Erin Strachan has over 10 years of experience working with and for Indigenous Canadians. This includes managing programs on economic development for Inuit women, workplace and academic training and facilitating cross-cultural communication between First Nations and adjacent municipal governments. She has designed dozens of courses and workshops and traveled all across Canada to deliver training to First Nations, Inuit and Metis—as well as non-Indigenous Canadians.
For her Masters in Canadian Studies (Carleton University), Erin focused on cross-cultural communication between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. Her thesis explored the role of humour in Indigenous teaching and learning and argued that a conscious use of humour can promote successful cross-cultural relationships. In her work facilitating relationship building between at least 20 First Nations and municipalities, she has found that having a sense of humour—particularly about oneself—can go a long way to building trust and breaking down barriers.
As a trainer of adult students, Erin is passionate about helping others to develop their skills and enjoys seeing the results of such personal and professional growth in her students. She loves working with adult learners because of the wealth of life experience her students bring to the table. In this rich teaching and learning environment, she finds that she often learns as much from her students as they do from her.
Erin believes that reconciliation is a two-way street; while Indigenous Canadians need greater access to education and opportunities, non-Indigenous people and institutions need to become more reflective of Indigenous cultures and worldviews. Erin sees her life’s work as contributing to such reconciliation and renewal for the benefit of all Canadians.