The Coastal Stewardship Network in partnership with Vancouver Island University approached their guardian training using a blended model of existing university courses with new custom developed courses to meet the specific needs of guardians. This article describes their pilot program that resulted in the larger program offered today in partnership with the Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Society. It is described in the story 'Building Knowledge, Skills and Family through Stewardship Technicians Training on BC’s Coast'.
Develop new training
It may be that you need to design and develop a new course or program altogether. If this is the right approach for you, look for trainers and training institutes open and willing to work with you who have experience developing training for Indigenous learners. On the one hand, developing new courses or programs can be both expensive and time consuming. On the other, the results will specifically meet the needs your community and other communities have into the future. Also consider if there are any key partners who could provide funding and support to develop and implement the new training.
Mentorship and Hands-On Learning
Whenever possible, build hands-on and field-based learning experiences for your guardian crew. One of the most effective ways to learn, absorb and practice new skills is by working directly alongside more experienced staff, elders or mentors out on the land and waters, learning-by-doing.
See Tipsheet below for examples of how Indigenous Guardian programs integrate mentorship and hands-on learning opportunities: