Professional development and training for public servants

Learn how the Government of Canada is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action 57.

Based on data provided August 2021.

57. We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to provide education to public servants on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

What's happening?

The Canada School of Public Service launched the Indigenous Learning Series in 2016 and the Indigenous Learning Business Line was created in 2019 with a mandate to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action 57. Since 2016, the school has:

  • conducted internal and external engagement sessions to seek input and work collaboratively with Indigenous communities and academics in addition to public service partners
  • launched online learning content, including videos, podcasts and various job aids such as, Historical Timeline: A Shared History of Canada and Working with Indigenous Communities: A Guide on Cultural Protocols
  • launched 5 classroom courses and 5 foundational online courses
  • organized regional and national learning events on a multitude of topics
  • established a governance structure which includes 3 committees (Circle of Elders and Knowledge Keepers as well as an external network and an internal advisory committee) to ensure content is truth-based and reflective of Indigenous perspectives
  • developed an online repository of learning and training activities, resources and tools from across the government, the Indigenous Learning Community Building Bridges Through Learning on GCpedia

Recent progress

The Canada School of Public Service continues to develop tools and resources for public servants to advance Call to Action 57. In the past year, the school has pivoted to virtual learning and made some of their courses available virtually: Reconciliation Begins with Meis now available and Cultural Competency: Indigenous Perspectives was made available virtually in June.

The school also developed many new products:

  • Reconciliation: A Starting Point, is an application that is available in app stores for both Apple and Android devices and on GCcampus
  • 2 virtual classroom courses were developed and launched: Making a Difference in Supporting the Careers of Indigenous Employees and An Introduction to Canada's Colonial History
  • the school collaborated with Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs to develop a new course on treaties and is working on an online course on duty to consult and accommodate
  • 6 new job aids were also published:
    • The Timeline of Influential Indigenous Women
    • a Reading List on Current Indigenous Topics
    • Territorial Acknowledgement
    • Reconciliation: The Fundamentals (A guide and primer)
    • Understanding What is Behind an Expression
    • Indigenous Languages in Canada and the International Decade of Indigenous Languages
  • the school continues to hold monthly virtual events which are very well attended and has introduced a new Elder Talk Series

Next steps

The Canada School of Public Service will continue to develop tools and resources for public servants as it believes that the implementation of Call to Action 57 is an ongoing process rooted in reconciliation. To achieve this goal, the school will continue to work with Indigenous partners and organizations and other departments and organizations that support the development of adult educational products related to Indigenous realities. The school plans on renewing its governance structure to better meet the new needs of learners, including renewing the Building Bridges Through Learning repository on GCpedia.

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