Diversity and inclusion in the workplace has been the centre of discussions for a number of months now and for employees within the Communications and Portfolio Sector (CPS) of Natural Resources Canada, we have been engaging with management and staff as to how diversity and inclusion should be considered as part of our every day work.
The following is a list of questions that have been shared throughout the sector and serve as points of discussions for all members of the teams to find ways to achieve this new standard of business:
- What aspects of your work already consider or address diversity and inclusion?
- What policies and legislation exists to enforce or encourage diversity and inclusion in your work in this area? (List)
- Do you collect any data related to diversity and inclusion?
- What opportunities exist to increase diversity and inclusion in your work?
- Are there opportunities for collaboration with other teams in CPS, or other sectors, to advance diversity and inclusion in your work?
- What work objectives related to diversity and inclusion could you set with your team in the next 6-12 months? 3-5 years? How would you measure success?
- Have you encountered teams or organizations in a similar line of work as CPS that have advanced diversity and inclusion through their processes or communications? Please share any examples you’ve seen.
This series of ongoing discussions with staff across all levels of the department aims to develop and action plan on Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion. Under NRCan Diversity and Inclusion key priority stream, NRCan colleagues are working collaboratively to equip colleagues in real time, to build together a stronger, diverse and inclusive NRCan workforce, to better serve Canadians, stakeholders and global partners. This inclusive work also serves NRCan commitment to improve the quality of life of Canadians by ensuring the country’s abundant natural resources are developed sustainably, competitively and inclusively.
As a member of the Diversity and Inclusion working group, I meet weekly with sub-committee members to look specifically at training opportunities available both that are either free or available at a cost to employees. The hope is that eventually these sessions will be incorporated into the employee’s performance measurement as well as our individual learning plans. I have also been working with a subcommittee to develop a set of guest speakers who might be invited to future staff meetings to talk about various topics including, but not limited to: micro-aggressions, harassment, Indigenous history in Canada and so on.
The entire process of participating and being included in these discussions has been eye-opening. The struggles that so many face on a daily basis is staggering and any way I can be part of a path towards a solution or learning more makes me feel like I am helping in some small way. The opportunities to network within the department and hear people’s stories and perspectives and why they want to be involve truly provides a sense of community and improved spirit among the participants.
Topics around diversity and inclusion is not a new discussion but the fact that there are actions being taken to change the conversation instead of just talking about something gives me some hope that change is coming.
I have included a list of podcasts, links and resources for those who are interested in learning and exploring more. If you have other resources on the topic, please add them to the comments!
- Podcast: The Secret Life of Canada: What do you really know about The Indian Act? The Secret Life of Canada is a long-running CBC podcast hosted by Leah-Simone Bowen and W.I. Falen Johnson. Ms. Bowen is a Toronto-based, first-generation Canadian from Alberta, whose family hails from Barbados. W.I. Falen Johnson is a playwright and performer. She is Mohawk and Tuscarora from Six Nations and now lives in Toronto. TK Matunda, the podcast’s featured guest, is a Toronto-based writer and producer. She is a first-generation Canadian-Kenyan from the Ontario burbs. Her work has been featured on CBC, BuzzFeed, ABC, Canadaland, HuffPost Canada and more.
- The Mi’kmaq have the right to fish but face violence from commercial fishers. As Chief Sack states, “It’s the same old song and dance.” Link
- Mike Harris’s nomination to the Order of Ontario sparks Indigenous outrage. “I think it was poorly thought out.” Link
- Mi’kmaw artist drawing on heritage for Indigenous Marvel superheroes Link
- Podcast: Performative Activism on display at Super Bowl LV https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1856683075738 Morgan Campbell, senior contribution – CBC Sports, is joined by the Bring It In panelists, Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin, to discuss the performative nature of the messaging to “End Racism” by the NFL at Super Bowl LV.
- Video: How Do You Draw a Cartoon About the B.L.M. protests? https://www.newyorker.com/video/watch/how-do-you-draw-a-cartoon-about-the-blm-protests Liz Montague discusses how she uses humor and illustration to reflect on larger societal issues, including racial justice and climate change.
- Podcast: This is not a Drake podcast: Ep 4: The rise of the singing rapper https://www.cbc.ca/listen/cbc-podcasts/423-this-is-not-a-drake-podcast/episode/15785803-ep-4-the-rise-of-the-singing-rapper – How rappers found creative ways of being heard on the radio, while others pushed beyond stereotypes of Black masculinity to find a new voice.
- Resource: Welcome to Black Canada: How to Take Action <https://quakelab.ca/blog/welcome-to-black-canada-a-resource – Based in Ottawa, QuakeLab is a full-stack inclusion and communications agency that provides the tools, expertise and methods to take your vision for inclusion from idea to action.
- Resource: The need for inclusive conversations – Skills for Inclusive Conversations Video Tutorial | LinkedIn Learning, formerly Lynda.com
- Resource: Do you suffer from diversity fatigue? – Rolling Out a Diversity and Inclusion Training Program in Your Company Video Tutorial | LinkedIn Learning, formerly Lynda.com
- Resource: Indigenous Canada: https://www.ualberta.ca/admissions-programs/online-courses/indigenous-canada/index.html From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations.