Full course description
Strategies for Creating Change in Complex Systems (this is not a self-paced program)
Jan 30 – Feb 17, 2023
This course supports participants in building professional and personal skills and competencies to work more effectively at the interface of Indigenous and Western knowledge systems in a world characterized by exponential complexity, uncertainty and polarization and “wicked” global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and global inequalities. It aims to equip people to identify and analyze conscious and unconscious patterns of thinking and behaviour that affect the quality of engagement and relationship building with Indigenous communities and individuals; as well as to reduce the weight of emotional and cognitive labour that is often borne by Indigenous peoples in this work and to clear the space for relationship building grounded on trust, respect, consent, reciprocity and accountability. These competencies are becoming exponentially more important in ethical and accountable natural resources management. The course will invite professionals and practitioners from diverse sectors to engage in a challenging process of (un)learning to expand collective capacities to create productive spaces for institutional and relational change. This course is informed by recent research, and practice, emerging from complexity and systems approaches, social innovation, and Indigenous and decolonial studies. The course is grounded on the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals will benefit differently from this course. Non-Indigenous individuals will have a chance to examine their assumptions and expectations in relation to engagements with Indigenous knowledge systems in contexts of uneven relations of power and to build capacity and resiliency to work through the complexities and difficulties of co-management. Indigenous individuals will have a chance to unpack all-too-common sources of frustration and burnout in work in non-Indigenous contexts and to develop strategies to build stamina and improve well-being. Although the course materials are the same for all participants, tutorials may be separate for Indigenous and non-Indigenous subgroups. This course prepares participants for more intellectually and relationally rigorous encounters with Indigenous knowledge in the two other courses in the micro-certificate program, and the only course in CNR that is not taught by people who identify as Indigenous to Canada.