The province has announced three new initiatives aimed at building aboriginal capacity and expertise within government.
The plans, outlined by Premier Tom Marshall in a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, include the development of a land claims and self-government agreements implementation policy; the development and implementation of an aboriginal human resource strategy; and a review of aboriginal content and delivery in provincial school curriculum.
In the prepared statement, Marshall said the provincial government wants to create a diverse workforce “to help ensure aboriginal perspectives are respectfully represented and considered.”
The initiatives will be supported by the creation of a new aboriginal liaison position within the Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs Office.
The new land claims and self-government agreements implementation policy will detail a collaborative and coordinated government-wide approach to the implementation of land claims and self-government agreements, including the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement (LILCA), and any future land claims and/or self-government agreements. The policy will define, among other matters, the role of provincial government departments in the implementation of these agreements, including the co-ordination and oversight role of the Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs Office.
It will also further define the responsibility of departments to designate people to be responsible for implementation of their respective department’s obligations, and the expectation of departments to report on the status of the implementation of their obligations.
Under another of the initiatives, the provincial government will conduct a “Count Yourself In” survey to determine how many of its employees self-identify as aboriginal, and establish benchmarks to determine where within the provincial government aboriginal capacity and expertise is required. Opportunities to enhance aboriginal knowledge and capacity of all current employees will include e-learning modules, information sessions and workshops.
The provine will also explore targeted hiring practices under this initiative.
With regard to school curriculum, the provincial government will review public school curriculum and delivery to ensure its relevancy, consistency and effectiveness in reflecting aboriginal culture.