News release

Province to Implement Online Aboriginal Cultural Sensitivity Training

Nova Scotia civil servants will be better able to work with the province's Aboriginal people because of a new online training program.

The one-year pilot project uses an aboriginal culture training program developed by Millbrook Technologies Ltd.(MTL) in partnership with the Aboriginal Leadership Institute and endorsed by the Assembly of First Nations. The program is customized to meet the needs of the province's public servants.

Premier Rodney MacDonald and Millbrook Technologies representatives signed a contract today, June 2, at a ceremony at the Millbrook First Nation. Chief Lawrence Paul of Millbrook First Nation and Rosa Walker, executive director of the Aboriginal Leadership Institute also attended the event.

Premier MacDonald said the province is pleased to be able to offer the aboriginal cultural training program, particularly because it is from a company owned and operated by Aboriginal people.

"This is an example of the province working with First Nations to ensure that our public service is better equipped to work with Aboriginal Nova Scotians in every aspect of government," the premier said.

"The province of Nova Scotia has set a good example here today," said Chief Paul. "And we hope that other Atlantic Canada governments, both provincial and municipal -- and the greater business community -- recognize that technology affords us the ability to reach out to all peoples in an effective, timely and cost efficient manner.

"The combined effort of Millbrook Technologies Ltd., the Assembly of First Nations and the Aboriginal Leadership Institute is to reach all Canadians."

"The AFN commends the hard work of all those involved in today's contract signing," said National Chief Phil Fontaine in a statement. "This is a step forward in relation building for Nova Scotia First Nations and the provincial government.

"It shows a real commitment on the premier's behalf to educate employees of the Nova Scotia Public Service Canada on First Nation issues, and I encourage the rest of the provinces to follow suit."

Representatives from the Seminole Nation attended the event.

Millbrook Technologies Ltd. provides learning solutions throughout the world. It develops, markets and delivers online educational, training and awareness programs.

The training program purchased by the province has five key components with a specific module on the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia. The program will complement the Aboriginal perceptions training offered to Nova Scotia's public servants.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia civil servants will be better able to work with the province's Aboriginal people because of a new online training program.

Premier Rodney MacDonald signed a contract at Millbrook First Nation today (June 2nd) to purchase the aboriginal culture program from Millbrook Technologies Limited, the company that developed it.

The Public Service Commission will conduct a one-year pilot program which has five key components, including a specific module on the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia.

Premier MacDonald said the contract is an example of the province working with First Nations to ensure the public service is better equipped to work with Aboriginal Nova Scotians in every aspect of government.

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Media Contacts:

John Soosaar
Aboriginal Affairs 902-424-7409 E-mail:
Cheryl Nasson
Millbrook First Nation 902-897-9199