Healing course steams cook
Student roasts workshop as religious intrusion

by Marty Brown
Northern News Services

NNSL (NOV 27/96) - When Anita Ross signed up for a one-year cooking program at Aurora College she didn't expect to be taking a healing workshop.

"My biggest beef is that it's an infringement on my rights. I don't believe in religion in the classroom," said Ross.

The healing workshop in the Yellowknife campus included an aboriginal spiritual sweat and pipe ceremony. She said she took the pre-employment cooking course to learn to cook, not make new friends or change her attitudes.

The healing workshop, which falls under a unit on "personal life management," was a complete surprise to Ross.

She had asked for a course outline in July and August but the college was unable to provide it.

Ross received one in mid-September but there was no mention of a healing workshop, she said.

Ross feels the workshop is a violation of the Charter of Rights.

Campus director Dan Daniels said the personal life management segment is an important part of the course, which includes time and stress management along with working as a team.

Although this is the first time the college has offered a cooking course that ties in with an apprenticeship program, it has had cooking courses before which offered the healing workshop.

"Last year students liked the course and recommended it be earlier in the program," Daniels said.

The cooking program is being structured after the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Ross prepared a stress management workshop for the instructors instead of attending the healing workshop.