Indigenous Governance Training

“We see Indigenous governance training as a missing component of evaluation”

Most of us believe in a just society, but few understand the barriers that a lack of emotional intelligence (EI) or empathy can pose for justice. The Harvard Business Review calls emotional intelligence “a ground-breaking, paradigm-shattering idea,” one of the most influential business ideas of the decade. Daniel Goleman, the author of a book on Emotional Intelligence, argues that EI is a more important quality than IQ for school students to be trained in. When we apply this idea to the Indigenous context, we can see that historic trauma affected the emotional intelligence for students on-reserve and in cities. Academics such as Missens (2008) and McCaslin & Boyer (2009) have argued that through evaluative thinking, Indigenous communities can use the ideas of EI to help decolonize and rebuild Native governments and ultimately work towards self-determination. They can apply the knowledge gained from self-evaluation exercises to governance training, emotional intelligence of board members, degree of colonization entrenched in the current governance approach, assessment of the input from community processes, assessment of the sovereign obligations, their responsibility to the international community, and most importantly in respect to the Creator’s laws.

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