Acting

In our day to day lives, it's important for us to be able to turn our values and priorities into actions. Developing skill sets, acquiring new tools and creating projects are all means for us to put our ideas in action.

Niska offers different training modules which we have adapted to your needs and which will help you acquire the knowledge and skills you need to be able to take action. Our team has developed training content on various fields of interest within the domain of collective action such as environmental management, territorial governance, organizational change and strategy formulation. The workshops we offer were designed based on the guidelines of experiential learning and andrology; they favor active participation by the participants and rely on them contributing their with their own knowledge. We can come to your workplace or to one-time events you might host in order to deliver these workshops. We can also offer this training in the form of webinars.

In addition, we can assist you if you wish to develop custom toolkits (guides, analysis grids, plans, etc.) and help you in the composition of guides and informative material which support your collective processes. Niska can also assist you in carrying out and managing your development projects to help maximize their impact. You will thus benefit from a resource which has an external and informed point of view, which will be able to ask you the right questions and to connect you with the right people. Finally, we can embody the role of a strategic local, regional and organizational development council for professionals and leaders who seek to be guided over a length of time. Because we look after your needs, we will pair you up with one of our members whose expertise reflects the specific endeavours which you are undertaking. This expert will be able to provide the support you need to spur forth your development and that of your professional circle.

Achievements

Design and facilitation of a collaborative leadership workshop

We supported Espace-inc in the design and facilitation of a collaborative leadership workshop, which aimed to create the desire for a more sustained collaboration between the regional actors and leaders.

October 13, 2016 in Sherbrooke.

Guidance on a social development process in the Magdalen Islands (Îles-de-la-Madeleine)

In the upcoming months, Niska will be guiding its partners of the Integrated Approach of the Magdalen Islands in the elaboration of their reference frame on social development. These partners wish to reach an agreement on a common definition of social development, a common vision, as well as the mandate that this collective approach aims to carry out and the intervention approaches it wishes to make use of. The guidance will be carried out with the objective of transfering the necessary knowledge and skills to the development agents and partners of the Approach so that they may become autonomous in this regard. One of the main aims is to allow the participants to develop an evaluative culture. February-October 2016.

Guidance on long-term sustainability with 'Vie en forme' and 'Kateri en forme'

Two 'Quebec en Forme' (Shaping up Quebec) concertations taking place in the Rousillon RCM, Katerie and Vie en Forme, called upon Niska to guide and facilitate a reflexion on both of their concertation tables' long-term sustainability. The exercise will allow the members to take a moment and reflect together on the orientations and intervention strategies that they wish to use in the context of becoming autonomous. September 2015-May 2016.

Preparation and delivery of a two-week training for program agents

Niska designed and delivered a two week training for the program coordinator of a community greenhouse project. The training included practical exercises on social enterprise management and project management. February-March 2016.

Facilitation of a half-day workshop on participatory management

In conjunction with our French partners, Scop d'Accolades, we now offer a half-day workshop on participatory management for young cooperators, which has the following objectives:

  • To bring young cooperators to learn from one another, share tools with each other and reflect together on the different ways in which they could improve their management practices.
  • To expose an innovative model of participatory governance which is inspired by sociocracy and holacracy.

Past editions:

February 16th 2016 in Sherbrooke, carried out for the Quebec Cooperative for Regional Development, Eastern Townships division.

Training: Participatory elaboration of territorial and strategic development!

In conjunction with out French partners, Scop d'Accolades, we offer a two day training on the participatory elaboration of collective development plans, which has the following objectives:

  • To allow the participants to master processes in motion, time constraints and milestones of multipartner territorial development processes
  • To allow you to strengthen your knowledge and grasp of participatory facilitation techniques and their suitability in different stages of the territorial development process 
  • To allow you to integrate and adapt a frame for territorial development analysis to your personal needs so that you may apply it to real situations you are currently facing

Past editions:

February 18th-19th 2016, Trois-Rivières

Training on participatory facilitation

In conjunction with our French partners, Scop d'Accolades, we offered the following full day training on participatory facilitation with the following objectives:

  • Enabling the participants to collaboratively create a reference frame on the subject of audience mobilization and participative facilitation
  • Allowing the participants to identify the position of a participatory facilitator
  • Empowering the participants to create a space of local and regional exchange between practitioners of participatory facilitation

February 25th 2016, Sherbrooke

Guidance in the creation of a reference frame on perinatality

Niska will guide the elaboration process of a reference frame on perinatality which is rooted in aboriginal cultural practices by the Commission on Health and Social Services of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. 2016-2017.

Facilitation of a Regional Leadership Workshop for Mayors' Council

Niska was invited to facilitate a reflection day on regional leadership for the Mayors Council of the MRC de Portneuf. On March 20, 2015, mayors will question their regional leadership, that of the MRC and their partners, in order to get to a common definition of what they would like to see as regional leadership in the future. This leadership will be a key element in implementing the Regional Development Plan, which Niska has also supported. March 2015.

Strategic Planning and Governance Training with Cree Women of Eeyou Itschee Association

Following a workshop offered at the Annual General Assembly of the Cree Women of Eeyou Itschee Association, Niska was invited to facilitate a week-end session including a day of strategic planning and a day of governance training. Twenty women involved with local and regional womens' group traveled to Val d'Or on January 23-25, and had the chance to experience a design with various methods stimulating both hemispheres of their brains! Drawing, theatre, absurd improvisation and appreciative inquiry were there, enabling each of participant to come out of the week-end with more clarity on the future of the association and the role of everyone. December 2014-February 2015.

Webinar series for the Pôle d'économie sociale de la Montérégie Est

Niska was asked by the Pôle d'économie sociale de la Montérégie Est to facilitate a webinar series offerted to professionals supporting youth in starting social and democratic entreprises. The series started in October 2014 with a presentation from the Pôle, and continue each month with the support of various partners from the sector. As project managers, Niska plans and facilitates the series. September 2014-June 2015.

Toolkit for Cree Social Entrepreneurs

The Cree Social Economy Regional Table (CSERT) has chosen Niska once again to support the development of the social economy in Cree territory. This time, Niska will develop a Toolkit for Cree Social Entrepreneurs. The objective of the mandate is to provide tools to current and future social entrepreneurs in the areas that they identified as high-priority, namely human resources management, democratic governance, marketing, financial management, etc. A turnkey product, the Toolkit will be co-constructed with the Economic Development Officers of each community. Thus, the content will be adapted to the needs of Cree entrepreneurs and will refer them to existing resources for further training. November 2013-March 2014.

Training on Social Economy Businesses (SEBs)

On August 15th, 2013, Niska offered a customized one-day training on social economy businesses (SEBs) to the Cree Economic Development Officers (EDOs). The EDOs having the mandate to support entrepreneurs in their business development process, Eeyou Economic Group, which acts as a Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) on the Cree territory of the Nord-du-Québec region, recognized the importance for EDOs to be able to provide adapted support to collective entrepreneurs. The general objectives of the training were the following: 

  • Learn about what the social economy is all about, and how to communicate it effectively
  • Explore the potential for development of social economy businesses in one’s community
  • Gain practical knowledge about how to support SEBs as an EDO

 

Promotional document on Social Economy Businesses (SEBs)

The Montérégie Est Social Economy Regional Table approached Niska in order to enhance and present data collected with Social Economy Businesses (SEBs) and key stakeholders of the sector in the region in a promotional document. The mandate consisted in identifying quantitative and qualitative highlights coming from the Inventory of SEBs conducted by the Regional Table as well as focus group discussions held with elected officers, partners, employees and managers of SEBs. This information will be presented along with testimonies, quotations, pictures and other visual elements in the final document, which will be launched on September 20th, 2013. It will be an important communications tools to promote the social economy in Montérégie Est and raise awareness of the impact of a dynamic and value-creating sector. July-August 2013.

Training and coaching camp in Program Development

Niska recently designed and offered an intensive training and coaching camp in program development to the new program and services development officer of the Cree Native Arts and Crafts Association. The participatory training was two weeks long, plus a week of field visits of like-minded Native and non-Native cultural arts organizations. The training aimed at providing tools to the new officer to fulfill her role in cultural program development, through training sessions in local development and community engagement, as well as classes on transferable and soft skills, such as communications, project and conflict management, event planning, field and market research, intercultural efficiency, and much more. Financed by the Cree Human Resources Department and offered primarily at Niska's offices, between April 8th and 26th, 2013, the training was custom-designed, and Niska remains a partner to the trainee as her coach, in an ongoing fashion.

Merging of two local tables in MRC de Memphrémagog

Niska had the privilege to support coordinators of two local tables as well as their community partners in an important strategic thinking process. For almost three years, the two tables (Avenir d’enfants and Québec en forme), had been looking at the possibility and necessity of merging. The strategic support project offered by Niska aimed at providing insights with regards to the issues at play and respond to these three questions: 1) What are the strengths and the areas for improvement of the current structures? 2) What are the results sought for in merging into a new structure? 3) What is the governance model sought after to reach desired outcomes? February-June 2013

Project development with Chisasibi Business Service Center

Niska collaborates with the Chisasibi Business Service Center in project development, with the notion of development by and for the Cree nation at the forefront. Niska lends its research, writing and fundraising skillset to help bring the partners' ideas to life. Our professional support is engaged, flexible and strategic, it adapts to the client's needs and local context. Furthermore, Niska's tested approach goes beyond the traditional "smoke-stack chasing" approach to economic development to encompass all dimensions of sustainable development. Work is currently done in Chisasibi on several collective entrepreneurship and structuring projects which create employment and builds social linkages in the nation, while enabling economic diversification. For example, Niska is coordinating a large multi-partners project to undertake a technical feasibility study for a community greenhouse, as well as a pilot project involving children and gardening. July 2012-May 2015.

Local development training for elected officers in Saint-Martin, French Carribean

On July 9-10, 2012, Niska completed its first international training mandate. Niska offered training to the local elected councillors of the Saint-Martin Overseas Community, in the French Carribean. The two-day workshop aimed at sharing a conceptual framework on local development, based on Niska's consulting practice in Québec and internationally, agreeing on a common vision for development and deepening the participants' understanding of the role of elected officers in local development.

Cooperative business development in Waswanipi

In Waswanipi, there are opportunities in the transportation sector and there is much interest by local entrepreneurs to tap into the business potential. Yet, there is little familiarity with collective entrepreneurship, a formula which can allow entrepreneurs to work together and make a profit while refraining from engaging in mutually detrimental competition. In collaboration with the Eeyou Economic Group and the Waswanipi Band Council, Niska offered training on the cooperative business model in the transportation sector to a group of local entrepreneurs in June 2012. Beyond simply offering training, Niska's services extend into general business research as well as coaching in incorporating and structuring a cooperative business. Then, a pre-feasibility study was undertaken in early 2014. Finally, between August 2014-May 2015, Niska is supporting the group of entrepreneurs in writting their business plan and incorporating the coop. June 2012-May 2015.

Youth Leadership Camp Toolkit

NISKA was mandated by the Youth Concertation Table of Val-Saint-François to identify key organisational lessons learnt from past Youth Leadership Camps organised in Québec. Following the Camp in mid-November, NISKA created a Toolkit which includes a synthesis of exit interviews with the organisers as well as working tools used by the Youth Concertation Table. This document is meant as a "One-Shop-Stop" Toolkit which can be used by other committees, which will then have access to a series of procedures and advice relating to the organisation of a Youth Leadership Camp, thus saving considerable time and resources. 

Training of rural development officers

Since 2011, Niska has been providing training to the rural development officers across the province of Québec during the annual training conference organized by Solidarité rurale du Québec (SRQ). The latest workshop, to be offered on May 8th, 2013 in Victoriaville, will focus on local development project management. The officers will be invited to reflect together on their role in supporting local dynamics associated with project development, and will be provided with tools to design collective projects.

Strategic consulting with the Cree Native Arts & Crafts Association

NISKA has been offering consulting services on strategic and organisational development as well as project management to the Cree Native Arts and Crafts Association (CNACA) for several years.

NISKA provides punctual support to CNACA's board of directors, executive director and staff members to develop its services to the Cree Nation's artists and artisans in the sector of the cultural economy. CNACA is a organisation created by the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. Its intervention is strategic for the Cree Nation. Through this organisation, NISKA is also called to provide support in a variety of projects relating to tourism, the launching of the Cree Cultural Institute and the development of a cultural economy, specifically through the commercialisation of Cree arts and crafts. Our partnership includes support in organisational strategic planning, project development, project management and operations. Furthermore, NISKA supports CNACA in leveraging funding from various Specific Agreements (e.g. Elders, Social Economy and Solidarity and Social Inclusion) on the Cree territory, which leads it to collaborate with other Cree organisations such as the Cree Cultural Institute and the Eeyou Economic Group.