Background of the Organization
Unique among Canadian universities, Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie has a special mission to cultivate cross-cultural learning between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities through building bridges of respect, increasing understanding of shared history and changing mindsets. They also co-locate with a former residential school and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, a First Nations-governed educational institution.
The Shifting Indigenous Frontline Tactics (SHIFT) initiative was created at Algoma as a customizable cultural sensitivity training program that aims to bridge the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Its ultimate goal is to foster an environment of greater cultural understanding and sensitivity towards Indigenous peoples and communities.
Algoma’s SHIFT program works (1) to meet unmet demands from police, health and other social services for cultural sensitivity training, (2) to create standardized resources for scaling their approach to other parts of Canada and (3) to build a business model to sustain the work.