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Opinion

Potential ministers should have excellent cultural competence

By Rose LeMay      

Cultural competence is the skill and ability to respect others’ cultures, and limit the projection of one’s own culture on others. Reconciliation requires that potential ministers truly understand the depth and importance of cultural competence in order to build effective relationships with Indigenous peoples.

Cultural competence is a lifelong journey. It is not built in a two-hour seminar, nor a checkbox of 'how to successfully interact with Inuit,' nor a couple pages on the art or dance of First Nations, writes Rose LeMay. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis cultures are diverse and deep and amazing, all 700 or so cultures. Th Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—One of the ways that the Government of Canada can reduce conflict with Indigenous peoples is by valuing, even demanding, that ministers have excellent cultural competence. Cultural competence is the skill and ability to respect others’ cultures, and limit the projection of one’s own culture on others. Reconciliation requires that potential ministers truly understand the depth and importance of cultural competence in order to build effective relationships with Indigenous peoples.

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