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2019 George Spady Training Conference

Session Descriptions


Colonization, Historic Trauma and Healing
Senator Patti LaBoucane-Benson

Senator LaBoucane-Benson’s presentation will focus on the impact of colonial law, which informs our understanding of the four dimensions of historic trauma. The presentation will then conclude with a discussion on healing and reconciliation.



HIV – Good News? 
Shelley Williams

HIV – is that still a ‘thing’? There have been dramatic changes over the past couple of years. Lots of incredible positives like the cascade of care model, 90/90/90, U=U, PrEP, etc. Come and learn about the new reality of HIV and how each of us can make a difference in why HIV still seems to be a ‘thing’.


Gangs 101
Chris Clemens & Gord MacDonald

Join Beat Officers, Chris Clemens and Gord MacDonald for an introduction to street level gangs in Edmonton. This presentation will outline what gangs are about and how to recognize the signs that your clients may have gang associations either through their street or biological families. The Officers will also share strategies to use when client’s homes are at risk of being taken over by gangs. What situations in your front-line workplace have you concerned or curious about gangs? Bring all of those questions to the Gangs 101 session!

Trauma-Informed Practice with Individuals Who Use Substances
Kristi Prasad

Many Individuals who have substance use concerns also have experienced trauma in their lives. In order to effectively support them in making changes with their substance use we must understand the impacts of trauma on their lives and on their particular substance use. This presentation will start to assist service providers in the community who support individuals with trauma histories who use alcohol, and/or other drugs.


Pets, Nature and Play Are All Good for Your Health!
Eileen Bona

Animals, nature and play have all been scientifically researched and found to be helpful to people of all walks of life; especially people who have mental health issues including addictions, trauma, developmental disabilities and more. This presentation will provide education about the researched benefits of working with animals and nature as therapeutic mediums. It will also provide information on the benefits of having pets and how to enhance your relationship with your pet so it is a wellness relationship rather than a chore.  Lastly, it will highlight the current state of crisis our society faces due to a lack of healthy play in natural environments and the need for us to attempt to include it into our lives, the lives of those we help and the lives of our children. Some suggestions for how we can do this will be proposed. 

Case examples from the Dreamcatcher Nature Assisted Therapy program will be used to affect understanding and learning.

Bias Awareness and Cultural Safety
Detective Ryan Ferry & Sergeant Michelle Horchuk

After instruction on the science and sources of bias for all people, the presenters will challenge participants to reflect on personal sources and patterns of bias that they may be unaware of in their daily lives.  This session will initially create uncomfortable conversations, with the long term goal of increased self-awareness and empathy for those we may be inclined to stereotype with a single story.

Participants will be provided with some tools needed to embrace “The Art of Casual Conversation”, how to develop effective communications skills that focus on building rapport and mutual respect while still getting the job done.

An interactive activity will lead participants through a process to build awareness around the biases we all hold and strategies to manage those biases. The group will discuss how a lack of bias awareness can lead to making assumptions and judgements about people that can result in creating barriers to culturally safe service provision. Strategies to manage biases will be identified and discussed.

Participants will be given examples of how practicing cultural safety has helped Det. Ferry and Sgt. Horchuk in their community work.

Exploring Sexual and Gender Diversity
Evan Westfall

Exploring sexual and gender diversity is an interactive workshop that combines experiential learning, audio and video, and a traditional lecture. These various forms of media will help us understand what sexual and gender diversity is, and how we might best support members of the LGBTQ2S+ community. Session participants will learn about the cultural climate in Canada including relevant hate crime statistics as well as relevant hate-speech in social media. The interactive components of this workshop will help us engage with the topics of gender, privilege, and accessibility. Participants will leave with the skills to best support people of diverse genders and sexual orientations, as well as a helpful list of community organizations that support LGBTQ2S+ people.

Souls of the Street
Jerry Cordeiro

This presentation will be about compassion in our inner city with a focus on mental health, addictions and homelessness.  Accompanying the presentation will be an onsite photography display of people experiencing the daily reality of mental health and addictions in their life on the streets.

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Conference Secretariat
BUKSA Strategic Conference Services
Suite 307, 10328 81 Ave NW | Edmonton, AB | T6E 1X2
780-436-0983 ext.226 | gspady@buksa.com