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Alberta government staffers to take day course on indigenous history, culture

EDMONTON — Alberta is launching a three-year program to help all government staffers better understand indigenous culture and history.

The province’s 27,000 employees will each take in a six-hour session that includes talks with elders, along with films and group exercises.

The direct cost of the project is $2.7 million and will begin with employees from the Children’s Services and the Justice departments.

Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan says the sessions will broaden understanding, build relationships and explode myths.

The program has been two years in the making, following a commitment made by Premier Rachel Notley in 2015 to implement the goals of the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights.

The province has dealt with intolerance in the past, including a letter this spring from Alberta Health Services referring to an indigenous girl simply as “Treaty Indian.”



The Canadian Press