Indigenous Justice Cultural Competency Work Group – Cultural Competency Survey & Key Findings

The purpose of the survey was to collect/compile information on current practices justice serving agencies in the community of Calgary have or do not have in providing relevant Indigenous training to their staff.  The working group identified there are a number of agencies who work primarily with the indigenous population and feel it is relevant and necessary to have the cultural competency and understanding to work effectively with the Indigenous population.

Some key results from the survey:

  • 90% of the agencies provide direct service to Indigenous client involved with the youth and adult system.
  • 67% of the agencies provide Indigenous culture, skill and knowledge base training with 59% indicating it is mandatory for all staff. 10% of the agencies indicated it was not mandatory training.  10% of the agencies surveys do not provide specific training and 23% of the surveyed agencies were unable to respond.
  • 76% of the agencies utilize external training opportunities.  38% of the surveyed agencies indicated they are only offered the training when initially hired.  31% stated they are offered the training on a yearly basis.
  • The two major areas of content covered in training are Inter-generational Trauma (18%) and the History of Indigenous People, including the legacy of Residential Schools (18%).  Only 11% of the agencies offer training on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Calls to Action.
  • Many barriers the agencies face when providing or wanting to provide cultural competency training is a lack of funds (budget), time, isolation (no contact with Indigenous agencies).  The majority indicated the main barrier was a lack of budget to provide the training.


  • Although 90% of the agencies established in Calgary who work with Indigenous clients in the youth and adult justice system have cultural competency based training, there is still a need to educate.
  • Funding is a key issue to the establishment and continuous delivery of cultural competency based training for many of the agencies who work in the justice field and provide services to the Indigenous population in Calgary.
  • Not all competency based training is made mandatory yet 90% of the agencies work with Indigenous clients.
  • 76% of the agencies do not have their own cultural competency training and rely on external resources.  This may impede their ability to offer the training on a continual basis (ie: yearly).
  • There is a lack of information provided on The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and/ or Calls to Action.

Overall, there is an apparent need for the implementation and continuous delivery of cultural competency based training for the human service agencies who work within the area of justice and provide services to the Indigenous population within the city of Calgary.
Please see the Survey results here.

We would like to thank the effort and dedication of the long standing Justice Circle members, in the development, distribution, and collection of the survey as well, those members that compiled the data from the survey results. We especially are grateful to those justice serving agencies that took time to participate in filling out the survey to contribute to the larger narrative of the collective communities that make up Treaty 7 territory.

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