Summary Report of Departmental Progress Scorecard Findings - Many Voices One Mind: A Pathway to Reconciliation

Welcome, Respect, Support and Act to Fully Include Indigenous Peoples in the Federal Public Service

Table of contents

Message from the Deputy Minister, Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Canadian Heritage and Deputy Minister Champion for Indigenous Federal Employees

Gina Wilson

Hello, Bonjour, Kwey!

My name is Gina Wilson, and I am the Deputy Minister, Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Canadian Heritage and Deputy Minister Champion for Indigenous Federal Employees.

Indigenous Peoples continue to face barriers to public service employment, despite the rich resources, skills and diversity they can provide, and I take great pride in the fact Deputy Ministers committed to the implementation of the Many Voices One Mind Action Plan, and sharing the Year One implementation results through this Summary Report.

The Summary Report highlights the accomplishments and promising practices reported by departments and agencies, and areas that require additional focus and effort moving forward.

As stated in the Many Voices One Mind Report:

“The report is an important step on our path to supporting the incredible potential Indigenous public servants bring to our workplace. Now is the right time to address barriers that limit diversity and inclusion, which have no place in the Public Service.”

I encourage you to read the Summary report and help me share it with our Federal Public Service colleagues. I also encourage you to build on the work completed to date as we continue to strive for a Federal Public Service that welcomes, respects and supports Indigenous peoples with their public service career; and that demonstrates cultural competency, collaboration and coherence in people and talent management for Indigenous inclusion

Thank you, Merci, and Meegwetch!

Introduction

The Deputy Minister’s Task Force on Reconciliation (DMTF) committed to the implementation of the Many Voices One Mind: A Pathway to Reconciliation Report (MVOM) Action Plan, as part of its Reconciliation Work Plan, to support transformational change within the Public Service. The MVOM was launched December 4, 2017, by the then Clerk of the Privy Council, as a whole-of-government strategy that seeks to reduce and remove barriers to Public Service employment encountered by Indigenous peoples.

In April 2018, the DMTF developed a MVOM Progress Scorecard (Scorecard) – to support the tracking of Departmental initiatives and measure results toward improving the recruitment and retention of Indigenous employees in the public service, and a call-out to action was sent to Deputy Heads from the DMTF Co-Chairs, and Gina Wilson, the Deputy Minister Champion for Indigenous Federal Employees.

The Scorecard has five areas of focus:

  1. Encourage and Support Indigenous Peoples to join the PS;
  2. Address Bias, Racism and Harassment, and Improve Cultural Competency;
  3. Address Training, Development and Career Advancement Concerns;
  4. Manage Indigenous Talent and Promote Advancement within the EX Group; and,
  5. Support, Engage and Communicate with Indigenous Employees and Partners.

In May 2019, the Deputy Minister Champion for Indigenous Federal Employees, reported the Year One Scorecard results to the DMTF – See Annex A: Departmental Highlights and Promising Practices. At this meeting, the DMTF reaffirmed its commitment to support the advancement of reconciliation across the federal government through the implementation of MVOM Action Plan outcomes, all achievable within existing delegated authorities, and requested more frequent and regular updates on departmental results through a slim version of the Scorecard.

The DMTF has also called for a Privy Council Office led Operational Practices Task Team to support the reduction or elimination of barriers for Indigenous peoples in three areas of interest: Human Resources, procurement and investments, and agreements and authorities. Privy Council Office has reported regularly to the DMTF through a Report Card. Highlights of results and early wins related to Human Resources captured in ANNEX A input from Privy Council Office.

The purpose of this Progress Scorecard Summary Report is to highlight early outcomes from the implementation of the MVOM Action Plan, as well as key findings and departmental activities reported by organizations in their Progress Scorecard submissions to the DMTF Secretariat.

Early outcomes

Support, engage and communicate with Indigenous employees and partners” is considered the foundational area of focus that underpins the four other Scorecard areas of focus. Moving forward on an MVOM recommendation for the coordination and advancement of a formal Indigenous Executive Network, April 5, 2018, marked the launch of the network at a meeting Co-Chaired by the Deputy Minister Champion for Indigenous Employees and the then President of the Canada School of Public Service. At this meeting, participants agreed upon the frequency of meetings, governance of meetings, and the intended outcomes of the meetings. Essentially, the Indigenous Executive Network meets quarterly, with special meetings called as needed; meetings will be called by a Chair, responsible for providing secretariat support, and identifying a Co-Chair to host and provide a boardroom and webcasting services; and, at least one meeting a year will be dedicated to a learning and development priority identified by the Indigenous Executive Network community.

The establishment of the Knowledge Circle for Indigenous Inclusion, following DMTF and Public Service Management Advisory Committee endorsement, in May 2019, is another outcome of the MVOM Action Plan. The Knowledge Circle for Indigenous Inclusion was launched in June 2019, to act as a focal point and serve as a safe space for liaison with Public Service managers and Indigenous employees. The Knowledge Circle for Indigenous Inclusion will be a source of expertise that will provide culturally competent guidance, support, and advice to Indigenous employees and Public Service managers, and will also conduct research and analysis to build an inventory of current and emergent practices, in the areas of recruitment, retention, talent management, training and development, and career mobility. The Knowledge Circle for Indigenous Inclusion will also support and provide advice to the Deputy Minster Champion for Indigenous Employees, and the implementation of MVOM outcomes for indigenous inclusion.

Another early outcome is the creation of an Indigenous Executive Talent Inventory, which identified private sector Indigenous leaders who expressed an interest in joining the Federal Public Service. The Deputy Minister Champion for Indigenous Employees shared the inventory with Deputy Heads for staffing considerations, and some candidates were subsequently contacted for informal and formal interviews. The Knowledge Circle for Indigenous Inclusion is in process of updating the inventory and completing a status report for way forward considerations, and is working with other federal partners to update the inventory to maximize its use for Public Service managers.

Summary of key findings from the departmental progress scorecards

Overall, good progress was reported in the first two areas of focus in most organizations, with excellent results in some organizations; and, minimal to moderate progress reported in the three other areas of focus across all organizations. The spirit of reconciliation is spreading slowly for the most part, reporting on impact of progress in alignment with MVOM action plan outcomes is clearly a challenge at this stage, and organizations are seeking support to ensure greater coherence and consistency in reporting on the impacts of implementing reconciliation strategies and activities.

Departments demonstrated a significant commitment to the establishment of Indigenous employee networks, and employee engagement in Indigenous cultural awareness activities, through departmental training or Indigenous Learning Series courses offered at the Canada School of Public Service. Many departments now have senior and middle managers as Champions or Chairs of Indigenous employees committees, whose mandate is to coordinate, advocate, and facilitate discussions on departmental employment and workplace well-being initiatives.

Departments are also recognizing the importance of providing access to Elders and Traditional Knowledge Holders within the workplace, and some departments have established Teaching Lodges, Elders’ Circles, or full-time equivalent positions for Indigenous Advisors, Elders, Ambassadors and Analysts. In addition, some departments have established new directorates, divisions or teams dedicated to Indigenous Relations and Engagement.

Some departments have demonstrated exemplary leadership, innovation and agility, by working directly with Indigenous communities and organizations, or establishing partnerships with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit groups. For example, plain language job posters are shared directly with Indigenous organizations to identify candidates who possess the interest, skills, and desire to make a positive contribution in the public service, with a focus on 'hiring for potential'. A couple noteworthy programs with successful recruitment partnerships include: the Tungasuvvingat Inuit - iSisters program, that provides a range of support services to the Inuit who call Ottawa home; and, the Minwaashin Lodge – Courage to Soar program, an Indigenous Women’s Support Center in Ottawa. Minwaashin Lodge, together with Willis College, run a six-month technology program designed specifically for Indigenous women who have been the victims of domestic, physical, or sexual abuse.

Each of these initiatives and actions represent important steps to facilitate a more culturally informed and competent public service, with potential to help increase Indigenous representation in the public service. Unfortunately, most activities are National Headquarters focused and more regional engagement and support is needed moving forward.

The Scorecards also revealed areas where more work needs to be done, especially supporting career advancement, developmental opportunities for Indigenous talent, and addressing regional disparities.

Monitoring training opportunities and learning outcomes for Indigenous employees was also found to be challenging because there are no consistent reporting regimes to track the number of Indigenous employees who successfully complete their training and, more importantly, if the training has led to career advancement opportunities.

The official language proficiency requirement continues to remain a significant barrier for the promotion of Indigenous talent into the executive federal ranks, and more needs to be done to provide Indigenous employees with second language training opportunities as part of their learning plans early in their career. Indigenous Federal Employees Network, created in 2017 as grassroots led Indigenous employee network, is currently playing a lead role working in close collaboration with the Official Languages Center of Excellence, Treasury Board Secretariat, to explore options for second official language exemptions for Indigenous employees.

Also noteworthy is the fact that the Scorecards showed minimal internal engagement with Indigenous employees even among departments who reported having an Indigenous employee network or Champions for Indigenous employees. Similarly, there was minimal engagement with external Indigenous partners and organizations – National Indigenous Organizations, regional First Nations, Metis, or Inuit organizations, or Indigenous community-based organizations. In fact, only 13 of 36 departments reached out to Indigenous employees or partners. However, one department went beyond the call of duty and included non-edited testimonials from Indigenous employees about their personal experience in the workplace. The DMTF members felt that this should become a requirement for future biennial Scorecard reporting to ensure that Indigenous employee perspectives is part of the reporting.

Departmental activities: A closer look

The Scorecards revealed a number of innovative activities that could be adapted as promising practices for other departments. A number of Indigenous employees have mobilized to establish informal and formal networks within their department and provide a safe space to share and discuss common issues - in some departments the networks have become a source of advice for managers.

Many departments have created Indigenous-specific or reconciliation offices with varying mandates and underlying common focus to develop initiatives or strategic plans to support the advancement of reconciliation and, in some cases, create more employment opportunities for Indigenous employees.Some departments have established targeted measures in their Employment Equity plans.

Departments are now also seeing value in hiring Elders and Traditional Knowledge Holders as part of their workforce.Deputy Heads are inviting senior leaders to assume leadership in Champion roles to support Indigenous inclusion. There are also ongoing collaborative practices between the Canada School of Public Service and a number of departments on developing programs to increase cultural competency and awareness among employees.

While activities vary, some departments have commitments to engage in recruitment activities for Indigenous employees, and some are providing career advancement opportunities to those already in the organization.

Cultivating the next generation of Indigenous public service leaders requires supporting Indigenous talent through the development and implementation of learning plans inclusive of developmental and acting assignments, participation in leadership development program, or coaching opportunities, as examples. Year One results highlight the fact that building a public service that is welcoming, respectful and supportive of future and current Indigenous employees requires ongoing and sustained commitment and action towards the implementation of MVOM outcomes.

Following presentations of Year One Scorecard results in May 2019, at the request of the DMTF, a one-and-a-half-day forum co-facilitated by Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Justice Canada in July 2019, brought together a number of departments to share and discuss current practices regarding the implementation of reconciliation. The purpose of this activity was to share insights and help build and strengthen public service capacity to work on reconciliation initiatives. A general conclusion of the event is that there is significant way forward work needed to de-colonize current practice and support the transformation of the Public Service culture for Indigenous inclusion.

Moving forward on MVOM Action Plan implementation and reporting

  1. Seek approval of a bi-annual Slim Progress Scorecard focused on metrics to be administered starting in Spring 2020;
  2. Seek approval of a more detailed Departmental Progress Scorecard for biennial reporting starting Fall 2021;
  3. Seek approval for three to five-year funding for the Knowledge Circle for Indigenous Inclusion in 2021-2022;
  4. Identify opportunities for further research and analysis to build on the work of Many Voices One Mind;
  5. Strengthen regional engagement in the implementation and reporting;
  6. Strengthen Indigenous employee and partner engagement in the implementation and reporting; and,
  7. Build on Year One Scorecard implementation to strengthen areas identified requiring more work, and place emphasis on measuring impact of activities in all areas of focus.

Annex A: Departmental Highlights and Promising Practices

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has an Indigenous Economic Development Champion file with three pillars, one of which is stakeholder engagement and awareness. In addition to staff awareness, the goal is to facilitate effective partnerships between key stakeholders to achieve better outcomes for Indigenous businesses. Part of this work is participation by Champion Team members in national, regional, and provincial committees seeking to develop opportunities to support Indigenous economic development. In addition to offering of the Blanket Exercise to employees, the Indigenous Economic Development Champion team, as one of its key objectives, continues to seek opportunities to provide training and other awareness activities for the Agency. Over the past year, various offices also promoted awareness around Canada School of Public Service webcasts on Reconciliation and significant cultural events such as National Indigenous Day and Mi’kmaq History Month.

Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada has established an Indigenous Support and Awareness Office. Its mandate is to recruit and retain more Indigenous employees, create more learning opportunities for new employees, provide a full-time Elder, who regularly conducts cultural awareness sessions to employees, and build a science-traditional knowledge partnership with Indigenous communities. It also has an Indigenous Student Recruitment Initiative and part of this initiative is to mentor student advisors to become leaders within the program. The Department continues its commitment to support indigenous innovation through a newly established Special Advisor, Indigenous Relations position, which will oversee the development of tools and approaches for federal intramural science and strengthen Indigenous science, technology, engineering and mathematics capacity across government.

Canada Border Services Agency has established an Indigenous Affairs Secretariat support to the Departments’ commitment to both its reconciliation journey and the ongoing efforts of all staff. Their Indigenous Framework and Strategy has four components that frame the Agency’s Reconciliation priorities.

  1. People: Cultural Awareness online training, Indigenous Training Bundle and a Canada Border Services Agency Recruitment Program Strategy and Action Plan.
  2. Policy: Development and implementation of various policy instruments such as Policy on the Agency’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples, Elder Services Provisioning, Sacred Items Handling, Duty to Consult and Indigenous Language Signage and Land Acknowledgement.
  3. Engagement: The Canada Border Services Agency and Mohawk Council of Akwesasne kicked off the Design thinking Initiative in early November. This is an innovative approach to co-develop solutions to assist in integrating solutions for long-standing border concerns in Cornwall/Akwesasne area; Regional Engagement to deliver awareness sessions and establish connections with community; and interdepartmental involvement on various Indigenous tables.
  4. Operations: Establishment of Champions for Indigenous Employees in all regions to ensure Indigenous considerations at management tables; and created partnership established with the Mohawk council of Akwesasne to display signage in the Mohawk Language.

Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency is building cultural competency in its hiring practices as it has recently developed a “Guidelines for Managers” on interviewing Inuit candidates. These guidelines include inclusion of Inuit panel board members, culturally appropriate interview questions, and allowing questions to be asked in Inuktitut. It also has developed and implemented an Inuit talent management process and has an Indigenous champion for Inuit employment and multiculturalism.

In April 2016, Pilimmaksaivik (Federal Centre of Excellence for Inuit Employment in Nunavut) was created to serve as Canada’s “central coordinating office” and to provide a whole-of-government, integrated response to Inuit employment development needs – e.g. pre-employment, recruitment and retention of Inuit employees in federal government positions across Nunavut.

Public Safety/Canadian Security Intelligence Service has amended their Employment Equity Plan to include a recommendation to provide training on Indigenous Peoples history to remove the stigmas and biases that could exist when hiring from this designated group and to increase representation within the Service. CSIS is committed to Indigenous recruitment and it was 30% of their recruitment strategy efforts.

Canada Food Inspection Agency has established a National Advisory Circle with co-champions. The Department has ongoing regional offerings of Indigenous awareness events and developed a Five-year Indigenous strategy that addresses five themes:

  1. Indigenous networks;
  2. Career Development;
  3. Harassment prevention;
  4. Recruitment; and,
  5. Cultural Awareness.

It also has an Indigenous Summer Student Program entering its 3rd year.

Canada School of Public Service piloted an Elder in Residence program for its employees and developed a new Leadership and Indigenous Affairs course for managers and executives. The School has also developed a suite of learning activities under the Indigenous Learning Series. Under the themes of recognition, respect, relationships and reconciliation, the Indigenous Learning Series provides access to resources, courses, workshops and events that share the history, heritage, cultures, rights and perspectives of Indigenous peoples in Canada and their relationship with the Crown. The classroom offerings include: Awareness-Building courses; Leadership and Indigenous Affairs; Modern Treaty and Self-Government Agreement; and Cultural Competency Training.

Canada Revenue Agency has focused its attention on building a strong early entry support network for Indigenous students and new employees. It has a series of Indigenous Mentorship Initiative, Indigenous Buddy Initiative (student-focused), and Indigenous Student Ambassador program.

The Agency has also established a grassroots National Indigenous Employee Network that connects Indigenous employees to connect and discuss issues to create a more inclusive work environment.

Canadian Heritage developed an Indigenous Protocol Package to educate departmental staff on local Indigenous history, protocols and how to work respectfully with Indigenous Peoples. The vision was inspired by the Departments’ direction in Indigenous policy towards full participation by Indigenous communities. Its development process takes on a grassroots approach in engaging and collaborating with various Indigenous communities and other government departments. In essence, the protocol has become a platform for reconciliation where governments, Indigenous Elders, artists and academic institutions can generate dialogues on identifying and addressing public servants’ knowledge gaps in Indigenous cultures. Indigenous artistic expressions shared by Indigenous artists are also integrated into the package to reinforce each section. It also conveys to the audience traditional Indigenous values of understanding and perceiving the world. The Indigenous Protocol Package is designed to be a “living document” where updates can be made over time.

Communications Security Establishment (Public Safety) is committed to ensuring a harassment free and inclusive work environment for all employees including those of Indigenous backgrounds. Mandatory training is required for all employees on Harassment Prevention, Positive Space Awareness and Values and Ethics training. Information is provided on internal platforms and employees are encouraged to utilize these means to educate and raise awareness. With the creation of a newly structured Diversity and Inclusion Council, targeted employee networks have been developed and are led by executive level sponsors who provide support and leadership. Each pillar helps create awareness and promotes cultural inclusion and provides support to employees of various backgrounds.

Correctional Services Canada has developed a number of online courses for staff to improve their cultural competency and diversity awareness. There is also specific training for Aboriginal and Community Liaison officers. It is also mandatory that all employees take Diversity and Cultural Training. To ensure Elders are properly supported when they join the Department either as employees or contractors, they have developed an Elder Orientation Training. Finally, the Department has established a Healing Lodge Working Group that meets regularly to address systemic barriers to the recruitment and retention of Indigenous employees.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs / Indigenous Services Canada has established an Indigenous Advisory Circle and an Aboriginal Leadership Development Initiative Alumni network. The Kumik Lodge provides Elder teachings to employees. Began to rename boardrooms into different Indigenous languages.

The Departments’have a number of initiatives to create a more inclusive workplace. The first is the creation of a Treaty Annuity Payment Summer job for Indigenous students which is offered through the Federal Student Work Experience program which, last year, hired 20 Indigenous students in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. They implemented an Indigenous Ambassador Initiative that is supported by 4 regional coordination and 61 trained Indigenous Ambassadors. They also have a suite of development programs as part of First Nations Inuit Health Branch’s Aboriginal Programming Unit. These include the Aboriginal Peoples Employment Program and the Indigenous Management Development Program among others.

In addition, the Departments’ are piloting an External Advertised Indigenous CR/AS Inventory to recruit more Indigenous peoples into the department. In 2010, it launched an Aboriginal Leadership Development Initiative, which has mentored 5 cohorts with over 56 graduates, as well as supporting an alumni network.

There are also a number of Indigenous advisory circles who provides advice to senior management. Currently, the Departments’ are working in partnership with Canada School of Public Service to develop a cultural competency training program for employees.

Développement économique Canada pour les région du Québec has actively participated in the Public Service Commission’s Indigenous recruitment program in order to recruit Indigenous employees. From this initiative, an Indigenous student was been recruited and is still employed.

The department has stepped up its efforts to achieve Indigenous representativeness by implementing two targeted selection processes for Indigenous employees. These processes will provide pools of qualified Indigenous applicants.

Finally, the department was in the process of establishing an agreement with the Public Service Commission to participate in awareness tours in Quebec’s Indigenous communities. This will allow greater outreach to Indigenous communities in order to better understand the realities of these communities and modify our recruitment methods and approaches through dialogues with them.

Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada has an Indigenous Employees’ Circle and a nation-wide membership-based network. Members are able to participate in a wide range of activities such as learning opportunities, share ideas and collaborate with members, gain networking and mentoring opportunities, and celebrate the diversity of Indigenous cultures. The Department has several different events to celebrate Indigenous peoples – e.g. Indigenous AwarenessWeek, National Indigenous Peoples Day, National Indigenous Peoples History Month, Gatherings (Orange Shirt Day, Moose Hide Campaign), Louise Riel Day, etc.

A permanent team has been established, within Human Resources Services Branch, Indigenous Recruitment, Retention and Advancement sector which supports Employment and Social Development Canada in implementing the Indigenous recruitment strategy and creates human resource policies and programs that are reflective of Indigenous needs. This sector actively conducts outreach to build relationships with Indigenous organizations and post-secondary institutions as the department strives to become an employer of choice for First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

The Innovation, Information and Technology Branch in Employment and Social Development Canada recognizes that it is critically important to diversify the way it attracts talent. One of the ways to do this is to work with Indigenous Skills, Employment and Training Service organizations across the country and to have them refer their clients to us for employment opportunities. In reviewing candidates who have been referred, focus is placed on future potential rather than past credentials. The approach places value on life experiences and it recognizes that individuals may follow different paths when they are young and that past decisions do not have to dictate future success. It is all about opening doors of opportunity to allow people to show how great they are. People just need to be given a chance, without having artificial barriers stand in the way.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has created the Public and Indigenous Affairs and Ministerial Services Branch, and the Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation Directorate. This Directorate works closely with the Human Resources Branch and the departmental Indigenous Employee Network to examine barriers to Indigenous recruitment and retention. Recently approved a “Strategic Approach to Indigenous Recruitment and Retention based on the MVOM recommendations. It is actively promoting the Indigenous Student Employment Opportunity. The Department also has an Inuit Employment Plan. It has established the Indigenous Awareness Advisory Committee and piloted an Indigenous Awareness and Intercultural Competency Training. The Department has developed and is looking to implement an Indigenous Director Development Program.

Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario continues to encourage hiring managers to consider promoting externally advertised selection processes to local organizations supporting Indigenous employees. They also continue to offer awareness workshops, encourage employees to access CSPS Indigenous specific courses and on occasion, offer armchair discussions, such as Indigenous Awareness – Reconciliation and Community Consultation.

Finance Canada has shared information on Indigenous cultures through its Diversity Blog. This has helped provide Indigenous employees with a sense of belonging while increasing awareness among non-Indigenous employees of various aspects of Indigenous history and cultures.

Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard has a very successful Aboriginal Internship Program which is going into its 9th year. It focuses on bridging in Indigenous students into Fisheries and Oceans-Coast Guard. In addition, the Department created an Indigenous Advisor position. All new employees receive a copy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and the Fisheries and OceansO-Coast Guard Reconciliation as part of their new employee resource material.

They have developed an Indigenous Recruitment & Retention Strategy intended to capture initiatives and practices from across the regions and sectors of the organization, while providing direction and vision nationally.

Indigenous Relations and Partnership Regional Hubs/Units have been established to strengthen engagement activities and coordination, and to enhance and build on strong long-term relationships and partnerships with Indigenous communities. Human Resource Advisors are encouraged to consult the Hubs/Units on Indigenous recruitment and retention initiatives, ensuring that appropriate partners are engaged from the beginning.

Infrastructure Canada has developed a staffing and recruitment strategy for managers, which includes a concerted and pro-active approach to outreach to a variety of audiences, including the Indigenous Youth Summer Employment Opportunity. The Department has begun implementing the new strategy and as part of the implementation, all hiring managers will receive a toolkit of staffing options, which includes the Indigenous Youth Summer Employment Opportunity. In parallel, staffing advisors continue to promote the program with their clients.

Global Affairs Canada has identified an Assistant Deputy Minister Champion for Diversity and Inclusion and there is a Champion for Aboriginal peoples. The Department also has Aboriginal peoples’ network. Global Affairs Canada has developed a new Employment Equity Action Plan 2018-2022 which sets out the key goals, activities and initiatives that will support the Department’s ongoing commitment to Employment Equity

Health Canada has created the Office of Indigenous Affairs and Engagement. The goal is to become a contributor to the government’s agenda on the advancement for the rights of Indigenous peoples. It established a full-time language scholarship for Indigenous employees. In addition, they have identified an Assistant Deputy Minister- level champion for Indigenous employees and has re-established its Indigenous Employee Network.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada has a volunteer network of Indigenous peoples that is chaired by a Director General Champion.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada has leveraged and marketed government-wide initiatives with an Indigenous focus, such as the Indigenous Student Employment Opportunity Program (at the Public Service Commission and the Aboriginal Leadership Development.

Justice Canada has made Indigenous Learning a mandatory component for every employee learning plan and is for all its employees and is being monitored and tracked in PeopleSoft. There is an “in house” justice program developed in collaboration with Canada School of Public Service. Indigenous Elders are part of the Executive Management learning program. Throughout the year, Justice Canada hosts a number of Indigenous learning days, including an annual Indigenous awareness week. There is also a Champion for Indigenous peoples and an Advisory Committee on Indigenous peoples. Justice has an established Employment Equity governance structure with a Champion for Indigenous peoples and an Advisory Committee on Indigenous peoples.

Natural Resources Canada has converted the old astronomer’s residence into a cultural respectful safe space called the Circle of Nations Centre. The Centre, also known as the House, will host cultural teachings and talking circles and provide space for small meetings and events.

The Centre will be used to help advance the department’s work in reconciliation by providing the opportunity to: connect the Department with traditional practices and teachings of Indigenous communities across Canada, foster learning about Indigenous cultures, connect to groups and organizations working on activities related to natural resources within their communities and or territories, and to better support Indigenous their employees.

Although the primary function of the Centre is to support reconciliation, it is open to all who want to take a different approach to meetings and events.

Privy Council Office launched a “Self-Identification Campaign” in November 2018. Throughout this four-week period, they undertook a number of activities to help increase awareness about the importance of self-declaring such as a weekly message on InfoNet and invited employees to engage in discussion with the Indigenous Peoples’ Champion. Privy Council Office hosted a conversation with Gina Wilson, Deputy Minister Champion for Indigenous Inclusion, and this event also launched an invitation to Indigenous employees to contribute their ideas on what kind of support could make the workplace more inclusive.

The Review of Laws and Policies related to Indigenous peoples unit at Privy Council Office have six quick wins that have were completed ahead of schedule Departments have begun promoting what has been learnt and what has changed over the last 9 months with these quick wins. The Quicks are a pager with options on tools to provide expedited honorarium to Elders; A case study reporting on progress and lessons learned with respect to decreasing delays of program funding, Best practices were shared to assist departments in building capacity and working collaboratively with Indigenous organizations and communities; The creation of a one-stop referral service for procurement officials to identify Indigenous businesses through the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business; The promotion of Standing Offers for Indigenous procurement and Supply Arrangements); and The implementation of Indigenous employment as a priority for Community Employment Benefits) in Infrastructure Canada's 13 Integrated Bilateral Agreements.

Health Canada/Public Health Agency of Canada is piloting a full-time language training scholarship in 2019/20. The scholarship is targeting employees who self-identify as Indigenous, Visible Minority, or Person with a Disability. It also launched a new EX minus 1 talent management process that looks at establishing a ready pool of talent ready to move into new EX positions.

In 2018/19, PHAC established an Indigenous Employee Network and a Director General -level champion worked to establish goals, priorities, and engage employees across the organization. There are six diversity and Employment Equity networks supported by co-champions at the Executive Director or DG Level. PHAC actively establishes partnerships and recruitment programs to recruit more Indigenous employees. It has ongoing partnership with the Public Service Commission’s Aboriginal Centre of Expertise.

Public Services and Procurement Canada has promoted the Indigenous Student Employment Opportunity campaign that was launched in February 2018. This campaign supports the recruitment of Indigenous students in all regions of Canada and provides them with work experience close to where they live or go to school. The Department’s hiring managers have been formally engaged and contributed by hiring two students. In 2018, there were 186 students hired in the public service through the program. The Department is also promoting the new 2019 campaign that has just been launched. Within Public Services and Procurement Canada there is a shift to have a more systematic and deliberate approach to planning and staffing to ensure representation and employment equity and diversity needs are addressed in plans and human resources decisions

Atlantic region is reviewing job posters and revamping the way they are written to ensure they are understandable by people not working in the federal public service and are barrier-free to communities such as Indigenous employees. In March 2019, Atlantic Region partnered with other departments to organize an event entitled “Strengthening Indigenous Community Engagement: Pathways to Reconciliation” where Indigenous students were invited to participate and had the opportunity to network and provide their resumes to government departments. Such events are expected to improve recruitment of Indigenous Peoples. The Reconciliation and Indigenous Engagement Technical Working group will be leveraged to share the work being undertaken by the Atlantic Region with all other areas of the Department.

Shared Services Canada appointed a senior Assistant Deputy Minister as its Champion for Indigenous peoples in January 2017, and it has an Indigenous Advisory Committee that meets quarterly. The Department offers a long list of training sessions for its employees, including Indigenous learning series and panel discussion to help increase awareness and cultural competency.

Statistic Canada has established an Indigenous Advisory Circle. For Indigenous specific programming, it has developed an Aboriginal Liaison Advisor Program which has resulted in 11 Aboriginal Liaison Advisors to serve as a bridge maker between Statistics Canada and First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. Its mandate is to strengthen the lines of communication between Indigenous communities and organizations with the Department through outreach activities, education, and seeking assistance to develop Statistics Canada capacity to better respond to the statistical needs of Indigenous peoples.

The Department also implemented an Inuit hiring strategy with the goal to identify and remove the barriers to hiring locally in the North and to develop a set of recommendations for future Inuit hiring. As a result of this strategy, almost 80% of the Aboriginal Peoples Survey collection team were hired from communities across Nunavut.

Finally, the Nunavut Sivuniksavut pilot program is in its 3rd year, which is a one to two-year college program for Inuit youth who learn about Nunavut Lands Claims Agreement, Inuit history, politics, and traditional skills. The program helps Inuit youth to transition from high school to post-secondary education. Statistics Canada, Crown and Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, and Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada have formed a partnership to provide a four-month placement for Nunavat Sivuniksavut students within the federal government. The first cohort of 6 students began in September 2018.

Transport Canada has a number of Indigenous Awareness activities that are offered both in the National Capital Region and regions such as celebrating Indigenous history month and national Indigenous Peoples’ Day. It has identified a Diversity Champion to address and promote an inclusive work environment and workplace.

Treasury Board Canada has developed an Indigenous Peoples Strategy to attract, develop, retain, and promote more Indigenous employees. Specific activities include engaging Indigenous employees to identify barriers to advancement through its Indigenous Employees Network; establishing partnerships with Indigenous communities, organizations, and academic institutions; developing a talent management tools and plans; and participates in the Aboriginal Leadership Development Initiative. The Treasury Board Secretariat offers a centrally funded language training program that prioritizes the language training needs of Indigenous employees.

In addition, they launched the Centre for Wellness, Inclusion and Diversity online platform that supports federal organizations in creating safe, healthy, diverse and inclusive workplaces by providing a single window to access system-wide initiatives and resources related to wellness, inclusion, diversity and harassment prevention.

The Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer offers a suite of reconciliation initiatives:

  1. Career Pathways for Indigenous Employees which is an Indigenous-centric online platform directing employees and their managers to information, advice, and guidance for career development;
  2. Training and Champions that is a curated package of training, including cultural competency, leadership, and Indigenous affairs to enable departmental champions to fulfil their role; and
  3. Smart Drive and Executives that focuses on the exploration of whether we are equipped to increase Indigenous representation in executive ranks.

Western Economic Diversification offers staff opportunities to learn through a number of celebrations such as Indigenous Awareness Week and National Indigenous Peoples Day, cultural learning events, and Indigenous-themed learning sessions provided by Canada School of Public Service.

Women and Gender Equality has identified a Champion for Indigenous Employees who, along with their Indigenous employees, led the development of an Indigenous Employee Recruitment, Retention, and Development Plan. An external consultant was hired to create an Executive level talent pool which is comprised of external Indigenous ready executives. As well, they have created an Indigenous Women’s Circle and an Indigenous Policy and Program Circle.

Veterans Affairs Canada has committed in the Employment Equity and Diversity Plan (2017-2022), to continue to work diligently to meet its employment equity commitments and address areas of under-representation within specific occupational categories. A few strategies and activities currently underway in the department are the October 2019 launch of selection processes targeting recruitment for Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and visible minorities respectively. Such processes will continue to be part of our HR strategic plans. The Department includes the following statement on all advertised selection processes: In support of achieving a diversified workforce, consideration may be given to candidates self-identifying as belonging to one of the following Employment Equity groups: Aboriginal peoples, Persons with a Disability; Visible Minorities, and Women.

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