Camosun faculty first to participate in Sport and Exercise Indigenous Cultural Safety training

Camosun College is one of the first post-secondary institutions in British Columbia to introduce Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) training into its sport and exercise programs.

Camosun faculty participating in Sport and Exercise Indigenous Cultural Safety training

Camosun faculty participating in Sport and Exercise Indigenous Cultural Safety training

Twenty-three faculty members and staff with the Centre for Sport and Exercise Education at Camosun College partnered with the Indigenous Sport Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I·SPARC) to participate in Indigenous Cultural Safety training on May 13-14.

The series of sessions were led by I∙SPARC facilitators and Knowledge Keepers and provided Indigenous Cultural Safety Training through the lens of sport, physical activity and recreation. Training and team-building opportunities were meant to increase confidence and competence when building sport and physical activity opportunities with Indigenous Peoples. The training included both online and in-person sessions.

“We are so grateful to Camosun for their courage, openness and willingness to, as we say ‘disrupt the system’, says Robynne Edgar, the Director of Healthy Living at I∙SPARC. “The dream is for the faculty and staff to empower the young people in these sport and exercise programs to enter into a workforce or career in sport, physical activity and recreation with new knowledge and experiences that translates, in a good way, when working with Indigenous peoples and communities.”

The training provided an understanding of the historical and current realities of Indigenous Peoples, as well as the roles in creating a more confident and inclusive future for all. Topics included the impact and inequities created by the residential school system and systemic racism, power and privilege, and activities specific to ongoing racism with the sports system today. As well, there was teachings and knowledge sharing around Indigenous sport history and current systems  provided by Elder Alex Nelson, Ok’wilagame Elder & Senior Advisor, I∙SPARC, and, BC Sports Hall of Fame inductee who has a life-long passion for sport as a social and personal tool for wellbeing and connection.  

“There is a lot of information out there that none of us received about not only colonialism but residential schools, and the lasting intergenerational impacts they had on the Indigenous communities, kids, parents, and grandparents. As a new Canadian in 1997, none of this information was shared in the Citizenship test,” says Carl Everitt, Associate Dean with the School of Business and the Centre for Sport and Exercise Education. “Ideally, by having instructors and faculty embark on this life long learning, it creates a safe or ‘safer”’ environment for Indigenous students but also becomes the foundation for non-Indigenous and multi-racial students to share safe spaces amongst each other. We’re very excited to continue to strengthen our relationship with I·SPARC and working together in the future.”

First discussed in 2018/2019, the partnership between I·SPARC and Camosun College began with a former instructor, Gord Inglis, and Robynne Edgar. There was a desire to find ways to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing and being, as well as ways to integrate Indigenous content into the curriculum of the Centre for Sport and Exercise Education. After the unfortunate passing of Gord and the COVID pandemic, discussions began again with the first delivery out of I·SPARC’s pilot phase and Camosun College being the first academic institution to receive this training this year.


The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I·SPARC) is a provincial organization established with the purpose of improving the health outcomes of Indigenous peoples by supporting and encouraging physically active individuals, families, and communities. The programs and services delivered by I·SPARC are designed to build capacity and increase access to sport, recreation, and physical activity in First Nations communities, Métis Chartered Communities, Aboriginal Friendship Centres, schools, and other delivery agencies throughout the province.

The Centre for Sport and Exercise Education offers a variety of innovative degree, diploma and post-degree diploma programs that combine sport, fitness and rehabilitation with management, science and leadership. The integrated hands-on learning environment provides applied opportunities for students training in the departments of Sport Management, Kinesiology, Massage, and Athletic Therapy at Camosun College.

Contact information

Jonathan Ruhl

Marketing and Communication Strategist

Camosun College