In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released their 94 calls to action to all levels of government, businesses, media, and the general public. Premier Rachel Notley committed to implementing the goals of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), after the TRC report came out. In March 2016, Premier Notley approved mandatory training to public servants as per the TRC call to action #57- directed at governments to provide education to public service members on the history of Aboriginal peoples. Notley promised a multi-departmental task force to research, work with Indigenous peoples and implement training for public servants.
Government departments, prior to the incoming training, could offer their own training on Indigenous history and issues. This new program will be designed to meet the TRC call to action requirements of including the history and legacy of residential schools, Indigenous Law, the UNDRIP provisions and Aboriginal-Crown relations.
“We feel it’s important that the public service and the members of our agencies, boards and commissions understand the history of Indigenous Peoples of Alberta,” Mike Jenkinson, director of cross government internal communications.
According to the TRC website, which tracks the actions taken by governments and institutions for each call action, only the City of Brandon, the Ontario Public Service and Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation have taken “any concrete action that has been taken in direct response [to the] Call to Action.” The City of Winnipeg has implemented a 2-day training session for its public service members, and the Federal government offered a one day training in November 2016.
Alberta’s training program is still being developed- it is slated to be released Spring 2018.
This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the view of the CCLA or PBSC.