FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government hosted a series of voluntary training sessions for government employees this week to raise awareness within the civil service about First Nations issues.

“We continue to recognize a need to establish, develop and strengthen our relationship with First Nations communities,” said Service New Brunswick Minister Ed Doherty, who is also minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs. “Through these training sessions, government staff are better informed about First Nations interests, historical context, the Crown’s obligations, and legal responsibilities around engagement and consultation.”

The training will be available to government employees at all levels. This week’s session focused on those who engage directly in the duty-to-consult process and provided training opportunities for deputy ministers, assistant deputy ministers and members of the legislative assembly.

Doherty said the sessions built on similar training in previous years and provided updates on best practices to facilitate dialogue and partnerships with First Nations communities.

More than 220 provincial civil servants have received the training.