Somerville feels strongly that it is important for all employees to gain a deeper level of intercultural competency by seeking to understand the history, worldviews and traditions of Indigenous people in Canada. In keeping with this, all members of Somerville’s Senior Leadership Team have participated in a full-day, in-person, Indigenous cultural awareness training program. Somerville has also committed to providing this training to all Somerville employees across Canada. As part of the training, Somerville employees gain a deeper understanding of the history and experiences of Indigenous people and of the underlying factors which continue to impact the current socio-economic reality of Indigenous people. The comprehensive knowledge that is gained regarding the deeply rooted systemic barriers and opportunity gaps that are embedded in the current social and economic landscape helps to create a relationship of ally-ship and desire to work together to achieve progress in terms of both economic and social reconciliation.
In addition to the cultural awareness training sessions that Somerville employees attend, we also take the opportunity to acknowledge and teach Somerville employees about important Indigenous commemorative and awareness days such as Orange Shirt Day (September 30th), National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30th), National Indigenous History Month (June), National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21st), Louis Riel Day (November 16th), Inuit Day (November 7th), and Indigenous Veterans Day (November 8th).