Annual Report on the Operation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act 2021-22

Building an Equitable Canada

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Foreword from the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

Photo of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen
Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion

The Government of Canada is committed to advancing multiculturalism across our nation. This is accomplished largely under the Canadian Multiculturalism Act, which promotes the full and equitable participation of individuals and communities of all origins in Canadian society. Multiculturalism is among our key values, and we have built our identity as Canadians on it.

As the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, I am responsible for leading a whole-of-government approach to building a more inclusive, equitable, and just society. One major and important aspect of that is working to address systemic racism and discrimination in Canada. The struggle to unify people and combat racial violence and discrimination of all kinds is hard fought. In recent years, this has been most evident in instances of police brutality, which catalyzed the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020; a rise in racism and hate that has affected Indigenous peoples as well as Black, Asian, Muslim, Jewish, racialized and religious minority communities since the COVID-19 pandemic; and the disturbing revelation of thousands of child graves at the sites of former Residential Schools across Canada. It is clear that a staggering amount of work remains to eliminate systemic inequities, and racism and discrimination.

In 2019, our Government launched Building a Foundation for Change: Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, to address systemic racism and discrimination in Canada. During the first three years of the Strategy, Canada was able to accomplish its outlined goals, with highlights including: engaging with thirty-five thousand stakeholders and partners, enabling community-to-government policy recommendations; supporting 16 departments, central agencies, and anti-racism units in federal institutions in applying an anti-racism framework to their programs and policies; the creation of the Anti-Racism Action Program, which funded over 170 community-based projects to address systemic barriers, as well as online hate; achieving better intersectional data such as gender, education and income level on various ethnocultural population groups; and the creation of the Anti-Racism Secretariat.

Canada’s first Anti-Racism Strategy demonstrates our Government’s commitment to unifying those living in Canada and eliminating racism and discrimination. This year’s Annual Report highlights the ongoing efforts of our Government to address racism and discrimination in Canada, and strive for a truly equitable and inclusive society. While these initiatives all help address racism and discrimination in Canada, we know a lot more work needs to be done.

Budget 2021 saw an important expansion in the federal anti-racism space, with $11 million over two years, starting in 2021-2022, to expand the impact of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, an important Canadian Heritage portfolio organization which has been working to eliminate racism for over 25 years. This investment would allow the Canadian Race Relations Foundation to scale up efforts to empower racialized Canadians and help community groups combat racism in all its forms.

Building on this progress, Budget 2022 provided $85 million to renew Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy and create an Action Plan for Combatting Hate. It also provided sustained investments to support the offices of the Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism and the Special Representative for Combatting Islamophobia.

I am pleased to present the Annual Report on the Operation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act 2021-2022. This report highlights the concrete actions that our Government has undertaken over the past year to advance the objectives of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act and to foster a more inclusive and secure society for all Canadians.

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen
Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion


The Government of Canada recognizes that the fight against racism, discrimination and hate requires ongoing commitment. The Annual Report on the Operation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act is a key avenue through which the Government of Canada can highlight the important work the federal public service is doing to combat racism, hate and discrimination, and its efforts to promote a multicultural society.

Although this report highlights many of the Government’s accomplishments, we also acknowledge that much more needs to be done across all federal institutions. There is extensive evidence that racism, discrimination, and hate continue to impact Indigenous peoples, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the barriers that different groups of people face, for example negative interactions with the police and social institutions, job loss, physical and mental health, and feelings of community safety and inclusion. Self-reported victimization surveys, crowdsourcing initiatives and Canada-level surveys indicate disproportionate levels of discrimination experienced by racialized and Indigenous peoples before and during the pandemic. Research from Statistics Canada showed that hate crimes increased by 27% to 3,360 incidents in 2021, which is a 72% total increase since 2019. This increase is largely in part of the rise in hate crimes targeting religion (+67%), sexual orientation (+64%), and race or ethnicity (+6%)Footnote 1.

The Government is committed to achieving an equitable workforce and a multicultural country where all are free from racism, hate, and discrimination. Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy has been one major vehicle for engaging with communities and partners domestically and internationally, and delivering a wide range of innovative internal and external policies and programs across federal institutions to identify and eliminate barriers.

Part one of this report provides a summary of the achievements of the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program, and its contributions to multiculturalism and anti-racism between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022. It is organized based on the following key sections:

Part two of this report summarizes how other federal institutions are meeting their obligations under the Canadian Multiculturalism Act by highlighting a series of promising practices. These practices are highlighted through the following 4 themes:

Part 1: Canadian Heritage

The Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program

In 1971, Canada became the first country in the world to adopt an official Multiculturalism Policy and 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of this important adoption. The Policy was later enshrined in law as the Canadian Multiculturalism Act (1988). In addition to other federal laws, the adoption and enshrinement of the Multiculturalism Policy form a strong legislative framework that promotes respect for Canada’s diverse ethnicities, cultures and religions, and the full participation of all Canadians in the social, political, civic, and economic spheres of society. The Canadian Multiculturalism Act has also proven flexible in responding to current events and increasing social awareness of the racism and discrimination faced by Indigenous peoples, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities.

The Canadian Heritage (PCH) Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program is one means by which the Government implements the Canadian Multiculturalism Act and advances its priorities around anti-racism. To support and implement these initiatives, the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program within PCH has the following four key objectives:

  1. Supporting communities in confronting racism and discrimination, promoting intercultural and interfaith understanding, and fostering equitable opportunities as well as the full participation of community members in Canadian society;.
  2. Reinforcing cooperation among federal institutions to identify and address systemic barriers resulting from racism and religious discrimination;
  3. Promoting and engaging in dialogue on multiculturalism, diversity, racism, and religious discrimination at the domestic and international levels; and,
  4. Strengthening research and evidence to build an understanding of the disparities and challenges faced by Indigenous peoples, racialized, and religious minority communities.

Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy

Launched in June 2019, Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy (CARS) provided a strong foundation for longer-term federal action against racism and discrimination in Canada. The goal of CARS is to foster an inclusive and equitable society where everyone can fully and meaningfully participate in the economic, cultural, social, and political spheres. Since 2019, the Government has committed $95M through CARS to combat systemic racism and discrimination in Canada, including $70M to support community organizations across the country in addressing issues of anti-racism and multiculturalism. The departments funded under CARS include Canadian Heritage, the Department of Justice Canada, Statistics Canada, and Public Safety Canada.

CARS is comprised of three pillars:

  1. Demonstrating Federal Leadership through establishing a Federal Secretariat for horizontal coordination and institutional capacity building.
  2. Empowering Communities through grants and contributions for communities combating systemic racism in justice, employment and social participation, and through stakeholder engagement activities.
  3. Building Awareness and Changing Attitudes by boosting availability of disaggregated data (information broken down by sub-categories, such as by specific population groups) and launching a public education and awareness campaign.

The following sections provide highlights of the key accomplishments in the third year of the Strategy in accordance with its three pillars.

Pillars of Canada's Anti-Racism Strategy
Pillars of Canada's Anti-Racism Strategy – text version
  • Demonstrating federal leadership
  • Empowering communities
  • Building awareness and changing attitudes

Demonstrating Federal Leadership

Anti-Racism Framework

As part of the Government’s efforts to tackling racial discrimination, an Anti-Racism Framework was piloted in partnership with 16 departments, central agencies, and anti-racism units in federal institutions in 2021-22. It is an analytical framework that supports federal institutions in applying an anti-racism lens to their initiatives. Overall, the Framework seeks to strengthen institutional capacity to remove systemic barriers, identify gaps, and design effective policies, programs, services, and legislation that benefit all people in Canada.

United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024)

In recognition of the United Nations Decade for People of African Descent, the Federal Anti-Racism Secretariat (ARSEC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) established the Working Group on the International Decade for People of African Descent. Created in July 2020, the Working Group grew to reach over 18 federal institutions that get together on a regular basis to ensure that government actions effectively address the needs of people of African descent in Canada and to further explore government action beyond 2024, the last year of the United Nations Decade.

Federal-Provincial/Territorial Collaboration

The Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Branch leads dialogue with provinces and territories through the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Network of Officials Responsible for Multiculturalism, Inclusion and Anti-Racism (FPTORMIA), to help facilitate stronger collaboration on the overarching objective of bolstering diversity and equity in Canada.

North American Partnership on Racial Equity and Inclusion – Strengthening Multilateralism and Canada’s Human Rights Agenda

In November 2021, the Prime Minister of Canada and the Presidents of the United States and Mexico committed to creating a trilateral North American Partnership to further Racial Equity and Inclusion.

Initiatives in Response to COVID-19

In 2021-22, the Federal Anti-Racism Secretariat (ARSEC) continued to co-lead the Equity-Seeking Communities COVID-19 Taskforce alongside the Department of Women and Gender Equality, which provides space for federal institutions and organizations to engage directly with equity-deserving communities to ensure the federal response to COVID-19 is informed by their diverse and unique needs.

Seminars and Training

The Federal Anti-Racism Secretariat has also worked collaboratively with institutions like the Canada School of Public Service and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council to offer seminars and training to over 7,000 federal public servants on anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Black racism, anti-Asian racism, antisemitism, and Islamophobia.

Empowering Communities

Funding Initiatives

The Anti-Racism Action Program (ARAP) was launched in 2019 as part of Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy (CARS). It is designed to help address barriers to employment, justice, and social participation among Indigenous peoples, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities. ARAP also funds projects that address online hate and digital literacy. To date, a total of 174 projects have been funded through ARAP (totaling $35M), 89 of which received $20M in 2021-22

In addition to ARAP, CARS also provided $35M in funding towards the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program’s other Grants and Contributions Program, the Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives (CSMARI) program. Further details on CSMARI can be found under the section, Additional Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program Highlights.

Engagement Initiatives
Definition of Anti-Asian Racism

Since March 2020, Canada has been working with Asian communities to address the proliferation of anti-Asian racism and hate linked to and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Representatives of Asian communities raised concerns and identified numerous policy recommendations that would allow the Government to effectively address the many issues they face. In response, Canada worked with dozens of members of diverse Asian communities over the course of May 2021 to develop a formal definition of anti-Asian racism. The definition, which was added to Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, is the following:

“In Canada, anti-Asian racism refers to historical and ongoing discrimination, negative stereotyping, and injustice experienced by peoples of Asian descent, based on others’ assumptions about their ethnicity and nationality. Peoples of Asian descent are subjected to specific overt and subtle racist tropes and stereotypes at individual and systemic levels, which lead to their ongoing social, economic, political and cultural marginalization, disadvantage and unequal treatment. This includes perceptions of being a “Yellow Peril,” a “Perpetual Foreigner,” a “Model Minority,” “exotic,” or “mystic.” These stereotypes are rooted in Canada’s long history of racist and exclusionary laws, and often mask racism faced by peoples of Asian descent, while erasing their historical contributions to building Canada. The term ‘Asian’ encompasses a wide range of identities that the very term Asian can obscure. While all may experience being “otherized,” specific experiences of anti-Asian racism vary. Some are constantly being perceived to be a threat, some face gendered exotification and violence, some are more likely to be subjected to online hate and racist portrayals in the media, while others face Islamophobia and other forms of religious-based discrimination.”

A Special Seminar on Anti-Indigenous Racism

On June 11, 2021, the Federal Secretariat held a seminar, open to the federal public service, entitled Mobilizing Research to Address Anti-Indigenous Racism and Discrimination. With the assistance of seasoned Indigenous researchers, the session shared key research findings to build greater awareness of the stories and lived experiences of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. Considerable emphasis was placed on exploring the ways in which colonization and the Residential Schools shape systemic anti-Indigenous racism today. This involved helping public servants understand the pervasiveness of anti-Indigenous racism in Canada. Researchers also proposed specific actions the Government can take to address anti-Indigenous racism.

Definition of Antisemitism

Canada adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism as part of Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy and pledged to promote the definition across Canada to spread awareness and education related to antisemitism and combatting it. To accomplish this, Canada is supporting the domestic mandate of the inaugural Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism. As such, Canadian support for IHRA has included promotion of the IHRA’s contributions to teaching and learning on the Holocaust, participation in the #ProtectTheFacts campaign, supporting the adoption and implementation of the IHRA working definition of antisemitism and supporting the definition of anti-gypsyism, and supporting the IHRA’s education and research efforts toward the prevention of mass atrocities globally. Canadian Heritage is also leading efforts to commission the development of a Canadian focused IHRA definition handbook.

National Summit on Antisemitism

On July 21, 2021, the Honourable Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism, and the Honourable Bardish Chagger, then Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, convened a virtual National Summit on Antisemitism. The Prime Minister, Federal Ministers, Members of Parliament, and officials joined together with diverse Jewish community leaders to identify ways in which organizations, communities, individuals, and the Government can work together to increase public awareness, enhance community security, combat misinformation and online hate, and identify new measures necessary to combat antisemitism.

National Summit on Islamophobia

On July 22, 2021, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, then Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, convened a virtual National Summit on Islamophobia to provide a national platform for Muslim communities to identify concrete ways to combat Islamophobia across the country. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opened the summit by reiterating the Government’s solidarity with Muslim communities across Canada and its commitment to combat and denounce Islamophobia and all forms of racism and discrimination. During the summit, federal ministers, Members of Parliament, and officials from provincial and municipal governments, were informed about the lived experiences of Muslim Canadians from across the country.

Building Awareness and Changing Attitudes

Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy recognizes that race-based disaggregated data and evidence are important tools for identifying and addressing inequities and supporting corrective action in order to eliminate racism and discrimination. As such, Canadian Heritage signed formal agreements with Statistics Canada, Justice Canada, and Public Safety Canada to conduct original research on topics that advance our understanding of racism and discrimination.

Key highlights in 2021-22 under the Building Awareness and Changing Attitudes pillar, include:

Statistics Canada
Oversampling of the 2020 General Social Survey on Social Identity (GSS-SI)

The GSS-SI is a survey of the general population that explores themes such as social participation, civic engagement, attitudes towards Canadian institutions and symbols, and experiences of discrimination. Data was collected from August 2020 to February 2021 for the 2020 GSS-SI survey, and there was an oversample of six racialized population groups. The oversample has allowed for increased levels of data disaggregation and intersectional analysis by gender, age and immigration status for various ethnocultural population groups. The first release of GSS-SI data took place in September 2021 and the full survey results were released in winter 2022. In March 2022, Statistics Canada released a second round of data, as well as an infographic on Discrimination before and since the start of the pandemic using GSS-SI data. The data were also used to populate a number of data tables for the Social Inclusion Framework.

Analytical Papers

In 2021-22, Statistics Canada published three analytical products based on new and existing social, economic, and justice data to provide concrete evidence of the challenges experienced by Indigenous peoples, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities:

Department of Justice

To better understand the prevalence and nature of serious legal problems experienced by equity-deserving individuals, including Indigenous peoples, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities, Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy provided support for the Department of Justice's 2021 Canadian Legal Problems Survey. This is a general population, self-reported survey of those aged 18 years and older in the ten provinces where respondents were asked whether they had experienced a serious legal problem within the past three years. Among other questions, respondents were asked whether they believe discrimination played a role in the problems they experienced.

The survey collected intersectional data across the 10 provinces including Indigenous identity, immigration status, income, disability, race, gender, education, and other factors. Results from the survey were released in January 2022 and can be accessed at the following link:
Survey on Experiences of serious problems or disputes in the Canadian provinces, 2021.

Canadian Legal Problems Survey Highlights
  • Notably, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis living in the provinces were much more likely than non-Indigenous people to report experiencing one or more serious legal problems in the three years preceding the survey (27% versus 18%). More specifically, 28% of First Nations, 24% of Inuit, and 27% of Métis experienced one or more serious problems.
  • One-fifth (20%) of people belonging to a group designated as a visible minority reported experiencing at least one serious problem—a proportion higher than that of people who are not a visible minority (18%). This difference was driven by a higher proportion of Black people reporting a serious problem (28%). After controlling for other variables of interest, people belonging to a group designated as a visible minority had significantly higher odds (+24%) of experiencing a serious problem compared to non-visible minorities.
Public Safety

Public Safety Canada’s Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence is continuing its systemic reviews that are currently being conducted by the Campbell Collaboration. The first systemic review is on Mapping the scientific knowledge and approaches to defining and measuring hate crime, hate speech, and hate incidents. The second systemic review is on Hate online and in traditional media: A systematic review of the evidence for associations or impacts on individuals, audiences and communities. These two reviews will be valuable for informing policies, programs and research to understand and address hate and violent extremism online and in-person, with updates on both studies available at Campbell CVE studies - The Campbell Collaboration, including links to publications of the peer reviewed methods and approach, and the final reports.

Additional Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program Highlights

In addition to initiatives specific to Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program undertook activities in 2021-22 to implement the Canadian Multiculturalism Act and advance priorities around anti-racism. These include:

Details on these activities are outlined below.

Community Investments: The Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives (CSMARI) Program

The Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program administers two grants and contributions funding programs, the Anti-Racism Action Program (ARAP) and the Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives (CSMARI) Program. While ARAP was created through Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, CSMARI predates it.

The CSMARI Program funds projects that support communities in confronting racism and discrimination, promoting intercultural and interfaith understand, and fostering equitable opportunities for their members to fully participate in Canadian society. It also funds projects that promote dialogue on multiculturalism, diversity, racism, and religious discrimination at the domestic and international levels. Finally, the Program funds projects that strengthen research and evidence to build understanding of the disparities and challenges faced by Indigenous peoples, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities. In 2021-22, funding was provided for the following streams under CSMARI:

Public Outreach and Promotion

Public recognition of the longstanding, invaluable contributions made by Indigenous peoples, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities is an important part of the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program. This is done through public events, as well as by formally adopting different commemorative dates into a public calendar. Highlights for 2021-22 are listed below:

Asian Heritage Month
Asian Heritage Month 2021 branding centering on a graphic lotus flower

Asian Heritage Month 2021.
“Recognition, Resilience and Resolve”

May 2021 marked the 20th anniversary of the Government’s declaration of May as Asian Heritage Month with a national, virtual celebration. This month serves as an important opportunity for all Canadians to learn more about the positive impact that Asian communities have and continue to make. It is also a time for us to reflect on the realities that many members of the various Asian communities continue to face. The social media campaign and virtual celebration reached over 1 million people. The social media campaign in 2021 more than doubled the audience of the campaign in 2020.

During Asian Heritage month, systemic racism and anti-Asian racism were addressed in particular. With the theme entitled "Recognition, Resilience and Resolve", Asian Heritage Month 2021 also focused on embodying pan-Asian diversity and the invaluable achievements that Canadians of Asian descent have made in all sectors of society.

A series of forums with subject matter experts addressing anti-Asian racism and the many contributions of people of Asian descent to the development of Canada was also organized.

Emancipation Day
Emancipation Day branding centered on a raised, outstretched hand.

Emancipation Day

On March 24, 2021, the House of Commons unanimously voted to designate August 1 as Emancipation Day, which marks the day that slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1834. This historic day paved the way to freeing enslaved Africans and their descendants in Canada, parts of the Caribbean, Africa, and South America. Parliamentarians also identified the International Decade for People of African Descent as an opportunity for Canadians to take further action to combat anti-Black racism in all spheres of society.

To mark the first ever national Emancipation Day on August 1, 2021, Canadian Heritage worked with Black-led organizations across the country to bring Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast together for a series of virtual celebratory activities. This included a youth-driven social media campaign and cultural activities campaign, offering virtual cultural and educational activities, in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, British Columbia and the North, all of which culminated in a national virtual celebration. It was produced by the National Film Board of Canada in collaboration with the Federal Anti-Racism Secretariat. The virtual celebration showcased the history of emancipation and key historical sites in Canada tied to the history of slavery and emancipation. Watch the virtual national celebration for Emancipation Day on YouTube.

Black History Month
Black History Month 2022 branding including a collage with vignettes of Black people in various professions and settings.

Black History Month 2022:
February and Forever:
Celebrating Black History Today and Every Day.

In February 2022, we celebrated Black History Month. Black History Month is a time to recognize and commemorate the history of Black Canadians and their communities and reflect on their important contributions to making Canada a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable country. As we celebrate the remarkable achievements of Black Canadians and their communities, we also acknowledge the social and economic barriers caused by systemic anti-Black racism and discrimination that they continue to face.

2022’s theme, “February and Forever: Celebrating Black History Today and Every Day”, reminded us to recognize and reflect on – not only in February, but year-round–the past and present remarkable accomplishments of Black Canadians and their communities in all sectors of society including academia, the arts, health, sciences, sport, business, and much more.

The theme for the 2022 Black History Month commemoration saw an exponential increase in its audience for the second year in a row, with viewership having risen from 150,000 to 1 million in 2021, and from 1 million to nearly 2 million in 2022.

Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism

On November 25, 2020, the Prime Minister of Canada appointed the Honourable Irwin Cotler as Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism. In collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Program supported the domestic and international mandate of the Special Envoy. The Special Envoy plays a critical role in advancing our work on combatting antisemitism at home and abroad, as well as preserving Holocaust remembrance. This includes Professor Cotler’s leadership of the Government of Canada’s delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

In October 2021 at the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism, the Prime Minister announced Canada’s pledges on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism. Canada pledged to:

The Special Envoy works closely with the Government to ensure that these pledges are enacted within Canada.

Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia

As part of its efforts to combat Islamophobia, in January 2022, the Government announced its intention to create the position and the office of the Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia. The Special Representative appointment is one of the recommendations put forward by attendees during the National Summit on Islamophobia in July 2021, and will be an additional step in the Government’s ongoing work to tackle Islamophobia in all its forms through Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy.

The Special Representative will serve as a champion, advisor, expert, and representative to the Government, for the purpose of enhancing efforts to combat Islamophobia and to address barriers facing Muslim communities and promoting awareness of the diverse and intersectional identities of Muslims in Canada.

Part 2: Implementation of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act across Federal Institutions

The Canadian Multiculturalism Act recognizes the crucial role that federal institutions play in preserving and enhancing multiculturalism in Canada. The Act instructs federal organizations to work towards equal opportunity and advancement in their institutions, promote capacity building to enable all individuals and communities to contribute to the continuing evolution of Canada, enhance the understanding of and respect for diversity, collect research and data to support the development of relevant policies, programs, and practices, make appropriate use of the language skills and cultural knowledge of individuals of all origins, and in general, carry on their activities to respond to Canada’s multicultural reality.

Federal institutions have made significant strides in responding to the Canadian Multiculturalism Act by promoting multiculturalism, strengthening diversity, and combatting racism and discrimination in their institutions and across Canada. This is demonstrated through the wide range of activities highlighted through this year’s Annual Report submissions. Significant work has been undertaken in the areas of ethnocultural data collection; consultations and partnerships with diverse stakeholders to better understand their needs; offering anti-racism, diversity and inclusion training in the workplace; holding events and distributing communication products to educate employees about diversity in the workplace; encouraging employee groups to share ideas and represent concerns in contributing to policies, programs and practices; and celebrating the rich history and contributions of diverse groups to Canadian society.

Federal institutions also made important progress in ensuring that internal and external policies and programs are inclusive to all. This included identifying and addressing systemic barriers in hiring and retention; focusing efforts on recruiting talented students from diverse backgrounds; and by providing opportunities for employees to learn both official languages for their job requirements or for career development. Many federal institutions also recognized the need for translated material and interpretation services to better increase access to their programing; leveraged the multilingual capacity, cultural competency, and cultural expertise of their employees; continued to break down barriers created and exacerbated by the pandemic; and operated transfer payment programs that directly address systemic racism or systemic barriers. Highlights of these activities are further described below.

Methodology and Approach to Analysis

To gather information for the Annual Report from federal institutions, including Canadian Heritage (PCH), PCH distributed questionnaires to federal institutions of all sizes and mandates. Of the 141 institutions that received the questionnaire, 124 of them provided a submission (88% response rate).

All input received was reviewed, tabulated, and analyzed based on the following four themes:

The following sections provides insights on how PCH and other federal institutions have met the requirements of each theme.

Collection of Data

PCH Data Collection

PCH collects data primarily through surveys and consultations. By asking thoughtful and specific questions about lived experiences and demographics, PCH can leverage input from communities to make its policies and programs relevant to those accessing them. Examples are listed below:

Canada’s first-ever State of Youth Report was released in August 2021. The report illustrates how diverse groups of young people are faring in Canada, and helps inform youth-related policies, programs, and priorities going forward. In engagement sessions with youth across Canada, the federal Youth Secretariat adopted an intersectional approach to participant recruitment, session facilitation and data collection, and interpretation of data, with an emphasis on centering the voices of underserved and marginalized populations of youth. Youth who identified as Indigenous, Black, racialized, newcomer, and religious minority communities engaged to share their perspectives and inform future policies and programs to better support the needs of diverse groups of youth. Additionally, Indigenous, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities were represented among members of the Youth Advisory Group, who led the interpretation of data and drafted recommendations for the State of Youth Report. This supported a youth-led approach with diverse voices of youth represented, helping to inform future youth-related federal policies and programs to be more equitable.

Sport Canada conducted a survey on ethics, equity, and safety in sport. Between February 26 and March 23, 2021, 10,599 Canadians completed this online survey. The objective was to assess levels of knowledge and satisfaction in areas such as gender equality, doping, concussions, harassment, and abuse and included a module specifically focused on the effects of COVID-19 on ethics, equity, and safety. Results were weighted by region, gender, and age and allowed for analysis by socioeconomic status, first official language, ethno-cultural background, Indigenous identity, and disability status. By expanding the disaggregation of data to identify members of Indigenous, Black, and racialized communities, Sport Canada is strengthening its evidence base to inform policies and programs aimed at increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in sport.

Data Collection Across Federal Institutions

Data provides a strong foundation for better policies, programs and practices and overall strengthens the evidence-based work of the Government, as breaking down individuals’ attributes such as gender, language, and ethnicity, enables a more comprehensive understanding of the experiences and outcomes of specific population groups. Under this theme, federal institutions were asked:

Federal institutions continue to make significant strides in the collection of data on ethnic, racial, and religious diversity. 52% of federal institutions surveyed indicated that they collect racial, ethnic, and religious diversity data to develop or improve internal and external policies, programs, practices, and services.

In 2021-2022, 79% of federal institutions collected input directly from Indigenous peoples, Black, racialized, and/or religious minority communities to gather feedback on the design, development, and/or delivery of policies, programs, practices and/or services. Federal institutions used a variety of mechanisms to gather input from different communities. 69% of federal institutions gathered information through consultations, 65% through networks, 60% through partnerships, 52% through advisory councils, and 44% through other mechanisms.

Figure 1. How Institutions Gathered Input
Figure 1. How Institutions Gathered Input – text version
How Institutions Gathered Input %
Consultations 69%
Networks 65%
Partnerships 60%
Advisory Councils 52%
Other Outreach Mechanisms 44%

When federal institutions were asked how they used the data they collected, many of them indicated that they used Gender-based Analysis (GBA) Plus to understand how diverse groups experience their programs and policies. Among several methods, they analyzed the demographic makeup of program applicants and recipients, to understand the reach of their programming, and identify strategies to improve the access of underrepresented groups by better meeting their needs.

Similarly, data often helped institutions understand where to concentrate their efforts, in terms of outreach or the allocation of funds for services across Canada, such as through COVID recovery initiatives to support vulnerable communities. Data, both administrative and obtained through consultations, is also used to guide the design and delivery of initiatives, from creating individual learning products to improving community safety, to creating new legislation.

Federal institutions also used data internally to emphasize the need for anti-racism discussions to learn more about the experiences of diverse groups, and to understand what is needed to make their workplaces more inclusive and equitable. Data also helps build new learning products and training. Furthermore, data is used to create action plans, or take individual actions relating to improving diversity and inclusion in building stronger workplaces, for example to improve hiring practices, retention, career development, and mobility. Many institutions stated that they modernized or expanded the categories on self-identification forms, or related surveys, for these purposes.

Finally, federal institutions used data for performance measurement, to understand whether the institution has met its various goals, often relating to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and beyond, to understand the level of impact that policies and programs have on diverse populations, and the steps needed to improve.

Table 1. Best practice(s) – Collection of data and mechanisms of gathering input
Name of federal institution Best practice(s)
Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) The CRRF conducts public opinion polling to better understand the views of the general population, as well as Indigenous peoples and racialized communities. This type of research measures awareness of public policy priorities, and the knowledge gap around issues that affect Indigenous peoples and racialized. For example, the CRRF has conducted polling on the State of Race Relations 2021, Canadian Perceptions of Residential Schools and its legacy, Online hate speech and racism in Canada, and Racial Justice Priorities for Canada’s 44th Parliament.
Correctional Service of Canada The Impact of Race and Culture Assessments are pre-sentencing reports (administered by Justice Canada) that help sentencing judges better understand the effect of poverty, marginalization, racism, and social exclusion on the offender and their life experience. These reports explain how the offender's lived experiences inform their circumstances, offence(s) committed, and their experience with the justice system. The assessments provide valuable information about ethnocultural offenders’ social history and enhance the agency’s capacity to accurately and comprehensively assess the needs of these offenders.
Health Canada

Health Canada’s draft Sex and Gender-based Analysis Plus Action Plan outlines measures the department will take to ensure consistent and meaningful collection and analysis of disaggregated data on the diversity of clinical trial participants in health products submitted for regulatory approval. This approach includes introducing a requirement for industry to submit clinical data disaggregated by various groups, including racialized and ethnocultural communities. The plan underscores the importance of taking an intersectional approach to data analysis and public reporting, to the extent possible.

As part of the implementation of this plan, Health Canada is engaging with industry partners and international regulatory bodies to collaborate on how best to ensure increased diversity in clinical trial participants, to collect disaggregated data with a standardized approach and to report on this data in an open and transparent manner. Health Canada will also develop training and guidance materials to support Industry as they increase diversity of clinical trial participants and analyze this data, particularly regarding safety and efficacy.

Canada Council for the Arts For the past two years, the Canada Council for the Arts has conducted Research on the Value of Public Funding for Indigenous Arts and Cultures. This project explores the role of arts and culture in Indigenous communities, as well as the value of a public investment in the Indigenous arts community, through a research approach rooted in Indigenous worldviews. The project is being conducted in partnership with Archipel Research and Consulting Inc., an Indigenous-owned and women-led firm. This past year, Archipel engaged a wide range of Indigenous artists, arts groups, organizations, and community members. This research will be published in Fall 2022 and provide specific recommendations to the Council, and for the arts sector more broadly, on how to improve access for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, and maximize the impact of funding.

Source: Excerpts from Annual Report responses

For more examples of best practices in data collection, refer to Annex A.

Successes and Challenges Relating to Collection of Data

In terms of successes, federal institutions stated that consistent collection of detailed disaggregated data ensured the perspective of stakeholders were considered and several institutions implemented a systematic approach to enable analytics and enable better decision-making.

However, several federal institutions noted that their increased collection of data came with challenges. In some cases, there was a lack of capacity or a reluctance to provide this information due its sensitive nature. It was also observed that collecting such data put greater administrative burden on both the institution and community organizations. Even when the data is collected, it can be difficult to link the information, outputs, and outcomes, to performance indicators. A few institutions also indicated the importance of allowing for the time for meaningful consultation, which means lead time for planning initiatives.

Internally, while many federal institutions modernized their self-identification forms and surveys, they remain voluntary, meaning data collected may not be fully reflective of their workforce, which makes it more difficult to create and implement new employee initiatives. Several institutions also indicated that managing data is a challenge due to privacy, legal and other concerns so it remains important to ensure that people know how their information will be stewarded.

Finally, challenges remain around the terminology used for demographics questions, as federal institutions continue to examine ways to capture the intersectionality of identities.

Education and Awareness

Education and Awareness at PCH

In addition to those already mentioned in this report, PCH has implemented a variety of initiatives to educate and raise awareness on cultural and racial diversity and the challenges diverse groups face. This was exemplified through key partnerships with stakeholders, as well through PCH’s employee-led committees and networks with a diversity and inclusion mandate. Examples of these initiatives are listed below.

Examples of PCH Partnerships

In early 2021, the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) partnered with Aboriginal People’s Television Network (APTN) and Archipel Research and Consulting Inc. to engage in an Indigenous identity consultation process to address the significant complexities surrounding Indigenous identity. Consultations were conducted with Indigenous industry professionals, cultural experts, traditional Knowledge Keepers, academics, artists, and media content creators from across Canada. The Department of Canadian Heritage supported these consultations with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) providing $60,000 in funding. The purpose of this MOU was to provide ISO with support to advance the Indigenous Identity Consultation Process and to formalize PCH’s intention to consider the results of the consultations as it reviews and modernizes its own program and policy framework.

Examples of PCH Committees

PCH has several employee-led committees with a diversity and inclusion-related mandate. Some of the roles of these committees include engaging senior management and holding them accountable to foster a healthy and inclusive workplace; acting as a spokesperson and ambassador of Employment Equity, diversity and inclusion intra-and inter-departmentally; preparing and posting messages on the PCH intranet of events, organizing events, celebrations and commemorations related to their areas of interest; and collaborating with HR on inclusive and equitable human resources practices. For example:

Education and Awareness Across Institutions

Education and awareness are essential in increasing understanding of issues affecting equity-deserving groups and to provide tools and resources to the public, and federal institutions, on how to take action. Under this theme, federal institutions were asked about:


Federal institutions have placed a significant focus on providing diversity and inclusion training to employees. This is demonstrated through the 92% of federal institutions surveyed that indicated that their employees participated in training that addresses racism and discrimination, as well as diversity and inclusion.

Training for public servants is most often delivered through the Canada School of Public Service, which leads the Government's enterprise-wide approach to learning. This includes a variety of learning series that are available for all public servants to broaden their awareness of the racism or discrimination against Indigenous peoples, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities. For example, the Anti-Racism Learning Series includes 22 learning products on providing information on issues around racism and systemic barriers that exist for marginalized and racialized groups in Canada. Additionally, the Indigenous Learning Series includes 34 learning products where public servants have access to information, resources, tools, videos, and other learning material on the current realities, history, heritage, cultures, rights, and perspectives of Indigenous peoples in Canada and their relationship with the Crown.

Apart from the Canada School of Public Service, federal institutions often used the services of third-party organizations, such as ones that focus on corporate training, or independent experts, usually consultants.

In terms of mandatory training, a large majority of federal institutions, as a basis for a respectful and inclusive workspace, require that their employees take training on diversity and inclusion fundamentals, harassment and violence prevention, respectful workplace, values and ethics, and cultural awareness on Indigenous peoples and racialized communities. These are usually delivered through the Canada School of Public Service. Many institutions also mandate GBA Plus training, delivered through Women and Gender Equality Canada. A significant number of federal institutions also mentioned that they mandated unconscious bias training for all employees. This training was made mandatory by the Public Service Commission of Canada, effective April 1, 2021. The Public Service Commission also encouraged institutions to make training on inclusive hiring and inclusive leadership mandatory for managers and executives.

As for optional training, many federal institutions mention they promoted anti-racism and anti-discrimination training to staff. Optional training is usually a deeper exploration of specific issues, including ones faced by equity-deserving groups. These trainings, as well as ones offered by third-parties, cover issues such as the historical roots of racism and religious intolerance in Canada, systemic racism and institutional bias, decolonization, microaggressions, allyship, and other topics which raise awareness on what policies and practices limit equity and inclusion. There are also specific anti-racism trainings that focus on the public service, such as on bridging the workplace diversity gap, hiring and advancement of Indigenous employees, barriers faced by Black people in the public service, racialized women in the public service, systemic racism and the public service, racialized people in the senior ranks of the public service, religious inclusion in the workplace, and numerous other topics.

Table 2. Best practice(s) in education and awareness – Training
Name of federal institution Best practice(s)
Public Prosecution Service of Canada The Public Prosecution Service of Canada launched a custom, mandatory learning event called “Expanding Our Mindset – Applying an Intersectionality Lens to Prosecutorial Work (A GBA Plus Approach)” in September 2021. This is a highly interactive course co-developed with the Center for Intercultural Learning from Global Affairs Canada. Currently, all lawyers are required to undertake this learning. This eight-hour opportunity aims to enhance employee understanding of the realities faced by individuals subjected to systemic discrimination and overrepresentation, particularly of Indigenous peoples, Black people, and other racialized communities, in the criminal justice system. Twelve sessions were offered during 2021-2022 and approximately 36% of the agency’s prosecutors completed the training, including the entire senior legal management team.
National Battlefields Commission

Two specific trainings on the history and experience of two distinct groups were offered to museum management employees, mandatory for available staff. On September 7, 2021, a training session was held with historian Ali N'Diaye on the history of the black population of the city and region of Quebec. 9 guide-animators, 3 receptionists, and 3 office staff members participated in the training. The training allowed for a better understanding of the evolution of the Black community in Quebec City and the diversity of its experiences throughout history since the founding of the city by the Kingdom of France, including the history of slavery and racism.

On March 25, 2022, training was held with a First Nations historian (Médérik Sioui, member of the Huron-Wendat Nation) on the participation of the First Peoples in the events of the Siege of Québec (1759-1760). The training aimed to summarize the plurality of points of view, positions and reasons that pushed the different nations or groupings of nations to take part (or not) in these historical events.

Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team hosted the first of a series of 3 learning sessions for senior leaders to understand equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace and the importance of challenging systemic barriers. The sessions were designed to engage Senior Management in critical conversations about these equity issues - even when they may not be directly impacted by them.

Using the lenses of anti-oppression, anti-racism, anti-colonialism, anti-Black racism, human resources diversity, and more, these facilitated conversations create a place for discussion and address questions that senior staff have around the subject.

The expected outcomes for the three learning sessions were: a shared understanding about what equity is, how it is achieved, what it requires organizationally, and its relationship to frameworks such as Diversity and Inclusion; an interrogation of existing commitments to equity, what success will look like, and what will be required for their realization; a consideration of existing structural enablers and impediments to achieving equitable outcomes; and, clarity regarding leadership and what posture and practices will enable equitable outcomes.

Source: Excerpt from Annual Report responses

Events and Communication Products

Events and communication products are important ways to supplement other forms of learning, including training. These primarily focus on raising awareness and provide resources, such as webinars, podcasts, research, articles, and toolkits, to help employees learn about important issues affecting equity-deserving communities. 87% of federal institutions indicated that they had organized initiatives, such as events or communication products, either within or outside the workplace, to educate and raise awareness on ethnocultural diversity and the challenges diverse groups may face. 44% of institutions organized initiatives internally for employees, whereas 43% of institutions organized initiatives for both employees and the public. There were no institutions that organized education and awareness initiatives for the public only.

Examples of initiatives include ones for Asian Heritage Month, Black History Month, and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to raise awareness not only on the history and contributions of various communities to Canada, but also to learn about how racism, both individual and systemic, affects them. Other examples include initiatives focused on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the National Day of Remembrance of the Québec City Mosque Attack and Action against Islamophobia.

Federal institutions also promoted initiatives that focused on important recent events, such as reflecting on the murder of George Floyd and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests, the May 2021 announcement of the discovery of unmarked graves at the former site of Kamloops Residential School, and the June 2021 terrorist attack in London, Ontario, which killed a Muslim family.

Federal institutions transmitted information on their initiatives on their internal intranet pages, through email, or townhalls. Education and awareness initiatives took on various forms, such as panel discussions, workshops, “Ask me Anything” events, fireside chats, townhalls, videos, podcasts, lunch and learns. Guest speakers were often used to facilitate greater interest and interaction by participants.

Table 3. Best practice(s) in initiatives, such as events and communication products to raise awareness
Name of federal institution Best practice(s)
Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint (the Mint) launched the Underground Railroad coin during Black History Month. This coin was an opportunity to educate the public on the struggles for those who “rode” the Underground Railroad to Canada, a safe haven after slavery was abolished. This coin launch honoured the legacy of Black people in Canada whose achievements and struggles are an important part of Canada’s story.

The Mint also launched the Generations: Inuit Nunangat coin which celebrates Indigenous storytelling and the art of gifting knowledge. The focus of the Mint’s Generations series is on repeating legends and myths, one generation sets an example for the next one, entrusting them with tales that are now theirs to tell and move forward with these tales through time. The first story comes from Inuit Nunangat, where "unikkaaqtuat" (“myths” in Inuktut) play an important role in the transmission of knowledge and values.

Library and Archives Canada

The article "Gathering Our Stories, Honing Our Skills" in Library and Archives Canada's Spring/Summer 2021 Signatures magazine, features the testimony of an archivist who worked on the Listen, Hear Our Voices project from 2018 to 2021. During this time, their job was to help regional Indigenous organizations and communities apply to the call for funding. This led them to recognize gaps in archival resources and capacity in northern Manitoba. To address these gaps, the archivist organized a series of four-day workshops that provided training on community archives. Representatives from local grassroots organizations, archival networks, and local Elders and Knowledge Keepers participated in this event to facilitate a discussion on Indigenous archives.

The article documents this process and provides insights into how Library and Archives Canada can continue to build positive relationships with Indigenous communities, assisting them in their local archival efforts through various resources and through collaboration and engagement with these communities.

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Through the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, the organization plays a role in raising awareness, informing, and engaging all staff in the benefits of equity, diversity, and inclusion. The organization highlights, encourages and supports activities that educate staff about diversity in the workplace, specifically as it relates to Indigenous peoples and racialized communities.

For example, the organization hosted a conference entitled "Changing White Fragility into White Humility: My Journey through Change", presented by Ryan Trudeau, Senior Advisor to the Anti-Racism Secretariat at Global Affairs Canada. Through personal experiences and practical principles of change management, Ryan shared information relevant to building alliances, and provided an inspiring and challenging message to engage everyone in dismantling systemic racism.

Source: Excerpt from Annual Report responses

Committees, Groups and Forums

77% of federal institutions indicated they had committees, groups, or forums to represent the concerns and ideas of employees of who are Indigenous, Black, or from racialized and religious minority communities, of which, 48% were provided financial support to conduct their activities.

Most federal institutions had a committee, group or forum focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. These groups are voluntary and employee-shaped and led. Large institutions often had sub-committees, groups, or forums to discuss issues faced by people with different identities and characteristics. Committees, groups, or forums can be formed based on a common identifying characteristic, including visible and invisible identities or qualities, or similar experiences. Common examples were committees, groups, or forums for Indigenous peoples, Black people, racialized people, Asian people, 2SLGBTQI+ people, women, and persons with disabilities. Further examples include those for young professionals, pride, accessibility, racial equity, social justice, multiculturalism, mental health, and official languages, among others. There are also public servants’ networks which cut across the public service, such as the Muslim Federal Employee Network and Jewish Public Servant Network.

These groups were often responsible for providing advice to senior management on initiatives through consultations, monitoring the implementation of an institutions’ diversity and inclusion action plan or strategy, and planning educational and celebratory events.

Table 4. Best practice(s) in education and awareness – Committees, groups and forums
Name of federal institution Best practice(s)
Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF)

The CRRF works alongside communities towards the elimination of racism. On average, the CRRF has approximately 80 touch points with communities each month across the organization. This ensures the CRRF understands the issues that are of critical importance for communities.

Furthermore, throughout the year, staff held brainstorming and strategic planning sessions. A committee was launched early in the fiscal year to evaluate the CRRF's anti-racism workshop. Based on the committee’s recommendation, the programs and outreach team developed a new anti-racism workshop. The CRRF also used a committee for input on the CRRF’s outreach strategy.

Lastly, the CRRF also works closely with the First Peoples Group to seek guidance on efforts related to reconciliation.

Parole Board of Canada (PBC)

The PBC Working Group on Diversity and Systemic Racism was created in May 2021 and tasked with considering issues of diversity in general, with attention to anti-Black racism and Indigenous concerns in particular. Broad consultations were held to understand how the criminal justice system, specifically in the area of conditional release, can be more responsive to the needs of Indigenous, Black, and other racialized offenders with the goal of improving their outcomes and experience. The Working Group also conducted a review of existing reports and recommendations on the disproportionate representation of Indigenous and Black people in the criminal justice system to identify common themes for action.

The Working Group expanded the themes for action through extensive consultations. A questionnaire was circulated to gather input from external individuals, organizations, and academics with expertise in criminal justice and diversity. The questionnaire was also distributed to PBC and Correctional Service of Canada regions to gather input from Elders and Cultural Advisors. The Working Group developed a comprehensive report entitled Moving Towards Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The recommendations from the report have informed the development of an action plan for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. The action plan will serve as a framework to track, measure, and analyze the progress made by the PBC.

Privy Council Office

The Employment Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee where members are composed of employees from various age, ethnic, occupational groups and branches that represent the diversity within the organization with the intent to promote the agency’s visions for employment equity and diversity. The mandate is to act as a consultative body for the departmental policies, plans and initiatives that affect employees to provide an employment equity and diversity perspective. As an example, they identify and make recommendations to eliminate barriers affecting designated group members, which improves policies, programs, and practices.

The Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) Focus Group’s mandate is to ensure that policies and organizational decisions incorporate the perspectives and input of its Indigenous and racialized communities. The group includes members who identify as BIPOC or racialized groups who are interested in making the voices and experiences of BIPOC members of the agency heard. The group aims to create a community of allies to represent different views and contribute a broad perspective of matters of concern to the larger community. They are engaged in identifying systemic issues that arise within the agency’s BIPOC community by engaging management, enhancing awareness and education, and building self-awareness.

The Indigenous Employee Network (IEN) works to raise awareness and foster greater inclusion across the agency around key issues impacting Indigenous employees. Through grassroots efforts, the IEN works to change policies and practices that are outdated and/or discriminatory, provide practical advice and support to create a more culturally sensitive work environment, and acts as a consultative body in supporting Indigenous celebrations, commemorations, and awareness-raising events.

Women and Gender Equality Canada

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee is a departmental committee comprised of diverse employees across the department, with a mandate to provide advice and guidance to the department on issues related to diversity and inclusion; to identify and organize initiatives to increase knowledge, awareness, and capacity of departmental staff on issues related to diversity and inclusion, to provide a space for dialogue on issues related to equality, diversity and inclusion. In addition, the Committee serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas and perspectives of Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, and religious minority communities and allies in the department. For example, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee led the development of the department’s first Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy through grassroots engagement of racialized and Indigenous employees, as well as those from religious minority communities.

The Indigenous Advisory Network and Black Employee Network groups both work alongside and through the Diversity and Inclusion Committee to raise awareness and increase knowledge and capacity of departmental staff related to Indigenous and/or Black and other racialized individuals. The networks provide advice to departmental staff on the development of culturally relevant and inclusive policies, programs and practices. In addition, the networks serve as forums for Indigenous and Black employees to exchange ideas and seek mentorship and guidance. For example, each of these networks were engaged in the development of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for the department. The Indigenous Advisory Network led the development of the department’s Reconciliation Framework.

The Indigenous Women’s Circle provides strategic guidance, as well as expertise, to inform federal efforts to address the systemic inequalities that Indigenous women experience, particularly those related to issues of gender-based violence, economic insecurity, and Indigenous leadership. Their advice and guidance provide an opportunity to learn from best practices in both Indigenous communities and the Government of Canada. The Circle is chaired by the Deputy Minister and plays an advisory role to the department. The membership of the Circle includes representation from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit women, youth, and Elders from a broad range of sectors across the country. For example, the Circle informed the department’s Call for Proposal for funding to support the capacity of Indigenous organizations.

Source: Excerpts from Annual Report responses

For more examples of best practices in Education and Awareness, refer to Annex A.

Successes and Challenges Relating to Education and Awareness

In terms of successes, several federal institutions felt that training and events that allowed people to think more deeply about the issues at hand were the ones that encouraged the most discussion and received significant positive feedback from participants. Several federal institutions stated that safe spaces were essential for these honest and impactful conversations to happen.

Several institutions also noted that having at least one dedicated person whose sole job it is to work on education and awareness activities was a major factor in success, as well as having more funding overall for these types of initiatives.

In terms of challenges, while several federal institutions felt that the best way to design and deliver education and awareness events was in collaboration with committees, groups, or forums, this increased the workload and required careful planning and time.

There were also challenges in terms of training, finding the right mix between mandatory and optional training, as well as how to encourage people to participate while not creating a major burden on top of existing workloads. It is also an ongoing challenge to update and modernize the many training offerings that exist to respond to the changing reality of today. Similarly, it was a challenge for employees to participate in committees, groups or forums when balancing it with their own workloads.

Promotion and Celebration

Promotion and Celebration at PCH

PCH undertook several initiatives to support events and distribute communication products that helped educate employees about diversity in the workplace, such as an open, online workshop on supporting racialized populations in the workforce; the Government of Canada’s Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2021; and various internal communication messages to its employees on topics that promote multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusion. In addition to this, PCH led on other key initiatives and funding programs that promote and celebrate the historical contribution and heritage of communities of all origins to Canadian society. Samples of these initiatives are described below.

Relevant Funding Programs and Sample Funded Projects
Canada Cultural Spaces Fund

The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund supports the improvement of physical conditions for artistic creativity and innovation.

For example, Kátl’odeeche First Nation constructed seating and enlarged its outside programming area at the Sandy Creek cabin in the Dehcho region, Northwest Territories. The project increased the number of year-round cultural activities offered, which include language learning, crafts and beadwork taught by Elders, craftspersons, and cultural experts. Physical access was improved for people with mobility issues and more space was created to practice cultural activities like drumming and hand games. Traditional knowledge will continue to be passed on to the public and to younger generations at the Sandy Creek cabin by the Kátl’odeeche First Nation with the Chief Sunrise Education Centre.

Celebrate Canada

Celebrate Canada provides funding to community-based activities celebrating and promoting National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day on June 24, Canadian Multiculturalism Day on June 27, and Canada Day on July 1. These celebrations enable Canadians to appreciate Canada's cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and geographic diversity.

For example, Canadian Multiculturalism Day in Yellowknife took place on June 27, 2021. That year, close to 1000 people of all ages from Indigenous, ethnocultural, and official language minority communities attended. The main activities included ceremonial events, children's and family activities, performances, traditional cuisine, and parades.

Museums Assistance Program

The Museums Assistance Program supports the touring and promotions of exhibitions, preservation and promotion of Indigenous heritage and the professional development of museum staff.

For example, the Kinngait Arts Foundation will tour the inaugural exhibition from the Kenojuak Cultural Centre in Kinngait (formerly Cape Dorset) across Canada. The exhibit is a survey of preeminent Inuit artist and cultural icon, Kenojuak Ashevak. The show comprises never-before-seen drawings from the archives of the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative that inspired some of Kenojuak’s most recognizable and emblematic prints in stonecut, lithography, and etching. This exhibition traveled to Dawson City, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Sudbury, Medicine Hat, and Toronto. A catalogue was produced as part of the exhibition to enhance the scholarly record.

Promotion and Celebration Across Institutions

Promoting and celebrating the historical contribution and heritage of communities of all origins to Canadian society allows us to continue to learn about each other and embrace our diversity. Under this theme, federal institutions were asked about:

86% of federal institutions surveyed implemented initiatives to promote and celebrate the historical contribution and heritage of communities of all origins to Canadian society. 48% of institutions said they had initiatives for employees, and 38% said they had initiatives for employees and the public, and 2% had initiatives for the public only.

Federal institutions had a large variety of promotion and celebration initiatives. Initiatives focusing on Indigenous peoples often included the coverage of Indigenous History Month, National Indigenous Peoples Day, National Indigenous Language Day, and Indigenous Veterans Day, among others.

Initiatives focusing on racialized groups and religious communities often included the coverage of Asian Heritage Month, Black History Month, Sikh Heritage Month and Vaisakhi, Canadian Islamic History Month, Latin American Heritage Month, Lunar New Year, Nowruz, Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr, Canadian Jewish Heritage Month, Thai Pongal, Tamil Heritage Month, Canadian Multiculturalism Day, and other occasions celebrating the rich history and contributions of Canada’s communities.

There were also several other initiatives that celebrate other forms of diversity, including Pride Month, the International Day of La Francophonie, Linguistic Duality Day, International Day of Pink, International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and International Women’s Day.

Institutions sought to celebrate by highlighting topics such as history, art, traditions, cultural practices, spiritual beliefs, while often simultaneously promoting inclusivity and anti-racism. Federal institutions published information on local events, webinars, trainings, animations, videos, and films on their internal intranet pages or portals, through email, hosting book clubs, distributing multicultural calendars, panel discussions, virtual celebrations, social media campaigns, and other forms of engagement. Some of these products and events were made available to the public, such as by publishing the recordings of completed events online, as well as blog posts, videos, posters, or social media content.

Table 5. Best practice(s) in promotion and celebration – Promoting and Celebrating Diversity
Name of federal institution Best practice(s)
Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF)

The CRRF organized panels and roundtables monthly on a variety of topics, such as Black History Month and Asian Heritage Month, as well as publishing commemorative statements. For example:

Veterans Affairs Canada Each year in the lead up to Veterans’ Week from November 5-11, the department produces and distributes a suite of free, bilingual Veterans’ Week learning materials for educators and youth. In 2021, the Commemoration Division ensured that there was representation of racialized Veterans in each of its three main learning resources. With the younger grades, care is taken to include depictions of racialized people in the products. For example, a Black female helicopter pilot was depicted in the Take Time to Remember booklet (aimed at youth aged 5-8), an article on Thomas Longboat, an Indigenous soldier from the First World War, was featured in Tales of Animals in War (aimed at youth aged 5-11); an article on No. 2 Construction Battalion (the Black Battalion) and a “diversity” article were featured in the Canada Remembers Times newspaper (aimed at youth aged 12-18). In 2021, a total of over 3.8 million individual learning products were provided to those who ordered them.
Ingenium – Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation

One of Ingenium’s three museums, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, collaborated with Indigenous representatives to develop content for an Anishinàbe Algonquin language audio-installation titled Nidòndàdizimin nidjìbikànàng, which translates as Thriving from our Roots. This trilingual display—in Algonquin, French, and English—features the words and voices of two Kitigan Zibi Anishinàbeg members, Asha Meness King and Joan Tenasco. This project celebrates the Anishisnàbe Algonquin language, and the presence and resilience of the Anishisnàbe Algonquin peoples on their traditional territories. The display opened at the museum on July 29, 2021.

The same museum opened Bákvḷá, an Heiltsuk First Nation foodways photographic exhibit, in March 2022. Bákvḷá is a Heiltsuk word that means “to harvest and prepare food for the winter.” The Bákvḷá exhibit focuses on the Heiltsuk herring roe-on-kelp fishery — in the pristine waters along British Columbia’s central coast — and the healthy food it produces. Presented in the Heiltsuk language, English, and French, Bákvḷá is the first exhibition in the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum’s Indigenous Foodways initiative.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights Witness Blanket: Preserving a Legacy ran from April 2021 until March 2022. The Witness Blanket is a monumental artwork made from over 800 items gathered from the sites and Survivors of Residential Schools across Canada. Master Carver Carey Newman (Hayalthkin’geme), whose father is a Residential School survivor, created this work to honour the children and tell the truth about this attempt to erase the identity of Indigenous people through assimilation. The CMHR enlisted the expertise of the Manitoba Museum conservation team to lead the project. The conservation team and the artist worked together to honour the spirit of each object, voice and community represented. The relationship between the CMHR, the artist, and the Witness Blanket is guided by a unique stewardship agreement that includes both Indigenous traditions and Canadian law and was animated through an oral ceremony in 2019 at Kumugwe, the K’ómoks First Nation Bighouse on Vancouver Island. The Grizzly Bear Bentwood Box carved by Newman to hold the historic agreement was also featured in the presentation of the Witness Blanket exhibit for visitors.

Source: Excerpts from Annual Report responses

For more examples of best practices in promotion and celebration, refer to Annex A.

Successes and Challenges Relating to Promotion and Celebration

In terms of successes, many federal institutions indicated that the goal of their initiatives was to put employee voices and ideas at the forefront and build a sense of community and connectedness in the workplace. Federal institutions often sought to highlight and celebrate people of diverse backgrounds, in particular their lived experiences and achievements, from employees to famous people throughout history.

Due to the pandemic, federal institutions mentioned that they had to pivot from mostly in-person celebrations to almost exclusively online celebrations, with varying results. On one hand, virtual events can have a significantly wider reach than in-person ones, with thousands to tens of thousands of people being able to attend virtually, compared to tens or hundreds attending in-person events. On the other hand, there is a risk of lower engagement and participation from those who feel that virtual initiatives are inadequate or unengaging. Institutions mentioned the importance of finding different tools to get employees to engage in the virtual space, and further exploration is needed.

Prevention and Solutions

PCH’s Prevention and Solutions Efforts

PCH undertook several initiatives to promote the full participation of all Canadians in the social, political, civic, and economic spheres of Canadian society. Samples of these initiatives are described below.

Relevant Initiatives, Funding Programs and Sample Funded Projects at PCH
Canada Arts Presentation Fund

The Canada Arts Presentation Fund provides financial assistance to organizations that professionally present arts festivals or performing arts series and organizations that offer support to arts presenters.

For example, the FOLD Foundation (the Festival of Literary Diversity) was established in 2014, meeting a need for showcasing diversity at Canadian literary festivals. The Foundation provides a space for marginalized voices by supporting authors underrepresented in Canada's literary market. The 2021 Festival of Literary Diversity occurred from April 30-May 8. The festival featured four-days of online programming, and two-days of programming for youth aged 9-16. Programming includes author panels, workshops, an information fair and spoken word showcase. The 2021 FOLD Kids Book Fest occurred October 2-3. The festival featured ten Canadian children's authors writing for ages 0-12. The festivals occurred in Brampton, Ontario.

Canada Media Fund

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances, and promotes the production of Canadian content and relevant applications for all audiovisual media platforms. Organizations supported by the CMF include Canadian television production companies, digital media production companies, and industry associations. Indigenous communities and third-language communities benefit from specially tailored funding envelopes (i.e., Indigenous Program and Diverse Languages Program). The CMF is funded by contributions from Canada's cable, satellite and IPTV distributors and the Government of Canada.

For example, the Michif Country docuseries, funded by the CMF, presents the Michif community of St. Laurent, Manitoba, as they bring in Indigenous celebrities to share their lives and language, and experience adventures typical in the traditional Michif way of life. The interests and perspectives of the invited guests reveal a unique world where hunting, trapping, and fishing still form the basis of the local economy.

Canada History Fund

The Canada History Fund encourages Canadians to improve their knowledge about Canada's history, civics, and public policy. The program supports the production of learning materials, the organization of learning activities and the creation or maintenance of networks that provide Canadians with an opportunity to improve their understanding of Canada. Priority for funding recommendations is given to projects that integrate themes of inclusion and diversity; address the history of official language minority communities; and address the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

For example, York University is creating and promoting a 25-episode video and podcast series with complementary learning materials for Canadian history teachers. The series explores diverse and inclusive readings of Canada’s history and addresses the traditional and often exclusionary, narrative of the Canadian past. As of its most recent reporting, York University has completed and released 11 videos on topics such as Black Canadian History, transgender and queer activism, an Inuit veteran’s experience in World War II, racism and formal schooling in Quebec at the turn of the 20th century, as well as monuments and Indigeneity.

Canada Arts Training Fund

The Canada Arts Training Fund (CATF) supports arts training in Canada. The CATF provides financial support for the ongoing operations of Canadian arts organizations that specialize in training artists for professional national or international artistic careers, at the highest levels. For example, CATF supported the Black Theatre Workshop (BTW), which was founded in 1972 in Montreal, Quebec, to promote the development of Black and Canadian theatre rooted in literature that reflects the work of Black Canadian writers and artists and the creative collaborations between Black Canadian artists and other artists.

In 2000, Black Theatre Workshop created a multidisciplinary professional theatre training program. The BTW Artist Mentorship Program is a 7-month training program offered to emerging theatre artists at the beginning of their careers. The aim of the training program is to provide Black and other emerging artists a unique opportunity to strengthen and deepen their skills, preparing them for professional careers in the arts, while also enhancing their ability to articulate their artistic practice.

Indigenous Languages and Cultures Program

The Indigenous Languages and Cultures Program focuses on protecting and preserving Indigenous languages and Indigenous identity as living elements of Canadian society. For example, the Mi'kmaw Heritage Research and Restoration Association offered language and culture instruction programs and a culture camp in the Mi’kmaw language. Participants learned about verb conjugation, place names and descriptions, developed their everyday conversation skills, and read and wrote in the Smith-Francis orthography. At camp, participants learned to make arts and crafts such as medicine bags and small baskets and discussed how these objects relate to culture and the land. This project has had a great impact on the small community of 12,000 people and rekindled the community’s interest in learning their Indigenous culture and language.

Sport Support Program

The Sport Support Program – Innovation Initiative enables the testing of innovative quality sport approaches, the trial of new programs, strategies, and technologies; in order to develop evidence-based solutions that can be shared nationwide.

For example, the Jane/Finch Community Tennis Association is testing changes to a Tennis Canada program to better serve racialized girls ages 6-17. The pilot will include: 1) moving from a competitive format to a skill-building program; 2) enhancing the role model effect by establishing a mentoring structure that recruits and trains racialized mentors; and 3) strengthening social inclusion in an all-girls environment by celebrating and discussing topics relevant to participants' racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.

Youth Take Charge

Youth Take Charge supports youth-led projects that aim to strengthen attachment to Canada through engagement in one or more of four thematic areas: history and heritage; civic engagement and youth service; arts and culture; and economic activities. The Program assesses funding applications against several factors, including demographic reach.

For example, the Cirque hors piste project was a youth-led project that used circus arts and a circus to engage about 700 youth from marginalized and vulnerable communities throughout Canada, which included Indigenous and racialized youth, in a collective work that led to the creation of a documentary highlighting their voices, their community, and their culture. Youth attended workshops on digital creation, writing, and performance. They also engaged with their community and other Indigenous, Black, racialized, Anglophone, Francophone, rural youth and youth with disabilities, to gain awareness of each other’s experience.

Preventions and Solutions Efforts Across Institutions

Federal departments and agencies are taking concrete action to ensure that individuals and communities of all origins can equitably participate in Canadian society. To identify these activities, institutions were asked a series of questions under the themes of Recruitment and Career Development, Translation and Interpretation Services, Leveraging Skills and Cultural Understanding, and Programs.

Recruitment and Career Development

Under the Recruitment and Career Development sub-theme, institutions were asked about the following:

Identifying and Addressing Systemic Barriers

Systemic barriers consist of organizational culture, policies, directives, practices, or procedures that exclude, displace, or marginalize some groups, especially Indigenous, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities, creating unfair barriers for them to access valuable benefits and opportunities. 78% of federal institutions noted that they have processes in place to identify systemic racism or systemic barriers in its employment policies and practices. Most institutions indicated that they conduct their review via internal procedures, though some indicated that they consult with or employ external auditors.

Several key factors were consistently identified as essential to identifying and addressing systemic barriers in its employment policies and practices. Examples include: using more inclusive language in job postings; updating employee training standards and expectations with a greater focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion; holding direct consultations with internal committees on equity, diversity and inclusion regarding recruitment and the staffing process, and the incorporation of groups designated by the Employment Equity Act on hiring selection committees; implementing better measurement tools for tracking equity, diversity, and inclusion in recruitment, staffing, and career development; and setting expectations for senior management to support the recruitment and retention of employees belonging to equity-deserving communities through training, dialogue, and direct consultation in matters related to hiring and career development.

Table 6. Best practice(s) in prevention and solutions – Identifying and addressing barriers
Name of federal institution Best practice(s)
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) The RCMP has taken and continues to take multiple steps to combat systemic racism in the recruitment of Regular Member police officers, such as: identifying and supporting recruitment modernization including targeted investment in developing diverse talent; changing the residency thresholds for Permanent Residents to attract a diversity of candidates for Regular Member police officers; developing culturally relevant assessment methods for Indigenous and equity-deserving communities; implementing a new cognitive applicant aptitude assessment; and adopting culturally appropriate suitability assessment tools.
Statistics Canada A comprehensive and complete review of the agency’s employment systems and staffing processes was undertaken. As the agency developed its multi-year Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan, barriers were identified in collaboration with Employment Equity networks, and actions and strategies in the plan were co-identified between networks and corporate EDI leads. Systemic barriers were further addressed through initiatives, including: training for operational staffing advisors on the importance of having a diverse and inclusive selection board and inclusive, bias-free assessment tools; development of a new selection decision form to include consideration of diversity and inclusion in staffing appointments; and revisions to the internal staffing governance framework to include consideration of diversity and inclusion when selecting the appointment process.

Source: Excerpts from Annual Report responses

Student Hiring and Retention

80% of federal institutions indicated that they made efforts to recruit students who are Indigenous, Black, or from racialized and religious minority communities. Further, 77% of federal institutions indicated they made efforts to retain students who are Indigenous, Black, or from racialized and religious minority communities.

Of the 80% of federal institutions that made efforts to recruit students from underrepresented groups, 78% hire through co-op and/or the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP); 71% work proactively with post-secondary institutions, immigrant service organizations, municipalities, non-profit employment services, community organizations, and/or other third-party organizations; 67% use existing targeted hiring or recruitment programs (including internship programs); 53% attend career fairs; 11% offer scholarships, bursaries, and awards; and 23% have other means such as developing and implementing outreach plans.

Figure 2. Recruitment Methods
Figure 2. Recruitment Methods – text version
Recruitment Methods %
Co-op/FSWEP 78%
Post-Sec/NGOs/Govts/Etc. 71%
Existing Targeted Recruitment Programs 67%
Career Fairs 53%
Other Means 23%
Scholarships/Awards/Etc. 11%
Table 7. Best practice(s) in prevention and solutions – Student hiring and retention
Name of federal institution Best practice(s)
Canadian Border Services Agency Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour Student Recruitment: The Prairie Region (PRA) conducted a specific planned activity to interview students from the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and the Indigenous Student Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) inventory which resulted in the hiring of one Indigenous student from FSWEP. PRA liaisons have also been successful in their recruitment effort at a local high school with a large Indigenous population.

Source: Excerpts from Annual Report responses

Official Language Requirements

Opportunities to learn both official languages are essential in supporting career development for all employees. 88% of federal institutions surveyed indicated that they developed ways to provide opportunities for employees to learn both official languages for their job requirements or for career development opportunities.

Of the 88% of federal institutions that developed ways to provide opportunities for employees to learn both official languages, 86% support language training for all staff (in-house and/or external); 77% offer unilingual English or French positions; 70% offer self-directed learning resources/self-directed online learning; 65% conduct periodic reviews of the linguistic profile of positions; 62% allow for non-imperative bilingual staffing of employees; 39% provide access to language coaches; and 28% used other means, such as informal coaching and developing official language action plans.

Figure 3. How Institutions Provided Opportunities to learn both Official Languages
Figure 3 - How Institutions Provided Opportunities to learn both Official Languages – text version
How Institutions Provided Opportunities to learn both Official Languages %
Language Training 86%
Unilingual Positions 77%
Self Directed Learning 70%
Periodic Reviews 65%
Non-Imperative Bilingual Staffing 62%
Language Coaches 39%
Other 28%

Use of non-imperative bilingual staffing ensures that employees can be hired into a position and access the necessary institutional resources (such as funding for classes) to learn the other official language and maintain their proficiency.

While all types of employees may benefit from these types of initiatives, these actions particularly benefit those who may not have had previous opportunities to learn both official languages. Likewise, federal institutions must continue to meet official language requirements to create a work environment conducive to bilingualism and best serve the public in their language of choice.

Table 8. Best practice(s) in prevention and solutions – Official language requirements
Name of federal institution Best practice(s)
Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) An official languages training strategy was put in place at WAGE in the Fall of 2020 and continues to be used to reduce barriers to promote WAGE employees, including Indigenous and racialized employees, as well as religious minorities, who often face barriers due to official languages. This strategy goes beyond job-specific language requirements to equip employees with the necessary language skills to develop careers in the public service. To date, 69 employees have benefitted from language training that otherwise would likely not have been available to them given the language profile and requirements of their position. Under this Strategy, the department allows for non-imperative bilingual staffing of employees who are Indigenous, or from racialized and religious minority communities when possible and is evaluated according to the needs and risks involved.

Source: Excerpts from Annual Report responses

Translation and Interpretation Services

Under this sub-theme, institutions were asked about the following:

53% of large federal institutions surveyed indicated that they translated their policies, programs, services, or practices into a non-official language, and 40% indicated that they provided the public access to translation or interpretation services. These institutions have gone beyond having information available in only English and French, but have expanded to various Indigenous languages (e.g., Inuktituk, Cree, Algonquin, Saanich, Mi’kmaq, Mohawk and others), as well as other languages spoken by Canada’s diverse communities, such as Mandarin and Cantonese, Spanish, Punjabi, Urdu, Japanese, Turkish, Thai, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Tagalog, Korean, Italian, German, American Sign Language and Quebec Sign Language. Federal institutions also improved accessibility in their organizations by using closed captioning and live transcription. The availability of linguistic services and translation depended on the mandate, size, and resources of each respective institution. Several institutions also discussed how they expanded access to, and awareness of, Indigenous languages via linguistic software and digitalization as a key component of language revitalization, service delivery, and the broader project of reconciliation.

Table 9. Best practice(s) in Prevention and Solutions – Translation and Intrepretation Services
Name of Federal Institution Initiative
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada The “Little Black Book of Scams” is a publication to inform Canadians about common scams. It is available on the Competition Bureau’s website to download in multiple languages: English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish and Tagalog. By disseminating key information about fraud to Canadians in some of the most spoken languages in Canada, our goal is to ensure that everyone knows how to recognize, reject and report fraud.
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) The CRA maintains a Third Language Capabilities Directory of employees who speak a third language to support programs and services. In addition, many regional offices and programs also maintain local directories of employees who speak a third language. These volunteers help to facilitate quicker translations and, in some cases, improve communication efficiency by providing services directly to the client in their preferred language. Utilizing the language skills of these employees strengthens their sense of belonging, supports the CRA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and builds trust with the clients the CRA serves.
Health Canada As part of the COVID-19 response, Health Canada recognized that translating resources and information into non-official languages facilitates access to important information, builds credibility and trust in the Government of Canada as a source of information, and helps to equip partners with information they can share with their communities in their language of choice.

Source: Excerpts from Annual Report responses

Leveraging Language Skills and Cultural Understanding

Under this sub-theme, institutions were asked about the following:

56% of federal institutions surveyed indicated that they leveraged the multilingual capacity, cultural competency, or cultural expertise of their employees to inform or improve their institution’s policies, programs, services, or practices. Federal institutions stated that they leveraged the cultural knowledge of staff to make projects, and services more inclusive, both internally within their organization, and externally through engagement with stakeholders. Some institutions also indicated that they had begun to build directories and databases of employees who speak a non-official language as a means of strengthening their capacity for communication with the public, policy-making, and service delivery.

Table 10. Best practice(s) in Prevention and Solutions – Leveraging Language Skills and Cultural Understanding
Name of Federal Institution Initiative
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada Research Directorate hires candidates who can read and speak: Arabic, Spanish, Mandarin and/or Cantonese. The Research Analysts may be required to have knowledge of a language other than French and English to contact subject matter specialists, while conducting research on the countries of origin of claimants and appellants. Moreover, many of our researchers are hired because of their international research experience and educational credentials, which foster a high degree of cultural competency regarding specific countries abroad. The Research Directorate’s efforts have improved the quality of country-of-origin research, which in turn is available to adjudicators to improve the quality of their decisions.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) The Arctic Region’s Community Engagement Coordinators (CECs) are the liaison between the Department and local communities and their respective regions in the North. The CECs have been using their cultural expertise to support capacity building and collaboration, and engagement with local communities has allowed the Department to better understand the priorities and capacity within the communities and enhance the delivery of northern programs. The CECs have developed a presentation on "Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit" (IQ – Inuit knowledge), which they have delivered to DFO and Coast Guard audiences. The CECs have also helped integrate IQ principles into the Arctic Charter, the guiding vision, goals and strategic actions for the region as a whole, which aids departmental efforts toward reconciliation.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has leveraged its diverse staff to work on reconciliation (language skills and cultural understanding), the new citizenship guide (cultural understanding and language skills), Anti-Racism (cultural understanding), and enhance citizenship ceremonies (cultural understanding) to ensure quality delivery of programs and policy analysis. The Ukraine Task Force has worked to leverage linguistic and cultural expertise of staff to provide support for Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion of their country and settling in Canada. Employees with cultural or linguistic Ukrainian backgrounds were integral to Canada’s response to the crisis and managing communications strategies with stakeholders.

Source: Excerpts from Annual Report responses

Anti-racism and/or anti-hate programs

Under this sub-theme, institutions were asked about the following:

Actions Taken during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has exasperated underlying systemic issues in Canadian society. Many federal institutions took action to address the specific needs of Indigenous peoples, Black, racialized, and/or religious minority communities adversely affected by the pandemic. Specifically, 19% of federal institutions implemented internal initiatives for employees, 15% of federal institutions implemented external initiatives for the public; and 20% of federal institutions implemented both internal and external initiatives. This following section provide examples of some of the actions taken by federal institutions.

Examples of Internal Actions

Examples of internal initiatives include implementing internal education and awareness for employees in response to systemic racism and discrimination exacerbated by the pandemic. These educational and awareness efforts typically focused on understanding the specific needs and context of Indigenous peoples, Black, racialized, and/or religious minority communities who have been impacted by the pandemic, as well as collaboration with other federal departments and agencies on information gathering and sharing.

Examples of External Actions

Examples of external initiatives ranged from communicating culturally sensitive health guidelines and information, funding community-specific service delivery and programming, and/or consulting Indigenous communities regarding pandemic related guidelines, such as travel restrictions.

Table 11. Best practice(s) in Prevention and Solutions – Programs – Addressing the Needs of Communities During the Pandemic
Name of Federal Institution Initiative
Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) Women and Gender Equality Canada provided over $3 million in funding for six organizations advancing gender equality in Northern communities to help address the inequities faced by Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people, which have been made worse by the pandemic. These investments will help the organizations develop partnerships and strategies to promote full and equitable participation in the economy, advance women and underrepresented groups into leadership roles, address social and systemic change towards gender equality, and mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research launched an Indigenous-specific Funding Opportunity (FO) that focused on the needs of Indigenous peoples and COVID-19. We also ensured that language was included in COVID-19 FOs that encouraged and made space for Indigenous peoples to apply. These actions resulted in 31 grants being funded, across all COVID-19 competitions that meet the definition of Indigenous Health Research.

Based on the recommendation of the review committee, 14 Indigenous health research projects were awarded funding as a part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s commitment to invest 4.6% of its annual budget in Indigenous health research.

Public Safety Canada

The Bias, Sensitivity, Diversity and Identity March 2022 Expert Symposium on Islamophobia and Anti-Asian Hate gave Asian-Canadians a safe space to express the challenges they have felt as a result of COVID-19 and the rise of Anti-Asian hate crimes.

Public Safety’s Aboriginal Community Safety Planning Initiative developed a suite of virtual engagement and participation tools and processes to support Indigenous communities in their development of Community Safety Plans. Public Safety also published internal mental health and wellness communications for Indigenous employees.

Under the Supporting a Humanitarian Workforce to Respond to COVID-19 and Other Large-Scale Emergency program, as well as the Canadian Red Cross program, the Department encouraged recipients to consider diversity and inclusion needs.

Source: Excerpts from Annual Report responses

Transfer Payment Programs (Grants and Contributions)

Transfer payment programs include those that directly provide funding to individuals or organizations for specific purposes, ranging from supporting activities such as farming, entrepreneurship, community safety planning, housing, cultural and arts programming, employment, research, development of tools and resources, specific programming, and more. 35% of federal institutions indicated that they had transfer payment programs that directly address systemic racism or systemic barriers in the areas of employment, justice, social participation, or other aspects of Canadian society.

Table 12. Best practice(s) in Prevention and Solutions – Programs – Transfer Payment Programs (Grants and Contributions)
Name of Federal Institution Initiative
Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF)

National Anti Racism Fund

The $3 million National Anti-Racism Fund will be disbursed over two years, which is a valuable contribution to the continuation of the CRRF’s mission: developing, sharing, and applying knowledge and expertise to contribute to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society. Applications must align with one or more of the following themes and objectives:

  • Systemic racial barriers: reducing barriers to inclusion by addressing systemic racism in education, healthcare, the justice system, public services, employment, and public life.
  • Research and education: promoting and increasing availability and accessibility of data, evidence, and community insights on race relations in Canada.
  • Public awareness: informing public policies by highlighting systemic and institutional barriers.
  • Cultural and intercultural community building: creating cross-cultural opportunities through discussions and dialogue on race, religion, building awareness, and collaboration.

In addition, projects or events should be designed to achieve one or more of the following results:

  • Increase public awareness of public policy issues related to race relations, anti-racism, or anti-hate nationally, regionally, or in local communities;
  • Increase public awareness of Canada’s cultural diversity;
  • Increase awareness of factors such as race, culture, ethnicity, or religion that may be hindering full participation of the entire Canadian population in society and the economy;
  • Increase knowledge and capacity within communities to address racism and discrimination.
Justice Canada

Legal Aid Program-Impact of Race and Culture (IRCA)

This element of the Legal Aid Program addresses the overrepresentation of Black people and other racialized Canadians in the criminal justice system by providing funds for IRCAs (pre-sentencing reports that help courts recognize how racism and other unique circumstances have contributed to individuals’ contact with the criminal justice system). Funding also supports the development of a training curriculum for IRCA writers and for criminal defence lawyers, crown prosecutors, and judges on IRCAs. The Program is also entering into contribution agreements with legal aid plans and/or participating provincial governments to provide reimbursement for the cost of IRCA reports.

Public Health Agency of Canada

Preventing and Addressing Gender-Based Violence: The Health Perspective

The Family Violence and Gender-Based Violence Investments supports projects that implement health promotion programs, with an overall aim of increasing the evidence base and uptake of health promotion programs and interventions that are effective in preventing and addressing the health impacts of family violence and gender-based violence. These investments include health equity and cultural safety lens as key requirements. For example, proposals are evaluated on how considerations of sex and gender, ethnic/cultural backgrounds, migration histories, geographic locations, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status, will be taken into consideration in the intervention design/adaptation, implementation, and research/evaluation of the proposed project.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada CanCode aims to equip Canadian youth, including traditionally underrepresented groups, with the skills they need to be prepared for further studies, including advanced digital skills and science, technology, engineering and math courses, leading to the jobs of the future. Canada’s success in the digital economy depends on leveraging our diverse talent and providing opportunity for all to participate — investing in digital skills development will help to achieve this. The program aims to create a strong, more resilient Canada by providing youth with a pathway to employment, with a focus on inclusion of underrepresented groups, including girls, Indigenous youth, Black youth, youth with disabilities, and youth living in rural, remote and Northern communities.

Source: Excerpts from Annual Report responses

For more examples of best practices in preventions and solutions, refer to Annex A.

Success Stories and Challenges Relating to Prevention and Solutions

In terms of successes under the theme Prevention and Solutions, many institutions succeeded in creating equity-based recruitment programs and the implementation of mentorship programs that are designed to improve representation across federal workplaces at all levels by helping talented people enter the public service and advance in their careers.

In terms of challenges, some institutions noted that there was a reluctance among employees to self-identify as a member of an equity-deserving group due needing more transparency about how the data would be used. This impacted data collection and policy development efforts, such as for recruitment programs.

Finally, some institutions noted there was a lack of resources, knowledge, and/or time to fully invest in a wide and effective array of translation and interpretation services for the public. This was particularly the case for smaller institutions.


This report provides a snapshot into the actions federal institutions took to demonstrate their commitment to the pursuit of policies and programs that reflect the essence of multiculturalism, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Part 1 of the report focused on the actions of the core Multiculturalism and Anti-racism Program, mainly in its activities around Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy, community investments, public outreach and promotion, and international engagement.

Part 2 of the report provides an overview of the activities of Canadian Heritage and other federal institutions in enhancing the Government’s multiculturalism and anti-racism mandate across four themes: Collection of Data, Education and Awareness, Promotion and Celebration, and Prevention and Solutions. Federal institutions collected and used data to improve policies, programs and practices for Indigenous peoples, Black, racialized, and religious minority communities; operated and promoted initiatives that raised awareness of issues faced by diverse communities to better serve Canadians, and provided tools to encourage taking action; celebrated Canada’s vibrant communities with an optimism for creating a better future; and directly made their institutions more equitable by improving hiring practices, developing the potential of employees, ensuring their knowledge and skills are effectively used, while at the same time improving access of programs and services to the public, and taking direct action to combat systemic racism, barriers, and hate faced by equity-deserving communities.

While it is critical to highlight meaningful action taken across federal institutions in strengthening multiculturalism, promoting equity, diversity and inclusion, and addressing systemic racism and discrimination, this work requires sustained action. The Government of Canada is committed to continue to work towards enabling the full and equitable participation of all people in Canadian society.

Annex A

Examples of promising practices under the theme Collection of Data

Name of Federal Institution Initiative
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)

In connection with the collection of statistical data, as part of the Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP) and the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program (REGI), CED collects statistical data on gender and diversity for SME business owners (i.e., whether they belong to one of the following groups: Indigenous peoples, Black communities, racialized communities, women, youth, members of official language minority communities, newcomers to Canada or immigrants, the 2SLGBTQI+ community, and persons with disabilities). In addition, CED collects information on the target clientele of supported non-profit organizations (NPOs). In some cases, the NPO also collects information on the gender and diversity of the SMEs that have received their services.

This data allows CED to better understand the impacts of its programs and initiatives on various populations in Quebec, for the purpose of evaluation and continuous improvement (e.g., development of programs or initiatives that consider the needs of these groups, such as the Black Entrepreneurship Program). They allow for the identification of potential gaps that may exist in terms of accessibility and communication needs to various target groups in the regions of Quebec. For example, through data collection and regular meetings with Indigenous economic stakeholders, CED reviews and adjusts its program delivery parameters as needed to ensure accessibility and inclusion. The addition of Indigenous sole proprietorships to eligible recipients is one of the adjustments made in recent years that has also been incorporated into the design of the 2021 stimulus initiatives.

Canada School of Public Service The Canada School of Public Service (the School) gathers input from Indigenous peoples on the design, development and delivery of learning products on a regular basis. The Indigenous Learning business line works with its governance committees that include the Interdepartmental Director General Indigenous Learning Committee (federal departments), and the Indigenous Learning Sharing Network (a group of external organizations and academia). The School also maintains working relationships with additional partners for events and course design and validation in order to ensure that Indigenous perspectives and worldviews are reflected in the curriculum.
Canadian Museum of Human Rights (CMHR) The CMHR follows a co-creation and co-development process with program partners, collaborators and stakeholders when developing a program for the public online or onsite. This includes tools for program concepts, dialogic approach, web posts and other offerings. Some key highlights of the CMHR’s program development during the reporting period includes the work of the Indigenous Education Working Group, which provided counsel and direction on the design and development of school programs and tours. In the summer of 2021, the CMHR hired a new Educator in Residence to develop a comprehensive digital resource for teachers on anti-racism, including guides, lesson plans and video interviews with Canadians who have experienced racism. As the CMHR began the design and development process for the digital Witness Blanket project (, work was undertaken to allow the process to be guided by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s Survivors Circle and the artist of the Witness Blanket, Carey Newman, ensuring that the community was directly and meaningfully involved in the process from the beginning.
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) The CSA conducted an annual self-identification reminder campaign in March 2022 to provide more information on the self-identification process to all employees and raise awareness, which will allow the CSA to have better visibility on the actual composition of its workforce and clarify to employees how the data is used.
Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) CSC considers the social history of Indigenous offenders (impact of Residential Schools/sixties scoop, loss of culture, intergenerational trauma, and/or offender social history more generally such as the impact of trauma, abuse, mental health, violence in the home, etc.) when making case management decisions. Addressing the collective experience and recognizing the intergenerational impacts of Indigenous social history is the cornerstone of the Indigenous healing movement within Canada and within Canadian federal corrections. These impacts are taken into consideration when making decisions related to security level and release, with options for Indigenous offenders to be released to a home community with the consent and support of their band. The determination and resilience of Indigenous people to restore wellness to their communities are living examples of recovery and hope, and CSC strives to encourage continued healing through access to culturally specific supports, including Elders, Indigenous Liaison Officers (ICPOs), and acting ICPOs. These offenders are also supported in participating in culturally and spiritually relevant activities such as beading, sweats, smudging ceremonies, and feasts.
Export and Development Canada (EDC)

With a National Lead for Black exporters now in place since July 2021, EDC’s top priority is to meet with Black entrepreneurs and organizations serving Black businesses to raise awareness of EDC’s products and services and lay the groundwork for further consultation in 2022. Through a joint roadshow with BDC and the Trade Commissioner Service, EDC met with numerous businesses and groups to talk about how the three organizations could help them.

An in-depth market scan and needs analysis of Black exporting businesses was conducted and a series of seven separate consultation sessions with Black businesses and Black Business support organizations were held with 50+ participants. The final consultation report once finalized is deepening EDC’s understanding of the needs of Black businesses and identifying the gaps in order to grow support for this community.

Global Affairs Canada (GAC)

GAC’s Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch (KFM) works closely with climate and environment specialists from the National Indigenous Organizations (Assembly of First Nations [AFN], the Métis National Council [MNC] and the Inuit Circumpolar Council – Canada [in representation of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami-ITK]) as part of a working group to inform the design and development of the Indigenous Peoples Partnering for Climate initiative.

This working group has reached consensus on principles that should inform the Indigenous Peoples Partnering for Climate initiative and its diverse components and contribute to its development. These principles include recognition that relationships are central and foundational, the creation of an ethical space (including trust, honesty and respect for Indigenous ways) and encourage access (e.g., through openness and the acceptance of Indigenous definition of concepts). These principles have been applied in the discussions on the approach to designing the initiative.

Infrastructure Canada (INFC) The Anti-Racism, Equity and Inclusion (AREI) Division, in supporting the Harmonizing Infrastructure Programs Tiger Team at Infrastructure Canada (INFC), designed and delivered an equity questionnaire to collect qualitative data on tools, resources and indicators used by various teams and branches as it relates to equity. The questionnaire collected data on the integration of anti-racism, equity and inclusion considerations in the department’s policy making and programming. This was the first of its kind, looking more closely at efforts underway to advance work in these areas, look at opportunities, identify challenges and help better understand INFC’s landscape, in addition to how best the AREI Division can support and leverage these opportunities to ensure more inclusive outcomes for all Canadians.
Justice Canada In 2021-2022, the Department launched a “Justice Data Modernization Initiative”. This initiative aims to improve the collection and use of disaggregated data, in view of developing policy responses to the overrepresentation of Indigenous, Black and racialized people in the criminal justice system. This initiative has components led by both Statistics Canada and Justice Canada. The Justice Canada led component will include the conduct and commission of research that uses data science to examine how different types of social interventions both within and outside of the justice system could impact overrepresentation.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)

NRCan regularly consults with the various employee networks and other Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) groups when developing HR programs and policies. Networks include those that represent Indigenous, Black, and racialized employees as well as the Office of EDI (OEDI).

Through these consultations, several changes and additions were made to the inclusive hiring guide, including: how to make job posting and advertisements more inclusive, outreach strategies to communicate directly with equity-deserving groups about job advertisements, the importance of including diversity statements in job postings, how to build more accessible and inclusive candidate assessments, various types of biases and how to understand and overcome them, different types of culture-changing assessment questions, and how to communicate with candidates from equity-deserving groups through the hiring process.

Public Safety Canada

Engagement sessions with partners, stakeholder, victim services personnel and victims themselves, questionnaires, gatherings with participants of the Aboriginal Community Safety Planning Initiative, community-based and youth-led programming.

Public Safety Canada’s Bias Sensitivity, Diversity and Identity in National Security (BSDI) team works with the broader national security community with the aim to enhance bias sensitivity and improve cultural competency, in part through public engagement with Canadians.

  • The team’s public engagement activities offer a crucial forum for continued dialogue with diverse communities and is consistent with the continuous learning approach that is essential to building a robust bias-conscious culture across all national security community members in the years to come.
  • At our annual symposia and webinars, members of specific communities are invited to present or attend events. For instance, in March 2022 the BSDI team hosted its Third Annual Expert Symposium on the theme of National Security, Islamophobia and Anti-Asian Hate: Building Trust and Awareness. Expert discussions explored how national security policies and operations have impacted Muslim and Asian communities, particularly amid the rise in religiously and racially motivated hate crimes domestically and abroad.
Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC)

At the central agency level, the PSC is currently reviewing its approach to the self-declaration of Indigenous persons for appointments to the federal public service. During the consultations conducted as part of this review, the PSC engaged with various Indigenous groups, both within and outside the federal public service, to explore the challenges and risks associated with the current approach and alternatives on how to improve the confirmation of Indigenous identity in the hiring process.

The review of the Affirmation of Aboriginal Affiliation Form has improved PSC programs and services by:

  • Facilitating the matching of hiring managers with Indigenous talent through the Career Pathways for Indigenous Employees program.
  • Enhancing summer programming and events for participants in the Indigenous Student Employment Opportunity program.
  • Identifying barriers to hiring and recruitment faced by Indigenous peoples within the GC and providing information and updates to the Indigenous Recruitment Toolkit for hiring managers and HR specialists.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) In April 2022 the agencies, under SSHRC’s leadership, launched the creation of an Indigenous Leadership Circle in Research, which is a key element of the new Indigenous Research strategy co-developed with Indigenous rights holders, entitled: Setting New Directions to support Indigenous Research and Research training. The Circle is comprised of 18 members from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, including two co-chairs nominated by the Circle members, an Indigenous Elder, and Indigenous researchers.
Statistics Canada
  • 1. In preparation for the 2021 Census, the agency held extensive consultations with a variety of population groups. During the collection period, in the spring and summer of 2021, every effort was made to serve respondents in the language of their choice, beyond English and French, and to adapt to the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, 98% of Canadians took part in the 2021 Census of Population, the most comprehensive and detailed source of information on Indigenous identity, ethnocultural diversity, immigration, religion and languages in Canada. The first 2021 Census results were released in February 2022, and the results on ethnocultural diversity and immigration was released on October 26, 2022.
  • 2. In September 2021, Statistics Canada's Canadian Community Health Survey increased its annual sample size by 50,000 for the purpose of improving the ability to disaggregate for Indigenous populations and racialized communities. Further, Statistics Canada's Mental Health and Access to Care Survey, in collection from March to July 2022, stratified its sample to improve estimates of mental health, mental disorders, mental health service needs and use for the four largest racialized population groups (Chinese, Filipino, Arab, Black).
  • 3. Statistics Canada's Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics (CCJCSS) is responsible for collecting information on all criminal incidents reported by Canadian police services through its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey. CCJCSS has leveraged partnerships with Statistics Canada's Centre for Indigenous Statistics and Partnerships, and the Advisory Committee on Ethnocultural Statistics from the agency's Centre for Diversity and Sociocultural Statistics in advancing this work on data disaggregation. In order to better understand the complex nature of hate crimes and allow for increased analysis of intersectionality, existing hate crime motivation categories have been expanded and a secondary motivation category has been added to the UCR. These changes were undertaken following extensive consultations, and were made available to police services for reporting purposes in October 2021. In addition, as part of Statistics Canada’s ongoing commitment to publishing data that are disaggregated to the fullest extent possible, further updates are planned for the UCR survey. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and Statistics Canada have committed to working together to enable police to report statistics on the Indigenous and racialized identity of victims and accused persons in police-reported crime statistics.
Telefilm Canada

Telefilm Canada’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group comprises industry members of the Indigenous, Black, and racialized communities, as well as representatives from unions and guilds. Telefilm invited industry stakeholder associations; Talent to Watch partners who work with, and support, underrepresented communities; and diversity and inclusion experts.

Examples of efforts:

  • The creation of an internal committee consisting of representatives from Project Financing, IT, Business Relations, Communications and Legal Services, fostering interdepartmental collaboration
  • Roll-out of a new phase of data collection at Telefilm in January 2022
  • Ongoing analysis of needs and improvements to data collection processes for future application periods, with regular reporting and updates to the industry
The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Following the Clerk’s Call to Action in 2020, an Anti-Racism Staffing Task Force (ARST) within the Directorate of the National Staffing Operations, conducted an environmental scan of DND’s staffing ecosystem to identify and address HR-specific barriers in staffing practices, programs and policies. Concrete actions are being taken to address the findings, such as the use of inclusive language on the Statement of Merit Criteria and Conditions of Employment, and job posters; the mandatory use of employment equity as an organizational need paragraph in all future posters; and the creation of a Diverse Selection Board Inventory.
Transport Canada Indigenous communities are at the core of Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness (EMSA)’s design, development and testing. From the procurement process to the selection of the system contractor (Fujitsu Consulting) to present day, the initiative is co-developed in a collaborative partnership with 13 Indigenous communities across Canada and Transport Canada. Through this interactive process, Indigenous communities have an equal voice in the co-development of the EMSA system and are able to share their perspectives, concerns, information, and knowledge in a way that also safeguards the ownership, control and privacy of their knowledge and data.
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) The TBS Social Media team co-developed social media content related to anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion in the public service with our colleagues in TBS and GC-wide equity-deserving and professional networks. The purpose of the co-development was to ensure that TBS developed content and used language that reflected the lived experience of people from racialized and marginalized groups, and that the content addressed both the richness and challenges of their intersecting identities. The content in the form of videos, animations, and written content was published on the TBS-managed social media accounts, which include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. For social media content on these topics for which TBS Social Media was the lead, input was sought from the appropriate TBS and GC-wide equity-deserving and professional networks, prior to publication.
Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) In the 2021-22 fiscal year, WAGE also applied Gender-based Analysis Plus to the design and delivery of all of its initiatives, which included gathering the perspectives of Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, and religious minorities. For example, WAGE held discussions with the Deputy Minister’s Indigenous Women’s Circle to inform the design and delivery of the Department’s Call for Proposals for funding to support the capacity of Indigenous organizations, including gathering feedback on eligible applicants and activities, and the assessment criteria. This Circle is comprised of Indigenous individuals and representatives of Indigenous organizations and communities.

Examples of promising practices under the theme Education and Awareness

Name of Federal Institution Initiative
Bank of Canada

The Bank of Canada has a corporate Diversity and Inclusion Committee with representatives from each department. The composition of the committee is diverse, including racialized and Indigenous members. The committee meets every other month and members share activities and participate in brainstorming sessions on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) initiatives and HR policies and programs. The Committee has also shared blogs and resources on EDI-related topics, such as anti-hate.

Along with their respective Indigenous partners, the Bank of Canada, Te Pūtea Matua (Reserve Bank of New Zealand), the Reserve Bank of Australia, and the United States Federal Reserve formed a voluntary network in January 2021, the Central Bank Network for Indigenous Inclusion, to foster ongoing dialogue and raise awareness of Indigenous economic and financial issues. In 2022, the Bank of Canada is serving as chair of this group.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) To promote reconciliation efforts, the CBSA developed the online course Processing Indigenous Travellers Sacred Goods. This training is primarily designed for frontline officers but encouraged for all. The training provides knowledge on policy and procedures for respectfully processing Indigenous travellers, and protocol associated with handling sacred goods. To complement this virtual training, the Agency’s Indigenous Training Program (ITP) has teaching bundles, which help introduce officers to Indigenous cultures and specific cultural objects they may encounter on the front line. The Public Service-wide Indigenous Training and Development Community of Practice (ITDCOP) is led out of the Indigenous Training Program. The CBSA’s Regional counterparts have equally worked to facilitate five KAIROS blanket exercise. These courses have been critical particularly given the contentious border crossing issues that the Agency faces.
Canada Council for the Arts The Canada Council for the Arts (the Council) has produced context briefs containing information and resources about emerging, underserved and less-understood arts communities and practices. They are intended to equip the Council’s peer assessment committees, and they are updated to evolve with the ongoing dialogue about a given topic. The Council has produced context briefs on Culturally Diverse Arts (arts of racialized artists) and Indigenous arts and cultures. These context briefs provide peer assessors with a better understanding of the challenges artists and arts organizations in these communities face and additional resources about their artistic and cultural context. The Council has also produced a context brief on Cultural Appropriation that defines what this concept means and provides an analysis in the context of artistic and literary creation.
Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) CRRF is constantly seeking new ways to improve and develop programming and educational offerings. Recognizing that the main pillar, the Anti-Racism training workshop, was outdated, CRRF successfully launched a committee to evaluate its strengths and weakness and went on to redevelop new content that was more fitting.
Communications Security Establishment (CSE)

A presentation developed by CSE employees, “Being Black in Canada”, increased awareness and provided practical tips for all individuals on how to cope with the realities of marginalized groups. To date, this presentation has been seen by over 2,500 people in various Government Departments and Agencies, as well as the House of Commons. This is a key area where CSE staff are contributing to the broader GC awareness of anti-racism and the need for change.

An internal 40-minute presentation developed by CSE employees called “Being Black in Canada’’ and sponsored by the Agency was picked up by Canadian Security and Intelligence (S&I) and international partners (e.g., Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Government Communications Headquarters, and others). Not only did the session have an overwhelmingly positive response at CSE it was quickly adopted by S&I partners. This initiative indirectly led to renewed partnerships and lessons learned across S&I organizations internationally.

Defence Construction Canada (DCC) DCC’s DI Learning program has mandatory learning opportunities that include webinars, reports, information guides, and the DI Fundamentals Boot Camp. These address issues of bias, anti-racism, and additional information on the realities lived by Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, religious minority communities. Some of the opportunities include topics such as Anti-Black Racism, Indigenous culture and history, Islamophobia, unconscious bias, with additional topics to be introduced in 2022/23.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • 1. Anti-Racism Coalition is a group that meets regularly to discuss Anti-Racism, share and discuss materials, and to provide a safe space for employees to express their opinions and share their experiences with racism and discrimination. This coalition has helped to shape education and awareness efforts by developing programs for the branch, such as a mentorship program for racialized employees.
  • 2. Action Forum for Black, Indigenous and Other People of Colour Employees and Allies within the Settlement and Integration Sector (SIS). The Forum seeks to create a space for racialized employees to talk with each other, learn from each other and feel heard. This will also allow SIS to learn from employee experiences and to identify actions to address the career and wellness opportunities and barriers that racialized employees have identified.
National Arts Centre

Our employees received training on inclusive communication and “emotional citizenship”. This training addressed the tensions, issues, and conflicts in the workplace that impact employee belonging and cohesion. We use an emotional citizenship and anti-racism safety lens. These sessions are designed to allow participants to question their understanding of the human condition, "normalcy" versus "difference", and the notion of safety.

Our goal is to help employees engage in courageous, and often difficult, conversations, to better assess their work environment, and to develop a collective growth mindset and understanding for all employees.

National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

For the Canadian public, the NFB has organized some activities and collaborated on others during commemorations. For example:

  • 1. in May 2021, for Canadian Jewish Heritage Month, the NFB collaborated with the Department of Canadian Heritage for the promotion of the channel accessible on The NFB also shared resources with the Network of Jewish Public Servants for this commemoration as well as for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
  • 2. As part of the National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action against Islamophobia, the NFB created a channel of works and co-organized a panel of Muslim filmmakers with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and Telefilm Canada. The event explored how harmful narratives can fuel Islamophobia and what we can do to combat them.
  • 3. For Black History Month (BHM), the NFB posted a new channel of films by Black filmmakers and hosted two panels as part of the official BHM programming featuring eight filmmakers. During these panels, filmmakers were invited to discuss the challenges they face as racialized artists.
National Research Council Canada (NRC) In fall 2021, the NRC’s Library Services and Human Resources Branch collaborated to build an anti-racism library guide to provide curated lists of resources designed to help employees incorporate anti-racist practice into their everyday work and research, regardless of their field. The guide features free access to 8 bestselling e-books, a collection of scholarly articles, statistics, toolkits and a variety of other resources. This guide was followed by a collaboration with the NRC’s Indigenous Engagement Network to launch a library guide on Indigenous engagement, compiling books, links to training, articles and other resources, to foster better understanding and engagement with Indigenous peoples.
Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI)

As part of a larger grassroots Inclusion Network, OSFI has an active Multiculturalism employee resource group. The Multiculturalism stream launched three prominent affinity groups for Indigenous, Black, and Pan Asian employees in reporting year 2021-22. The purpose of these affinity groups is to bring together colleagues with similar backgrounds or interests and can have a powerful influence in the workplace.

OSFI also has an Employment Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee (EEDAC). This committee represents employees belonging to the four designated groups as well as members of the two bargaining units at OSFI. The committee also assumes the role of spokesperson on behalf of any of the four designated groups on any systemic issues that they may wish to raise with management. EEDAC is consulted prior to implementing any substantive changes in human resource policies or procedures that may have an impact on any designated group of employees.

Parole Board of Canada (PBC)

Board members participate in various learning activities as part of their professional development. Training is developed and delivered nationally and regionally. Training may include sessions on specific racialized populations, including Indigenous and Black people. Board members participated in training in 2021-22 to better understand the reasons these populations are overrepresented in the criminal justice system.

The title of the 2022 Annual Training on Risk Assessment (ATRA) delivered to all Board members was “Intersectionality in assessing risk: Strengthening our responsiveness to Indigenous peoples”. This training included sessions on Indigenous Social History and risk assessment, hearing management with a focus on Indigenous peoples, mental health and disconnection from culture, Indigenous women, community reintegration and restorative justice, along with a session featuring individuals with lived experience with the criminal justice system. The 2021 ATRA included a session on: "Offenders of African Descent" (2021) delivered by Mr. Robert Wright.

Across the country, regional Board member training sessions include topics relevant to diversity issues, for example in 2021 a training session was delivered in the Ontario Region by Dr. Scot Wortley on working effectively with Indigenous and Black communities.

The PBC also provides Indigenous Cultural Responsiveness Training (ICRT) to its Board members. ICRT is a mandatory three-day session and part of the core training provided to all Board members, usually during their first year of appointment. The objective of ICRT is to enhance Board members’ ability to render culturally informed decisions. Two sessions were delivered in 2021-22 (one English and one French).

Examples of promising practices under the theme Promotion and Celebration

Name of Federal Institution Initiative
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) AAFC continued to regularly publish its storytelling initiative, Good News Grows, spotlighting people from all walks of life in the agricultural sector and at AAFC. The intent is to provide uplifting stories for the general public in a traditional storytelling format. Stories spotlighting women, visible minorities, new Canadians, and other underrepresented communities have been featured prominently, and will continue to be a priority in future stories. Notable stories include ones of scientists immigrating to Canada to follow their dreams and share their expertise, as well as stories on overcoming personal barriers. When these stories are published, they consistently have the highest engagement on social media platforms, particularly Facebook and LinkedIn. The stories are well-received by the general public and increase awareness for important topics within the agricultural sector.
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) The ACOA recognizes the importance of the sharing of wisdom and information directly from Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers. ACOA has invited Elders to conduct opening ceremonies, bless new/newly renovated workspaces and provide cultural awareness by sharing stories and performing smudging ceremonies. An important practice will be to invite Elders and Knowledge Keepers on an ongoing basis in the future.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) CMHC’s strategy for promoting and celebrating the historical contribution and heritage of communities of all origins to Canadian society focused on putting employee voices and ideas, including those of Employee Resource Groups, at the forefront. As a result, these types of promotions and celebrations were largely employee-led during the fiscal year 2021-2022, which resulted in an engaging, personal, and employee-driven approach to building a sense of community and connectedness among employees. It also helped to increase collective awareness and appreciation of the diverse heritages of many communities, in order to enrich our workplace culture. Examples of such promotions and celebrations include employee blogs, panel discussions and welcoming speakers to highlight commemorative events of great national significance and history such as National Indigenous Peoples Day, Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month, and Multiculturalism Day.
Canada Post Corporation

Canada Post’s stamp program is an opportunity to promote and communicate the diversity of the communities served through celebration of various cultural events and notable Canadians. The below stamps are a depiction on how Canada Post commemorates Canadian heritage and historical contributions:

Buffy Sainte-Marie Honouring legendary singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie. Saskatchewan-born musician and visual artist, activist, educator and philanthropist dedicated to Indigenous rights. In 1997, Sainte-Marie was named a Companion of the Order of Canada, inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame. Sainte-Marie is active in social, political, Indigenous and environmental causes. She created the Cradleboard Teaching Project, which offers a school curriculum through an Indigenous perspective.

Eleanor Collins, the Canadian First Lady of Jazz. Canada Post is proud to showcase the achievements, impact and stories of Black Canadians throughout the country and the world. In recognition of Black History Month, we shared a tribute video and stamp released in honour of acclaimed Canadian jazz singer Eleanor Collins, Canada’s first lady of jazz. The Vancouver-based artist began performing in concert venues and on the radio in the 1940s and broke new ground in her genre by becoming one of the first Black artists in North America to host a national, weekly television series.

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 The Contributions Film Experience opened in the museum’s Canadian Immigration Story exhibition - a 9-foot tall, 40-foot-long curved screen that shows a dynamic presentation celebrating the many and varied contributions that immigrants and first-generation Canadians have made to Canadian culture, history, sport, and more.
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)

In August 2021, as part of Public Service Pride Week, CIRNAC hosted two events open to all public servants: a panel discussion with members of the MMIWG and 2SLGBTQI+ Committee hosted by ISC Associate Deputy Minister Valerie Gideon; a panel discussion on Two Spirit and Indigiqueer Identities hosted by Deputy Minister Gina Wilson.

On October 5, 2021, CIRNAC Celebrated Women’s History Month and the launch of the new employee network for women, gender-diverse folks and allies via a panel discussion with Associate Deputy Minister Paula Isaak (CIRNAC) and Deputy Minister Gina Wilson (WAGE, Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and Senior Associate Deputy Minister for Canadian Heritage).

In December 2021, CIRNAC launched its Diversity and Inclusion Monthly Newsletter to inform employees of all the work related to diversity, inclusion, equity and anti-racism in CIRNAC, ISC and across the Government of Canada. In this newsletter, employees find useful information, highlights of commemorative events and dates, tools and resources, as well as interesting events and learning opportunities.

Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) Through active engagement with FINTRAC’s dynamic workforce and a focus on concrete actions and investments, there has been a tangible culture shift and lasting positive impacts. Increasing visibility of Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EEDI) within FINTRAC and having a passionate, dedicated, and assessable Champion has brought these initiatives to new heights. Employees reach out to the EEDI mailbox and members of the EEDI working group in order explore ways that they can showcase their culture and traditions.
Library and Archives Canada Library and Archives Canada moved its traveling exhibition "Hiding in Plain Sight" to Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. The exhibit was on display from December 1, 2021, to April 16, 2022. The exhibit was a collaborative effort with the Manitoba Métis Federation and the Métis National Council, with support from the Government of Canada. It features a range of resources on the Métis Nation in our collection. It explores the representation of Métis citizens, who often remain "in the shadows" through art and photography collections. And finally, it develops a better understanding of the history and culture of the Métis Nation.
Public Prosecution Service of Canada On May 6, 2021, the Quebec Regional Office hosted a special event as part of Mental Health Week. Employees were able to listen to Rwanda native Michel Mpambara, and a stand-up comedian who was born in Burundi. He immigrated to Québec with his family in 1990. Michel has been a spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk Day since 2011 and has been supporting a nation-wide awareness-raising campaign, assisting organizations that care for people struggling with mental illness. He talked about an African man’s struggle to adopt the North American way of life, his first experiences upon arriving in urban Québec, and his misadventures, rivaling the most melodramatic of American soap operas.
Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint (the Mint) celebrated Black History Month both with employees and the Canadian public commemorating the Underground Railroad. This coin honours the flight to freedom of those who “rode” the Underground Railroad to Canada, a safe haven after slavery was abolished. This is the fourth coin in the Mint’s annual Commemorating Black History series which honours the legacy of Black people in Canada whose achievements and struggles are an important part of Canada’s story.

The Mint acknowledged Chinese New Year internally and externally through the creation of the Chinese Lunar Coin – Year of the Ox in 2021 and Year of the Tiger in 2022.

The Mint commemorated Indigenous peoples with a coin program reframing traditional narratives about the Klondike Gold Rush to focus on building a more fulsome and honest history through the prominent inclusion of the Indigenous experience and perspective.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  • 1. The Women’s Indigenous Network (WIN) was involved in the approval process by the Uniform and Equipment Committee to integrate Indigenous representation in the RCMP ceremonial uniform, an Eagle Feather and Métis Sash. Consultation with Inuit Regular Members continues in order to identify a means for Inuit representation in the RCMP ceremonial uniform as well.
  • The WIN designed a ribbon skirt to be worn by Regular Members in Red Serge. This remains in the prototype and design stage and will be presented to the Uniform and Equipment Committee for approval.
  • 2. From the Depot Division, one success story included the work done on a 4-week communications plan for the National Truth and Reconciliation Day. This plan included weekly topics and links for both cadets and staff to learn, reflect, champion and take action towards reconciliation. Links included were for training opportunities, national campaigns, as well as external resources (Orange Shirt Day). The idea was to build awareness of Residential Schools and the RCMP role, highlight existing resources and encourage participation on Sept. 30 activities (Paper Orange Shirts, Orange Cloth Pins, Cree Feast, Tipi Installation and Reconciliation Learning with a local knowledge keeper).
  • 3. Another success story came from the partnership created with the Regina Police Service Cultural Unit. In addition to now having representation on the Saskatchewan Cultural Policing Group, members from Depot Division were also invited to partake in the celebration ceremony for Indigenous Veterans Day at First Nations University of Canada. At this event, members helped with a flag raising ceremony and were part of the Colour Party.
Veterans Affairs Canada At the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in Vimy, France, profiles of racialized fallen soldiers have been integrated into the new self-guided tour of the site’s preserved tunnels and trenches. Student guides also learn about the contributions of Canadians from various backgrounds (i.e., Indigenous, Black, Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, etc.) and provide this information to visitors during in-person tours of the site.

Examples of promising practices under the theme Prevention and Solutions

Name of Federal Institution Initiative
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) The CFIA relied on the cultural expertise of Indigenous employees to incorporate an Indigenous Liaison Officer within the CFIA’s emergency response function. For the first time, the Indigenous Liaison Officer was embedded at activated National and Regional Operations Centres. Indigenous employees who self-identify, were selected for the Indigenous Liaison Officer role on a rotating basis. Duties included engaging with Indigenous communities who were impacted by Avian Influenza. Employees were selected for these roles because of their cultural expertise, cultural competence and Indigenous perspective. They ensured Indigenous engagement during these high stress emergency responses was handled with respect and cultural sensitivity all while meeting the CFIA’s regulatory and legal obligations.
Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) In 2021-2022, the CGC participated virtually (whereas pre-pandemic, traveled abroad) in new crop missions to enhance the marketability of Canadian grains through scientific research, monitoring and analytical services. At the CGC, our international brochures and pamphlets have been translated and are available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. These brochures ensure that essential information about the organization and related information about Canadian grain is available in various languages to effectively serve our international key grain industry stakeholders. Additionally, CGC business cards were also translated into Tagalog, Korean and Bengali.
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency Inuksugait Resume Inventory is a platform for Nunavut Inuit to express interest and apply for work with the Government of Canada in Nunavut. For federal departments and agencies, it is a dynamic, culturally competent recruitment tool to employ Nunavut Inuit across all groups and levels. Pilimmaksaivik conducts information-gathering interviews with candidates and convenes with an HR committee to assess applications, prior to making referrals to departments and agencies.
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) The final Report on the development of the CRTC's Anti-Racism and anti-discrimination (ARAD) Strategy was developed and delivered in 2021-22. First, senior management, then employees, were familiarized with the contents of the report. The strategy will be fully implemented through enhancements to the CRTC's 2021-2024 Employment Equity, Inclusion and Diversity (EEID) Plan. The CRTC Action Plan to Address Systemic Racism and Advance Inclusion and Diversity was developed in response to the Clerk of the Privy Council's Call to Action in 2021. As part of this plan, a comprehensive Employment Systems Review will be conducted to further inform the ARAD Strategy, action plan, 2021-2024 EEID Plan and other initiatives going forward.
Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) In a CSIS first, we dedicated the applicant eligibility of one of our two yearly Intelligence Officer (IO) recruitment cycles to Indigenous peoples and racialized groups and highlighted the importance of knowledge of Indigenous languages, as they contribute to our cultural diversity.
Department of Finance Canada The Department of Finance runs an annual University Recruitment (UR) Campaign which is used to staff entry-level positions at the EC-03 group and level. The campaign is promoted across the country and applicants who meet the qualification requirements and are successful on both the written exam and telephone interview, are invited to take part in a final selection interview. In 2020-2021 the UR Campaign poster not only encouraged applicants of designated groups to self-identify on their applications, but it also stated the following Organizational need: “In support of achieving a representative workforce, selection may be limited to members belonging to one of the following Employment Equity groups: Aboriginal peoples, Persons with a Disability, Visible Minorities and Women.” As a result, 38% of hires self-identified as being visible minorities. In our 2021-2022 UR Campaign, this organizational need was once again included on the poster, and this resulted in 54% of hires self-identifying as being visible minorities. This organizational need is planned to carry forward for the upcoming 2022-2023 UR campaign.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) DFO has had successful initiatives with regard to translation services. For example, CCG’s Arctic Region provides Inuktitut translation for materials as required for Inuit partners and the communities they serve. Staff have been identified for Inuktitut language training. Maritimes Region has posted multilingual signage in areas with a diverse population to inform communities about unsafe shellfish consumption, fish harvester information for mackerel, and whale information cards. In some situations, material was made available in English, French, Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin. The Region also worked with the Mi'kmaq Legal Support Network to ensure that, if conservation and Protection files need to be diverted to them, services could be provided in the Mi'kmaq language.
Employment and Social Development Canada

Service Canada agents deliver face-to-face services for Indigenous people who speak neither English nor French, or who prefer to be served in their native language. The Multi-Language Services (MLS) initiative is intended to decrease barriers and improve access to programs and services that are made available in selected Service Canada Centres and Scheduled Outreach sites. Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun, Plains Cree – Y dialect, Ojibwe / Oji-Cree and Cree are part of the MLS initiative.

In addition, telephone interpretation service (TIS) in over 100 foreign languages is available to improve access to the Government of Canada benefits and services for eligible newcomers to Canada.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) For staffing processes, Inuit culture criteria is expected to be included as part of staffing actions in Nunavut in order to recognize the importance of Inuit culture together with other criteria incorporated into a poster. Internal guidelines have been developed for recruitment and hiring in Nunavut specify the requirement to list fluency in Inuktitut as a criterion on the Statement of Merit Criteria. This has improved ECCC’s inclusion of Inuit culture in our staffing processes, in ECCC office environments and in the way ECCC approaches different areas of knowledge.
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

The Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) is a national program administered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) to support tourism businesses and organizations adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate future growth. With a national investment of $500 million over two years (ending March 31, 2023), including $50 million specifically dedicated to Indigenous tourism initiatives, TRF funding will help position Canada to be a destination of choice as domestic and international travel rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic. $118.9 has been allocated to FedDev Ontario to support projects in southern Ontario, of which $11.9 million has been dedicated to support Indigenous tourism initiatives.

Tourism-related business and organizations supported to create new or enhance existing tourism experiences and products, along with helping the sector reposition itself by offering some of the best Canadian tourism experiences. The program received an overwhelming response from both Indigenous businesses and organizations to expand Indigenous tourism offerings, along with non-Indigenous tourism-related entities seeking to promote Indigenous culture within their offerings. It also received a strong response from other cultural, inclusive, and racialized groups. Through this program, the Agency is working to improve the diversity of Canadian tourism offerings and supporting these organizations for success into the future.

Health Canada (HC) During the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of departmental volunteers was created to review Multilanguage content to ensure that it was properly translated and that the laid-out version of graphics, factsheets, handouts, posters, and other products, including educational video voice overs were properly done. HC has an Indigenous engagement team that not only undertakes consultation and engagement activities with Indigenous communities, it also mentors and provides expertise to other program areas that have services aimed at Indigenous organizations or communities.
Impact Assessment Agency of Canada

GCT Deltaport Expansion Berth Four Project:

In order to reach a broader range of potential participants from the project area in public comment periods during the Planning Phase for this project, including being more inclusive to the population diversity in the area, the Agency placed advertising for public comment opportunities in non-official language media outlets.

The outlets were determined following a review of Statistics Canada’s census information for the most commonly spoken non-official language mother tongues in the Vancouver census metropolitan area. Punjabi, Cantonese, Chinese language non-specified and Mandarin were identified as the four most common languages in the Vancouver metropolitan census area.

In selecting media outlets and working to verify translations, we drew on the cultural competencies of our regional employees and their fluency in written Chinese and spoken Cantonese and Mandarin. Advertising for public comment periods was also placed in South-Asian language media (radio) to advertise public comment opportunities. This was in addition to print, web and radio advertising for these opportunities that were produced in English, French and in Indigenous media outlets.

Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) The Aboriginal People’s Employment Program (APEP) was established by the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) and was launched in August of 2015 to “strategically increase Aboriginal Peoples representation, within FNIHB, above Labour Market Availability, in areas that will have the most impact on program delivery and health outcomes of the disadvantaged target client population”. It was also intended to “support the Department in fulfilling its mandate by evolving towards becoming an employer of choice for First Nations, Inuit and Métis who wish to serve the interests of their communities and populations, while also accessing opportunities for professional development and promotions”. The ISC evaluation directorate is conducting an evaluation of the APEP which will help the department gain an understanding of results achieved, best practices, and lessons learned and to identify systemic barriers for Indigenous employment.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Telecom and Internet Policy Branch leverages the diverse language skills (including Spanish, Romanian, and Russian, amongst others) and the deep cultural understanding of its employees. There are individuals who are fluent in these languages and have cultural competencies that they use when participating in international meetings of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), the Internet Advisory Committee for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). These individuals are able to communicate and negotiate with foreign nationals in their native tongue, as well as review documentation submitted in these languages.

The Pacific Regional office consults Indigenous, racialized, and minority communities as part of its support for ministerial events and tours, which results in a richer understanding of cultural and policy issues for visiting ministers.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

The NSERC Indigenous Student Ambassadors grant aims to engage Indigenous students and fellows in the natural sciences and engineering by visiting Indigenous communities and schools in Canada. Ambassadors could share their research and educational experiences at an information booth at a community event or Powwow, or they could deliver hands-on science promotion activities at a workshop for youth in the community.

The EDI Institutional Capacity-Building grant supports institutions as they implement systemic change informed by evidence and meaningful engagement with affected groups. These funds will allow institutions to undertake activities to advance their own EDI objectives.

The Reference Group for the Appropriate Review of Indigenous Research (Reference Group) is a community group of sixteen Indigenous individuals that provide advice to CIHR, SSHRC and NSERC on ethically and culturally safe peer review approaches and practices for research conducted by and with Indigenous peoples. The Group has worked on addressing issues such as the definition of Indigenous research, tools to support Indigenous research merit review, and self-identification.

The College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) is a community-led Tri-Agency program, managed by NSERC. NSERC developed a CCSIF guide for research involving Indigenous Peoples and communities. Reviewers must familiarize themselves with the Guide's concepts, principles, and protocols to review applications. NSERC also developed a presentation for CCSIF Committee Members to provide guidance on the review of Indigenous Research applications in 2022.

Parks Canada

Several field units have implemented their own processes and practices to remove barriers in employment:

  • The Gwaii Haanas field unit posts job opportunities to the local indigenous (Haida) communities before opening it up to the general public. The field unit also supports developmental opportunities for local indigenous applicants if they don’t meet all the qualifications for a position.
  • In Parks Canada’s Atlantic field units, networks and partnerships have been developed with local Indigenous providers that specifically focus on the recruitment and retention of Indigenous employees. Discussions are held with Indigenous Relations Advisor to discuss potential barriers felt by the local Indigenous communities. Conversations took place with representative from Atlantic Student Development Alliance (ASDA) to discuss barriers faced by international students seeking employment within the province. As a result of these discussions, the Atlantic field units have been accepting job applications through various methods, not just electronic and have been providing additional information and support to navigate the Public Service Resourcing System.
Prairies Economic Development Canada and Pacific Economic Development Canada

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) – This program supported businesses and not-for-profits adversely affected by COVID-19, to mitigate financial pressures caused by the pandemic.

Indigenous Tourism Alberta (ITA) received support to deliver a pandemic resiliency program for Indigenous tourism operators in the province. The program will develop the long-term resilience of Alberta's Indigenous tourism sector through product development support, professional development training and workshops, mentorship, website development and content management, an Indigenous tourism conference, and an ITA-member intranet housed at ITA's website.

Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) PHAC administrators of the Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF) undertook an equity-driven lens to solicitation activities during 2021-2022. Using a Priority Populations matrix for vaccine inequities, funding was distributed to ensure that racialized, religious minority, and Indigenous communities were well represented for funding for vaccine confidence and uptake-related projects. Projects themselves are led by community advocates and organizations, which provides organizations with the flexibility needed to implement community-based solutions to prevent, prepare, and respond to the spread of COVID-19 within their communities. The IPF has had notable impact to date.
Public Services and Procurement Canada The Science and Parliamentary Infrastructure Branch employees recently established the Nookomis Nibi Bijigozi Advisory Circle to bring Indigenous perspectives and voices forward within the Branch. This network is founded in Indigenous ceremony and culture and brings a wide breadth of experience in Indigenous issues, perspectives, community and culture, as well as providing strategic policy advice on cross-cutting issues to support reconciliation across the department.
Shared Services Canada (SSC)

Aspiring Leaders Program: Aims to advance the development of employees at the EX-minus 1 level. Participants in the program will be equipped to assume an enhanced leadership role through a series of developmental activities, including leadership assessments, a personalized learning plan, training, coaching, inspiring conversations with leaders, peer coaching circles and a virtual shared platform.

SSC Mentorship Plus program matches SSC employees with SSC executives. The matching process was co-developed by members of diversity groups. At SSC we chose a phased approach to slowly build internal capacity to ensure success. We have successfully implemented the EE EX mentoring and EX minus 1 phase. We are currently working on the next phase which will include all EE employees.

SSC has 3 employees in the Indigenous Career Navigator Program from The Knowledge Circle for Indigenous Inclusion (KCII). The purpose of the program is to support Indigenous employees working in the federal public service navigate their career from a recruitment, retention, professional development, and career advancement perspective.

The Agora Innovation Network, an employee-led professional network open to all employees is focused on engaging employees in cultivating a dynamic work culture through information sharing, collaboration, learning and professional growth. It has successfully sought senior management approval to work on a series of career path development initiatives for racialized women and other equity deserving groups via their annual Student Ideation Program.

Annex B

List of participating federal institutions

© His Majesty the King in Right of Canada (2023)
Catalogue No. CH31-1E-PDF
ISSN 1497-7400

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