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Learning about trauma as a barrier to Indigenous success

March 10, 2021

Stantec welcomes Spirit River Striped Wolf to discuss systemic Indigenous trauma and its lasting impact

The Indigenous Connections @ Stantec (IC@S) Employee Resource Group (ERG) was honored to welcome Spirit River Striped Wolf to lead a virtual workshop on Indigenous trauma.

Spirit River is from the Piikani Nation (Aapatohsipikani), which helps make up the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksikaitsitapi). His Blackfoot name is Iyimakoyiomahka, which describes an enduring running wolf. Spirit River, through his own journey, has dedicated his life to improving the conditions of Indigenous Peoples through advocacy, activism, volunteering, and leadership initiatives since his adolescence.

During the workshop, Spirit River delved into his award-winning research on trauma as a barrier to Indigenous success. Using his personal experience as a colonial trauma survivor and his background in policy studies, Spirit River’s presentation covered how history has impacted the development of systematic Indigenous trauma and how it has shaped current ideology and individual perception of Indigenous Peoples. Leading an open dialogue after the presentation, Spirit River shared insight into what others can do to have sometimes uncomfortable conversations around decolonization. Through the entire workshop, participants weren’t shy about asking difficult questions and having discussions about how to become better allies to Indigenous and Native Peoples.

Stantec continues to stay committed to Inclusion and Diversity initiatives, and through ERGs like IC@S, we welcome important conversations around I&D topics such as Indigenous trauma. We hope to maximize potential, draw on talents, and achieve organizational goals by valuing differences and creating a productive environment. We talk about designing with community in mind—and to genuinely fulfill that promise, we need to be representative of the many communities we serve.

Through the entire workshop, participants weren’t shy about asking difficult questions and having discussions about how to become better allies to Indigenous and Native Peoples.

We recognize the importance of the distinct experiences and perspectives our people bring to the workplace each day and every day. Inclusion means valuing the distinct talent flourishing within, and that’s an important component to building a more innovative and prosperous Stantec.

To learn more about Spirit River Striped Wolf and his work, you can visit his website.

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