His duties included Audio and Video recording of Elders talking about local history. This involved working with Elders to collect and archive the Cree language, work with the Cree Syllabics and use them in the collection and archiving.

Bruce went back to school to complete his undergraduate studies. He received his BA in History/Native Studies from the Augustana Universty College in Camrose Alberta. After graduation Bruce worked local Radio and Television, taught some Cree Language and Cree Studies courses at the Maskwachees Cultural College. Bruce was also the Director of Education for the Samson Cree nation. Bruce had worked with the Elders within the Maskwachees Cultural College to identify and name as many Cree name places as possible. The result was a map that would eventually be entered as evidence in a landmark court case within Canada.
Time:                                Monday, June 13, 12-3 p.m.
Location:                          5010 50 Ave, Wetaskiwin (Wetaskiwin Community Literacy Office)
Refreshment style:           Brown bag lunch   

Registration or for more information contact: Manisha Khetarpal, Wetaskiwin Public Library
Tel: 780 361 4447 or by email at

Cost: Free

Brought to you by: Alberta Employment and Immigration, City of Wetaskiwin, Wetaskiwin Community Literacy Program and the Wetaskiwin Public Library