COVID-19 update for correctional employees: June 30, 2022

This content is a message to Correctional Service Canada (CSC) staff from CSC's Commissioner.

This summer, I hope you all take time for self-care and to spend time with your loved ones. Taking holidays gives us a chance to ground ourselves:

I know it has been a busy few years and it is important to take time to rest and recharge. In fact, this is essential to keeping our workforce healthy.

CSC Health Services shares expertise at international conference

I am pleased to share that we participated in the first World Conference on Health in Detention earlier this week, which was hosted by the International Committee of the Red Cross. CSC delivered two presentations, the first about the importance of leveraging public health expertise in a correctional context, which supports the positive recognition we have received for our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also provided an overview of the services CSC has implemented to support those with substance use disorders, including prevention and harm reduction programs.

Thank you to the Health Services staff for sharing your professional expertise with others on an international stage; what an honour for CSC!

National Indigenous History Month

Today wraps up National Indigenous History Month. I know there were some interesting and innovative activities happening across the country. I hope you found time to participate.

In recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day, I participated in an all-staff town hall with Elders as well as Deputy Minister Daniel Quan-Watson, our guest speaker.

The Pacific Region sent out an Indigenous-themed quiz to all staff. Entries were received from staff from:

The top prize for correct answers was a beautiful Kanata blanket, featuring a design by BC First Nation’s artist Bill Helin that was inspired by his Tsimshian heritage.

The Indigenous Initiatives Directorate team at National Headquarters hosted a two-day traditional drum making workshop. Elder Dan Ross led the team through the virtual teaching and making of a traditional drum and drum stick. The drums will be “birthed” traditionally at a subsequent virtual ceremony. The activity was a unique way for the team to gather for a traditional teaching, while recognizing and celebrating culture through the applied practice of creating a traditional craft by hand.

I am always impressed to learn of staff participating in the community in meaningful ways. Jonnathon Marconi, A/Correctional Manager at Millhaven Institution, is also President of the Highland Waters Métis Council. Jonnathon is a Métis descendent and grandson of a residential school survivor. Jonnathon’s council leadership role allows him to:

Kudos to Jonnathon for his positive community outreach and engagement! 

Indigenous Medicine Program at OOHL

I wanted to share with you that a wonderful Traditional Medicine Program was established at Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge (OOHL) in Saskatchewan, in partnership with Nekaneet First Nation, to improve CSC’s capacity to address the health needs of Indigenous Peoples in a culturally safe manner. The program, which launched in April 2021:

It includes the incorporation of a traditional healer apprentice, a medicine man, and a medicine woman into the health service delivery model.

I am pleased that as of June 1, 2022, there were 26 active participants at OOHL, with a total of 40 participants since the program began. Thank you to the dedicated staff at Health Services, Indigenous Initiatives Directorate, Women Offender Sector, and staff at OOHL, who created this program that many offenders will benefit from for years to come. 

Health for Life course at Millhaven SIU

I would like to recognize Kwame Osei, an educator in Millhaven Insitution’s structured intervention unit (SIU). He implemented a physical education course, called Health for Life, for SIU inmates. With his support, nine inmates completed their high school diplomas while in the SIU! I am a strong advocate for education as a positive step towards offenders finding meaningful employment and reintegrating successfully. Kudos, Kwame, for your outstanding work!

Use of pronouns in email signature blocks

We are working towards a more gender inclusive workplace at CSC. Pronouns you use are an expression of how you wish others to refer to you, such as:

Understanding and using people's correct gender pronouns helps promote an inclusive and respectful workplace culture. Employees wishing to add their pronouns to their email signature block are encouraged to do so. Please ensure that your signature is in both official languages. You can find more information on creating your signature block on the Hub:

Canada Day

Tomorrow is Canada Day. There will be many celebrations and festivities to mark Canada’s 155th birthday as a country. Our cultural landscape is diverse, made up of people from nations around the world. Canada is proud of its multicultural heritage as it is one of our greatest strengths. Following on the heels of Indigenous History Month, though, we need to take a moment to reflect on the unmeasurable cost of confederation to the cultures and communities of people who lived on these lands before the first Europeans arrived. It is important that we are mindful of this and consider how, individually and together, we can play a role in reconciliation.

You can find out about celebrations in the city nearest to you on

Many thanks to those of you who are working on July 1. Your commitment and hard work are much appreciated.

Happy Canada Day!


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