Cultural competency is a mindset or way of viewing the world. For those who commit to culturally competent practices, it represents a paradigmatic shift from viewing others as problematic to viewing how one works with people different from one’s self in a manner to ensure effective practices.
Cultural competency in First Nations education means adopting and implementing a number of relevant practices and strategies. The cultural elements in the Tool Kit include information about cultural protocols including how to connect with Elders, how to present tobacco, sacred medicines and pouches, talking circles, sweatlodge ceremonies, the medicine wheel, regalia, storytelling, the drum, the pipe, the powwow, the potlatch ceremony, the eagle, songs, dance, smudging, Indigenous knowledge and contributions, biases and stereotypes, and meditation. It also touches on colonization, treaties, and residential schools, though these topics are covered more thoroughly in other Plain Talks. In addition, there are a series of support resources that enhance the understanding of the First Nations perspective.