Indigenous Training Improves Supports

Targeted training for Children’s Services staff will lead to better outcomes for Indigenous children, youth and families.

Children’s Services staff participate in a blanket exercise as part of the launch of the Indigenous Cultural Understanding Framework.

The new Indigenous Cultural Understanding Framework will help Children’s Services staff gain a better understanding of the systemic challenges and barriers Indigenous people face.

Starting this fall, all Children’s Services staff will receive training about the impacts and legacy of colonialism, including residential schools and the Sixties Scoop. The framework will ensure leaders, managers, supervisors, caseworkers, policy analysts and administrative professionals all have awareness and cultural understanding to serve Indigenous children, youth and families in Alberta.

The training complements a recently announced plan to ensure all 27,500 Alberta Public Service employees receive a one-day training session over the next three years.

“Our government is committed to making life better for children and families in Alberta. To do that, we need to ensure that all our staff, not just those on the front lines, fully understand historical trauma and the experience of Indigenous people. This framework was developed collaboratively with First Nations, Metis and Inuit leaders with the intention of fostering awareness, sensitivity and respect.”

~Danielle Larivee, Minister of Children’s Services

The Children’s Services-specific framework follows recommendations of the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention, adding levels of training for all Children’s Services staff. It will also guide the development and delivery of culturally appropriate policies, programs and services within the ministry.

Budget 2018 identifies $500,000 to support ongoing engagement with Elders and Indigenous communities throughout Alberta to co-develop and pilot targeted, localized, culturally appropriate training opportunities.

Indigenous partners will help lead delivery across Alberta, and sessions will include formal evaluations to identify changes in staff perceptions and behaviour.

As part of the development of the framework, more than 400 Children’s Services staff participated in a modified Blanket Exercise. This experiential exercise traces the history of Indigenous people in what eventually became Canada.