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Initially branded as “Shifting Indigenous Frontline Tactics (SHIFT),” Gabegendaadowin – 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.

For more information and to book a Gabegendaadowin Training session, please contact Paul Sayers at 705-989-8319 or gabegendaadowin@algomau.ca

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 understanding 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.

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. Additional modules are available for a customizable training experience.

  • Cultural Opening – Mino Biimaatiziwin
  • Treaties and Wampum
  • Colonization and the Indian Act 
  • Legacy of Residential Schools and Sixties Scoop
  • Decolonizing Practices
  • Reconciliation 
  • Reconciliation, Healing, and a Way Forward 
  • TRC Calls to Action 
  • My Personal and Professional Responsibility in Overturning Systematic Racism


Modules that can be added to the core training focusing on the following sectors:

  • Policing, Health, Mental Health, Child Welfare, Justice, Education, Corporate, Municipalities, Sports and Leadership 

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 SHIFT) 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.

Program Outcomes:

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. 

Proudly developed by Algoma University – Anishinaabe Academic Resource Centre.