Pub­lic ser­vants to take In­dige­nous train­ing

The McLeod River Post - - Family, Farm & Garden -

New In­dige­nous train­ing will help Al­berta pub­lic ser­vants bet­ter de­liver pro­grams and ser­vices to the In­dige­nous com­mu­nity.

As the gov­ern­ment moves for­ward on the path to rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, all cur­rent Al­berta Pub­lic Ser­vice em­ploy­ees will par­tic­i­pate in an in- per­son, one- day course over the next three years. The ses­sion will in­volve ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing with El­ders through shar­ing cir­cles, and par­tic­i­pants will learn about In­dige­nous his­to­ries, res­i­den­tial schools, treaties and con­tem­po­rary is­sues, and how they can ap­ply what they learn to their work.

Mov­ing for­ward, the in­tro­duc­tory train­ing will be part of their job ori­en­ta­tion for new pub­lic ser­vice staff.

This is a fun­da­men­tal step in the Al­berta gov­ern­ment’s work to im­ple­ment the prin­ci­ples of the United Na­tions Dec­la­ra­tion on the Rights of In­dige­nous Peo­ples. It also ad­dresses one of the fed­eral Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion calls to ac­tion.

The train­ing will lead to a more in­formed pub­lic ser­vice and is part of gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to re­new its re­la­tion­ship with In­dige­nous peo­ples in Al­berta as part of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion ef­forts.

“Learn­ing about his­tor­i­cal and con­tem­po­rary First Na­tions, Métis and Inuit ex­pe­ri­ences and per­spec­tives is es­sen­tial to build­ing re­la­tion­ships, strength­en­ing part­ner­ships and bet­ter un­der­stand­ing and serv­ing In­dige­nous peo­ples in the prov­ince.”

Richard Fee­han, Min­is­ter of In­dige­nous Re­la­tions

“This train­ing is not a ‘ one- and- done’ ex­er­cise, and it is not a box to be checked off. It is part of a fun­da­men­tal shift in how we build last­ing re­la­tion­ships and un­der­stand­ing be­tween In­dige­nous and non- In­dige­nous peo­ple.”

Joe Ceci, Pres­i­dent of Trea­sury Board and Min­is­ter of Fi­nance

“Restor­ing re­spect­ful re­la­tion­ships is a fun­da­men­tal ob­jec t i ve of the Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion of Canada’s Calls to Ac­tion. Both the UN Dec­la­ra­tion and our Treaties are so­lu­tions when im­ple­mented as the ba­sis for a strength­ened part­ner­ship. Ef­for ts to train pub­lic ser­vants about this im­por tant his­tory is a pos­i­tive ac­tion that will ad­vance rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and I am very en­cour­aged by this very mean­ing­ful com­mit­ment. This step keeps Al­berta in the fore­front on the path to rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.”

Wi l ton Lit­tlechild, Grand Chief of Treaty No. 6

“Knowl­edge is the bridge to un­der­stand­ing and, in the Gov­ern­ment of Al­berta’s an­nounce­ment to­day, they have taken an im­por­tant step for­ward in cre­at­ing greater un­der­stand­ing of In­dige­nous cul­ture and is­sues within the pub­lic ser­vice. It is the hope of the Metis Set­tle­ments that the sum of many steps like these will lead to mean­ing­ful rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in Al­berta, and we were pleased to be con­sulted on this ini­tia­tive.”

Ger­ald Cun­ning­ham, pres­i­dent, Metis Set­tle­ments Gen­eral Coun­cil

The prov­ince en­gaged In­dige­nous or­ga­ni­za­tions, com­mu­ni­ties and schol­ars to de­ter­mine what the train­ing should in­clude and how best to de­live r it. In­dige­nous cul­ture was re­spected while draw­ing upon In­dige­nous wis­dom and prac­tices, such as shar­ing cir­cles.

Quick facts

• APS mem­bers to be trained over three years:

o About 27,500 em­ploy­ees. o Cost: $ 100 per em­ployee.

• In 2017, gov­ern­ment en­gaged with a num­ber of groups to in­form the devel­op­ment of In­dige­nous train­ing.

• More than 60 El­ders, youth and women in Cal­gary, Ed­mon­ton, Lac La Biche, Leth­bridge, Peace River and Rocky Moun­tain House par­tic­i­pated in the ses­sions in­clud­ing:

o In­dige­nous schol­ars from the Univer­sity of Al­berta.

o In­di­vid­u­als from Treaties 6, 7 and 8.

o The In­sti­tute for the Ad­vance­ment of Abo­rig­i­nal women.

o Na­tive Friend­ship Cen­tres.

o Métis Na­tion of Al­berta. o Metis Set­tle­ments Gen­era l Coun­cil

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