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Intercultural Humility

Intercultural Humility is the subject of a new Professional Development training created by COPA National for the TÉÉ Program (travailleurs et travailleuses d’etablissement, or settlement workers. COPA National is the provincial coordinator for Settlement Workers in Ontario Schools, and as such we work with 10 teams serving newly arrived immigrant students and their families in regions throughout Ontario. To know more about this beloved program that is a cornerstone of our work, read our blog: COPA Presents the TÉÉ program. Intercultural Humility is intended to deepen the TÉÉ’s understanding of the vulnerability of newly arrived families and expand their capacity to support them. Many of the members of TÉÉ teams have themselves experienced what it is like to be a newly arrived immigrant in Canada, but this training is an opportunity to reflect deeply and learn new tools and strategies for their work with newly arrived families and students.

This is a beautiful and well-thought-out training that combines content, practice, and follow-up in a 3-part program, consisting of:

  • (Day 1) Savoir-être (knowing HOW to be) Intercultural Humility

  • (Day 2) Savoir-faire (acquiring skills) Developing Intercultural competence.

  • Follow-ups with each team (always an essential part of our practice)

Intercultural Humility is built upon the framework of COPA National’s Cycle of Positive Change: Learn, Reflect, Grow and Change. Through awareness, self-reflection, dialogue with others, and the acquisition of concrete information and tools, participants in this training learn to de-center themselves and be able to better perceive the reality of others. They will:

  • develop self-awareness by identifying their assumptions and biases, discovering their identity and values, and defining their cultural orientation and communication style,

  • develop an understanding of and respect for the logic and reasoning of different cultural orientations and communication styles, and

  • develop the reflex and ability to deal with cross-cultural interaction through observation, analysis, and engagement leading to the valuing and validation of diverse perspectives.

COPA National’s vision and approach is one of learning through empowerment, and we offer “tools not rules” that encourage the adoption of an intercultural approach through the cultivation of intercultural competence. We hope to eventually be able to offer this training across Canada to other settlement workers, educators, and adults who support children and youth. For more information about this Professional Development and other COPA National programs, please contact Lynn Hadley.


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