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.
We are an organization centered on land-based programming. As a result, in June 2021, the Board agreed that inclusion in our Canadian context requires that we develop our appropriate place and understanding in the Reconciliation journey with First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples to build the foundation for an authentic inclusion culture.
Through this commitment, we are realizing that intentional and unintentional actions and inactions in Scouting has been particularly harmful to Canada’s Indigenous peoples. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report also identified Scouts Canada as an organization with historical ties to the residential school system. 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 feels like for Canadians from diverse walks of life. This is why our Reconciliation journey is at the core of our commitment to creating an inclusive movement.
Our journey begins by building up our organizations self-awareness to first identify where we truly stand: through listening, conducting a systemic inclusion audit, and investigating the historical root causes of any gaps we uncover. In this process, we are encouraging conversations around responsible allyship, intersectionality, biases, and what that means for each of us.
As we become more mature and comfortable around these complex Equity and Inclusion conversations, we acknowledge that we also 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 our process, while being graciously guided by our Reconciliation Advisors, to meaningfully work through how our movement can best contribute to the Inclusion and Reconciliation journey in this shared place we call Canada.
Scouts Canada’s Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
On June 7th, the Board of Governors met to discuss that path to reconciliation and agree on a clear commitment to action.
Our work will be guided by the following principles:
We recognize the following:
We have committed to the following actions:
Reconciliation is defined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as the process of “establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in this country.’ We continue to refer to Reconciliation as a journey because rather than an end state, it describes the process of a relationship; and we will need to learn and adapt throughout this process to improve the relationship.
The roadmap lays out the intended activities and milestones along our journey, but it’s important to know that dependent on the guidance and insight we gain along the way, our goal to form meaningful and appropriate partnerships with Indigenous communities may evolve and change.
As our organization reviews our policies, procedures, and programs, and partners with Indigenous advisors at a strategic level, we will all be involved in this journey. We invite you to join us in preparing to design a more inclusive, positive, and self-aware future that benefits us all. The best first step you can take is to become more aware of the Reconciliation movement and why it is important to all of us.
A collection of resources to help increase the understanding of our relation to Indigenous communities—past, present and future.
Connect with Truth and Reconciliation calls to action and better understand your place in relation to Reconciliation.
Expand your awareness through self-guided Indigenous Relations Learning for Scouters.
Youth are the future of Scouting and of Canada, and it’s important that we engage them in our reconciliation journey as well. We will continue to develop new program resources to help our youth understand what reconciliation means in Canada, and how they can take an active role in making Scouts Canada more inclusive.
We encourage Scouters to work with their Sections to recognize important Indigenous dates and anniversary, and incorporate activities into their programs appropriately.
As an organization undergoing our own journey to understand our impact on Indigenous communities in Canada, we encourage Sections to participate in an activity that builds their understanding of Canada's broader Reconciliation journey and support them in their own learning.
Additional Section Resources
Beavers, Cubs, Scouts
Listen to or read Spirit Bear’s story to learn about how you can help to make a difference in the lives of all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children.
Scouts, Venturers, Rovers
Learn about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action as a first step in your learning journey.