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Nawh whu’nus’en – We see in two worlds: Trauma sensitive practices for collectively healing in relationship (Level 2)

October 1, 2023

Date: TO BE CONFIRMEDpage thumbnail

This course will support health professionals in rural British Columbia to meet new provincial expectations and standards around providing culturally safe care, including the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC’s new Practice Standard — Indigenous Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility and Anti-Racism; recommendations expressed in In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in BC Health Care (2020) and  through reports from the Rural Coordination Centre of BC’s Site Visits with Indigenous communities, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action for health.

The curriculum recognizes that health professionals and patients work in relationship, and a trauma-sensitive approach can help to build respectful, trusting relationships and connect with one another in a good way. The learning in this curriculum is directed inwards as well as outwards, inviting participants to learn not only about new approaches to practice, but also about themselves by reflecting on their own experiences of trauma and ways to support their own wellness.

This learning activity is based on a widely accepted understanding that trauma-sensitive practices are the basis for offering culturally-safe and respectful health services for Indigenous relatives. It draws on two-eyed seeing models, weaving together Indigenous ways of knowing with western trauma theory and neuroscience. It blends Dr. Michael Yellowbird’s work around neuro decolonization, Dr. Stephen Porges’ contributions around polyvagal trauma theory, and experiential Indigenous land-based healing practices to highlight the power of ceremony for reclaiming and maintaining wellness in body, mind and spirit.

Waziyatawin, Yellow Bird M. For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook. Santa Fe: School of American Research; 2012.

Porges S. Polyvagal Theory: A Science of Safety. Frontiers in integrative neuroscience. 2022; 16: 871227-871227.


Following three Level 1 workshops in January, March and May 2023, we are offering Level 2 workshop open to all who have previously participated in Level 1.

  • Practice of self-regulation
  • Case studies
  • Demonstrations of working with various survival physiology responses
  • Ways trauma presents
  • Shame
  • Colonial mindset and colonial worldview


Level 2 sessions dates:

  • Oct 26 (Thursday) 6-8 pm
  • Nov 2 (Thursday) 6-8 pm
  • Nov 9 (Thursday) 6-8 pm



  • Nation-specific training developed in collaboration with and direction from Elders and community members
  • Experiential land-based healing practices

Level 3 full-day workshop will be community-based and held in person, therefore the priority will be given to local medical professionals from the community where Level 3 will be held. If you think your community would like to do Level 3, please let us know.


Skills Gained
  • Learn tangible trauma-sensitive practices for offering health care rooted in cultural understanding and safety for Indigenous peoples
  • Strengthen appreciation of ancestral land-based healing modalities that have supported trauma release for millennia
  • Understand polyvagal theory and its implications for supporting trauma recovery with Indigenous relatives
  • Deepen empathy and co-regulatory skills as a way of dismantling racism in the health care system and contributing to collective healing



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