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which translates to Mutual Respect, Thoughtfulness, Care, Consideration and Awareness for others – is an interactive learning program that bridges the understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.


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Established in 2018 as a partnership between Algoma University (AU) and the Sault Ste. Marie Police Services (SSMPS), the Gabegendaadowin program was developed to help address identified issues related to lack of awareness and understanding of Indigenous people’s culture and challenges they face. It also helps to address systemic racism as it relates to Indigenous peoples. Gabegendaadowin is an experiential two-day, evidence-based interactive learning program geared towards public, social service, and government agencies, the private sector and Indigenous communities.

The objective of the program is to bridge the under- standing between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. This will occur by fostering an environment of greater understanding of Indigenous peoples and communities, and the responsibility that Canadians have in actively facilitating and supporting systemic change.

The goal of the program is to address those biases in an intentional and collaborative fashion.

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Program Objectives
  • Immersive open learning to walk in someone else’s shoes
  • Provide reflective communities of practice for front line workers employed in a range of public service and private sector settings.
  • Guide participants to develop and carry out cooperative and individual strategies to identify and eliminate own cultural biases in professional roles and personally


  • Targeted awareness and skill development
  • Provide a balanced learning approach of information, knowledge sharing and cultural experiences appropriate for all participating
  • groups, regardless of sector, race, age or gender
    Participants ultimately engage in perspective-taking
Core Training Modules:

The Gabegendaadowin program is designed with a core curriculum that provides participants with foundational knowledge of Canada’s historical and present-day relationships with Indigenous peoples.

  • Culture and Ceremony – Mino Biimaatiziwin
  • Treaty Relationships
  • Indian Act and Indian Policy


  • Intergenerational Trauma and Resilience
  • TRC Calls to Action
  • My Personal Reconciliation Plan

Prior to the training, all participants will be asked to complete a short survey. These surveys will be used in combination with exit surveys to assess the impact of the interactive learning program.

Developed Through Partnership To Effect Positive Community Change

Gabegendaadowin (formerly tT) emerged through a partnership between Algoma University and the Sault Ste. Marie Police Services (SSMPS).

SSMPS is committed to working in collaboration with Algoma University to support ongoing efforts to build equitable, respectful and trusting relationships between Police and Indigenous peoples.

The primary and initial goal of Gabegendaadowin (formerly SHIFT) was to bridge the understanding between Police and the Indigenous Community, while maintaining a sensitivity to cultural backgrounds and a broader understanding of the unique needs of the community.

Through the analysis of reports such as the “Broken Trust Report” and other related literature, Algoma University, local Elders, the Shingwauk Residential School Survivor Community, and the SSMPS have worked together to cultivate an inclusive and cooperative learning environment intended to mitigate the stigma that can impact positive relationships.

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Program Outcomes:

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Gabegendaadowin aims to unsettle the settlers; to educate those occupying positions of social and institutional authority and to help them recognize that racism is something that is experienced by Indigenous people regionally, provincially and nationally.

Gabegendaadowin will provide the space and time for participants to reflect on their own attitudes, and perspectives. Participants will learn to recognize and become more aware of the importance of creating positive relationships with Indigenous peoples.

Gabegendaadowin’s curriculum is designed and delivered in consultation with community members and Elders. Gabegendaadowin explores the impact of institutional relationships on Indigenous peoples and communities while providing a safe and inclusive space that facilitates open dialogue.

Who is Gabegendaadowin for?
  • Front line service staff who work directly with Indigenous people
  • Organizations that employ an Indigenous workforce


  • Organizations that work with Indigenous communities
  • Organizations/Individuals that are embarking on the journey of Truth and Reconciliation
What’s In It For You?
  • Learn about perspectives through an Indigenous lens
  • Take away manuals and follow up resources
  • Sector-specific content tailored to your industry
  • Lunch provided
  • Interactive learning, cultural teachings, sharing circles, reflection discussions with group participants
  • In-person Shingwauk Hall Residential School Tours (on-site or virtual)
  • Learn Indigenous history not taught in the mainstream educational curriculum
  • Learn to engage in authentic and meaningful conversations with Indigenous people
Core Training Modules

  • Culture and Ceremony:  Mino Bimaatiziwin (The Good Life)
  • Treaty Relationships
  • Indian Act and Indian Policy
  • Intergenerational Trauma and Resilience
  • TRC Calls to Action
  • My Personal Reconciliation Plan
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Culture and Ceremonies:

This module introduces participants to Anishinaabe culture by opening the two-day training workshop with an Anishinaabe ceremony.  This module introduces the early societies of Anishinaabe people, systems, governance, trade, beliefs, and practices.  It describes the early interactions and history of Anishinaabe/non-Anishinaabe relations.


This module presents the history of treaties in Canada. This module highlights Indigenous history timelines, the history and evolution of Treaties including discussions on the Royal Proclamation, War of 1812 and Indigenous allyship.  This module also focuses on the treaty making purpose, the relationships, and their application within today’s context.

Indian Act and Indian Policy:

This module explores the impacts on the colonization of Canada and specifically addresses the Indian Act and the formal process in dismantling First Nation well being.  This module also includes the history and legacy of the residential school system and its implication on Indigenous peoples.  This module also includes information on Day Schools, the Sixties Scoop, the Millennial Scoop, Medical Experimentation in Residential Schools, and Indian Hospitals.  An in-person/virtual tour of Shingwauk Hall Residential School is also included.

Intergenerational Trauma and Resilience:

This module focuses on the social determinants of health and wellness on Indigenous people.  Areas covered within this module may include intergenerational trauma, resilience, colonization, decolonization, race, racism, systematic racism, institutional racism, white privilege, bias, and its intersectionality with colonial violence on First Nations. This module will also focus on the resurgence of First Nations peoples.

Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Calls to Action:

This module highlights the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action with focus on its history and fundamental purpose within Canada’s reconciliation process. It also deepens the understanding of systemic inequities by delving deeper into Indigenous strength, truth and allyship.

My Personal Reconciliation Plan:

This module includes the act of personal reflection. Participants will discuss their role in dismantling systemic racism.  Participants will also develop communities of practice and how to become a better ally by discussing what allyship looks like in their workplace.  This module introduces the needs and perspectives for reconciliation across professions with a sector specific focus on the TRC’s Calls to Action through highlighting and profiling their sector with the intersectionality of First Nation worldview. Participants will be provided an opportunity for self-reflection through small and large group interactions, as well as critically examine and plan a reconciliatory way forward within their profession.

Throughout each module, participants will be provided an opportunity for self-reflection through individual activity and group interactions and discussions. The two-day workshops will be led by skilled facilitators with lived Indigenous experience.

Gabegendaadowin proudly supported by:
McConnell Foundation and government of canada logos