Indigenous Perspectives: Stories from Indigenous Public Servants
The ESDC Indigenous Perspectives podcasts explore being Indigenous in the Public Service, what reconciliation is for individuals, and what it can be for Canada. In their own words, public servants give voice to diverse experiences - and struggles - around what it means to be Indigenous.
Episode 1 - What is Reconciliation?
"It’s kind of mind-boggling that a country that I cherish so much as a Canadian, I feel like we’re such a good country. And you know I struggle with that now, I struggle with my Canadianness, and what that really means to me now."
In this episode, public servants share their thoughts and feelings on what reconciliation means to them.
Duration: 40:05 Minutes
Episode 2 - Things to Know
"Public servants have an opportunity to recognize the history of Indigenous people in Canada and to build that knowledge and respect into the work they do."
In this episode, public servants answer the question: What is it about you, your community or your culture that you want others to know?
Duration: 37:39 Minutes
Episode 3 - Legacy of the Past
"It was easy to make the shift from being the advisor to the chair and travelling with him and such, to what I do now, because I feel that what I'm doing now is as important as what I tried to do with Justice Sinclair, which is to continue to turn the lights on Reconciliation."
In this episode, public servants share their thoughts and feelings on their past, our collective past, and the path forward.
Duration: 20:23 Minutes
Episode 4 - Self-discovery
"I'm still kind of looking in. I partake in some of the ceremonies and things like that, but I still don't quite feel... I'm not in that culture yet. I'm not part of... like it's mine. And I think maybe that might be one of the things I'm kind of regretful about. About having no culture."
In this episode, public servants share their thoughts and feelings about their path of cultural self-discovery.
Duration: 27:29 Minutes
Episode 5 - Conversation with Gina Wilson
"And we also need Indigenous perspectives in all of our policies, programs, and operations across the Government of Canada. And those perspectives are valid, they're important and they need to be heard. And this is why Indigenous people should be in the public service in greater numbers."
This episode is a special one-to-one conversation with Gina Wilson, who is currently Deputy Minister of Status of Women Canada and Champion of Federal Indigenous employees in the Government of Canada.
Duration: 16:34 Minutes
Episode 6 - Appearances
"When you look like I do— I don't look like anybody different— but at first it was 'Well, you never mentioned it. Are you sure you're one? How can you be? How can you know? Do you have a paper?' So that was the attitude that I first faced."
In this episode, public servants share their thoughts and feelings on appearances: the benefits of blending in, the sadness in being shut out, the uncertainty of feeling that you're in two worlds but belong to neither.
Duration: 17:42 Minutes
Episode 7 - Realities
"Because I had the heavy duty involvement in my community and with various advocacy organizations, I was looked at as essentially sleeping with the enemy."
In this episode, public servants share about the realities of being an Indigenous person.
Duration: 26:04 Minutes
Episode 8 - Support
"Sometimes a cultural change in the workplace is the hardest thing to achieve. You're talking about a lot of unlearning: unlearning colonial practices, unlearning colonial policies. As an Indigenous employee it can be very challenging to bring yourself to work if the environment doesn't support it."
In this episode, public servants share their thoughts and feelings about the role of culture in the public service.
Duration: 43:30 Minutes
Episode 9 - Priorities, pt. 1
"We're always coming from a mindset of where we know best and we have an answer, and we'll consult on it, but it’s what we come up with. And so to me, until we can actually say 'We don't know what this answer is. What do you think?' and talk together to build something... I don't know if that's even do-able. I mean, obviously it's a very scary thing."
In this episode, public servants share their thoughts and feelings about their ideas for the way forward on reconciliation (part 1 of 2).
Duration: 34:08 Minutes
Episode 10 - Priorities, pt.2
"All Canadians are treaty people. All Canadians, their governments have made certain commitments and promises to the Indigenous peoples in this country to have a peaceful and respectful relationship so we can share the land and its resources to mutual benefit. And reconciliation it seems like a huge undertaking, which it is, but it starts with each of us: each Canadian, each individual doing just small little steps to making it a more respectful society."
In this episode, public servants share their thoughts and feelings about their ideas for the way forward on reconciliation (part 2 of 2).
Duration: 35:50 Minutes
Episode 11 - Joining
"I don't think the solution is withdrawing and letting everybody else make the decisions. I think it's about joining the conversation and shaping the future."
In this episode, public servants share their thoughts and feelings about choosing a career in the public service.
Duration: 42:17 Minutes
Episode 12 – A Conversation with Candice St-Aubin
"My individual experience isn't the same as my colleagues or my fellow Aboriginal or Indigenous executives either . . . everybody has lived a very different life, as any Canadian has."
This final episode of the Indigenous Perspectives Podcast is a special one-on-one conversation with Candice St-Aubin, Director General of Employment and Social Development Canada’s Indigenous Affairs Directorate, recorded in December 2018.
Duration: 29:05 Minutes
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