Scouting teaches youth values - trustworthiness, respect, kindness, helpfulness - alongside the importance of empathy, seeking to understand the beliefs and values of others, and inclusion. Over the last few months, we have reflected on how best to ensure that these same values guide our own actions and interactions.
To date, as an organization, we have not pursued inclusion with the diligence and passion we should have. A number of you have rightfully shared this sentiment with us; we appreciate the open dialogue, and we agree. We can and must do better. Now more than ever, we must lead by example when it comes to inclusion and antiracism. We must demonstrate for our members and our communities what we stand for as well as what we stand against. We must work diligently to ensure that all Canadians, especially BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, feel that they truly belong in Scouting. We must strive for a Scouts Canada that reflects our communities and is actively antiracist.
For these reasons, the Board of Scouts Canada recently approved the development of a tangible diversity and inclusion strategy. A newly constituted Committee of the Board will champion this important work. A new staff position, reporting directly to the Executive Commissioner and CEO, will be created with clear accountability for driving development and implementation of a holistic approach to inclusion and anti-racism across Canada. Our initial steps will include a review of all structures, practices, and policies to identify gaps and opportunities for inclusion – this work will involve external experts and partners. We look forward to engaging you in this important work. We must listen to you and our communities to better understand your lived experience. We encourage you to push us to do better and to help us build a truly inclusive Scouting Community together.