Diversity Equity And Inclusion at Scouts Canada
Reconciliation is at the Heart of Our Journey
How We Got Here
Scouts Canada is committed to living up to its values by being a diverse and inclusive organization that is welcoming to all Canadians.
In 2019 the Board of Governors began exploring how Scouts Canada could pursue Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within all areas of the organization. While progressing this work, global protests against racial injustice were spurred across the world. At this time, we heard firsthand from many of our members that we must do better and commit to action - we agreed. The Board made an initial public commitment to be anti-racist, followed by hiring a Director of Diversity and Inclusion to work with our CEO, and developed an official Board working group to support the organization in its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey.
A Decisive Moment
In June 2021, the Board agreed that in order to truly be diverse and inclusive in our Canadian context, and as an organization centered on land-based programming, it is critical that we begin develop our appropriate place in the Reconciliation journey with Indigenous peoples.
With this commitment, we have also come to recognize that through intentional and unintentional actions and inactions, Scouting has caused harm to Canada’s Indigenous peoples. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report identified Scouts Canada as an organization with a specific presence in the residential school system. In addition, in order to address any barriers to inclusion, it is important that we investigate our movement’s history, how it impacts our relationship to the original stewards of this land, and what that signifies to diverse Canadians. This is why our Reconciliation journey is at the core of our commitment to creating an inclusive movement.
The Road Ahead
Our journey begins by building up our organizations self-awareness to first identify where we truly stand: through auditing, listening to our people, and investigating our past. This is underway as we support our organization's learning and familiarity with conversations around Reconciliation in Canada, and what that means for each of us. While knowledge and awareness increases our maturity, we must co-create the path forward with Indigenous peoples. Inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, mutual respect and trustworthy relationships are a key part of moving forward. We therefore embark on listening, learning, and honest reflection early in this process to positively contribute to the Reconciliation journey in this shared place we call home.