CINE's Community Training Courses
Beginning in 1995, CINE delivered short courses in nutrition to over 100 participants in communities across the North.
Most of the participants have been community health representatives or workers (CHRs or CHWs). Others have included prenatal nutrition program workers, early childhood care workers, home care workers, cooks, high school students and interested community members. All have either had a mandate in their work, or an interest outside their work, for nutrition and health.
Even though the courses have been tailored to meet the needs of the participating communities, they have all shared these objectives:
- Providing reliable information so that people can make informed decisions;
- Encouraging healthy living and consumption of traditional food; Passing on traditional knowledge;
- Providing training to Aboriginal health and community workers;
- Stimulating interest in careers in nutrition and environmental sciences.
Features of the courses
Adapted to requests of participating communities
While sharing many common concerns, each Aboriginal group has interests that reflect its unique situation. Courses have been adapted according to the needs and requests of the participating groups/communities. For example, the Health Commission of the Council of Yukon First Nations felt that education was needed on diabetes and cancer, chronic diseases of great concern in their communities. They requested that CINE’s short courses address the role that food, nutrition and lifestyle play in the development and prevention of these diseases.
Elders passing on traditional knowledge
In all courses, elder guest speakers were invited to teach about traditional hunting, harvesting, preparation and preservation of food. For example, in K’ ásho Got’ine (Fort Good Hope), participants were given opportunities to learn, hands-on, how to set a loche hook and a rabbit snare.
CINE and McGill University cooperated with the following colleges to ensure smooth delivery of the courses:
Participants received certificates at the end of the courses.
[Photo from course with Yukon First Nations in December 1996.
Left to right: Norma Kassi (Chair, CINE Governing Board,1996-98), Treena Delormier (CINE Education Coordinator, 1995-97), and Cheryl Jackson, (participant)]
Written evaluations and verbal feedback have indicated that participants are highly satisfied with the short courses. Follow-up evaluation with participants up to one year later has suggested an impact of this education initiative not only at a personal level, but often at a family and community level.