We want to acknowledge and honour the Indigenous Nations of Turtle Island. We thank the Peoples of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot First Nation tribes of Siksika, Piikuni, and Kainai; the Stoney Nakoda First Nations tribes of Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley; and the Tsuut’ina First Nation. The city of Calgary is also homeland to the historic Northwest MĂ©tis and the MĂ©tis Nation of Alberta, Region 3 where Gina resides and practices. We recognize specifically the territories of the Lkwungen-speaking peoples of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, on whose unceded traditional lands Sandra lives and works. We also recognize the MĂ©tis Nation of Greater Victoria.  Yevgen lives and works in the Treaty 6 territory, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including Cree, Blackfoot, MĂ©tis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/ Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others.

We acknowledge that we are each colonizers and settlers on Turtle Island, and that we share in the collective responsibility, as treaty people, for the ongoing cultural oppression of Indigenous peoples and lands, from which we benefit, both personally and professionally. We also recognize the roots of counselling and psychology in individualist, colonial worldviews, and we are aware of the ongoing risk of psycholonization through our work. We are aware that, as academics and practitioners, we have been strongly influenced by our own sociocultural and educational heritages and positions of privilege.

As we begin this journey of exploring responsive relationships between counsellors and clients, we recognize the broken relationships with Indigenous peoples of Canada, we commit to ongoing self-reflection, and we invite critique of our work as part of the process of decolonization and conciliation.


We invite you to pause and position yourself on the sociocultural and historical landscape of Turtle Island. If you are not familiar with the Indigenous territories on which you live and work, you may want to check out the Whose Land website (for which there is also a downloadable app).


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A Practical Guide for Counsellors Copyright © 2023 by Gina Ko; Sandra Collins; and Yevgen Yasynskyy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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