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Inclusion: Inclusion is the individual and collective act of creating a welcoming, safe environment in which everyone belongs and feels respected, represented, supported, and valued in order to fully participate.

Diversity: Represents all the way that people are different and the same at an individual and group level. Using an intersectional lens, it acknowledges that even when people appear similar, they are uniquely different. At an organizational and decision-making level, it requires the engagement of multiple perspectives by those closest to and/or most impacted by the outcome.

Equity: Consciously uses policies and practices to promote the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement of all people. It takes a person-centered approach to redistribute tools and resources to meet identified needs while simultaneously working to eliminate barriers to full participation and success.

Access: Makes a commitment beyond creating an inclusive physical environment to encourage attitudes, behaviors and procedures that facilitate equity and diversity and optimizes the contributions of everyone.

Solutions: Generated through the respectful collaborative engagement of diverse perspectives by those impacted by or closest to the issues are liberating, more impactful and more sustainable.

Sustainable Solutions: Within the IDEAS construct sustainability refers to the liberating and more impactful nature of collaborative solution-building. When diverse perspectives and the engagement of those most impacted by or closest to the issue are given a voice and a seat at the decision-making table better solutions are generated.


An Intersectional Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) Approach: is an analytical process that helps us to check our assumptions. It provides a method to identify issues, uncover potential systemic inequalities, and understand how diverse groups of women, men, and gender-diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives differently.

The “Plus” in the name highlights that GBA+ goes beyond gender and includes the examination of a range of other intersecting identity factors (such as age, education, language, geography, culture, abilities and income etc.).

Using a GBA Plus approach, organizations can better understand the realities of people’s lives, and find ways to eliminate barriers and provide equitable opportunities for all.

Looking at issues and assumptions from a broad perspective and gathering facts to build understanding can help us avoid unintended impacts and develop options that honour diversity and promote inclusion within an organization and through its hiring and developmental practices. 

Step 1: Our Journey Begins

A. Three Steps to Understanding Racism in Canada

Racism: Any individual action, or institutional practice which treats people differently because of their colour or ethnicity. This distinction is often used to justify discrimination

Colonialism: The process of invasion, dispossession, genocide and subjugation of a people. The result is the dispossession of vast amounts of lands from the original inhabitants and the long-term result is institutionalized inequality. The colonizer/colonized relationship is by nature an unequal one that benefits the colonizer at the expense of the colonized. Settler colonialism — such as in the case of Canada — is the unique process where the colonizing population does not leave the territory, asserts ongoing sovereignty to the land, actively seeks to assimilate the Indigenous populations, and extinguishes their cultures, traditions, and ties to the land. Colonialism refers to the ideology or method that makes way for colonization.

Enslavement: The act of controlling someone’s actions, thoughts, emotions, or life completely. Slavery is the ownership of a person as property, especially in regard to their labour. Slavery typically involves compulsory work with the slave’s location of work and residence dictated by the party that holds them in bondage. Enslavement is the placement of a person into slavery.

Marginalized groups/ Marginalization/ Marginalized: A social process by which individuals or groups are (intentionally or unintentionally) distanced from access to power and resources and constructed as insignificant, peripheral, or less valuable/privileged to a community or “mainstream” society.


Statement by the Prime Minister on Emancipation Day


August 1, 2021
Ottawa, Ontario


The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement on Emancipation Day.

“On this day in 1834, the British Parliament’s Slavery Abolition Act, 1833, came into effect and laid the pathway to freeing enslaved people of African descent across most of the British Empire. Since then, many people of African descent and their allies commemorate August 1 as Emancipation Day, an important milestone on the quest for freedom, justice, and equality.


“Slavery existed in what is now Canada from the 16th century until its abolition in 1834 – Black people’s fight for freedom and emancipation in Canada was far from over. After slavery was abolished, people of African descent in Canada still had to face exclusion from public spaces, such as restaurants and theatres, as well as segregation in housing, schooling, and employment through specific laws and practices.


“Despite the abolition of enslavement nearly two centuries ago, the legacy of anti-Black racism is still prevalent today, entrenched in our institutions, policies, and practices. Canada’s history of enslavement, racial segregation, and marginalization of people of African descent is a part of Canadian history that is often forgotten, functionally normalizing institutional and systemic forms of racism or rendering them invisible.


“Today, Black Canadians continue to face prejudice, discrimination, and longstanding disparities in access to education, housing, and employment that limit their full and equal participation in society. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only further highlighted the social, health, and economic disparities that undermine the livelihoods of Black Canadians and many other people in Canada.”


B. Historical Impact and Key Terms

Intersectionality: Intersectionality is a framework or way to describe how our overlapping social identities relate to social structures of racism and oppression. Intersectionality merges many identity markers, including race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, religion, disability, and more, to create a more truthful and complex identity.

For example, a queer black woman may experience the world on the basis of her sexuality, gender, and race — a unique experience based on how those identities intersect in her life.

Indigenous/ Aboriginal People: Indigenous Peoples refers to individuals identifying themselves as ‘First Nation Peoples, Métis Nation or Inuit’. These are distinct Peoples with unique histories, languages, cultural practices, and spiritual beliefs.

Systemic Racism: Systemic racism, also known as institutional racism, refers to the ways that whiteness and white superiority become embedded in the policies and processes of an institution. This results in systems that provide advantages for white people and disadvantage Indigenous, Black and Persons of Colour (IBPOC), notably in employment, education, justice, and social participation.

Anti-racism: The fundamental belief that all humans deserve equitable treatment. That no matter who you are, you have a right to be treated fairly, without bias.

Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+): It is an analytical process that provides a rigorous method for the assessment of systemic inequalities, assesses the potential impacts of policies, programs, services, and other initiatives on diverse groups of women and men, considering all genders and related identity factors. The “Plus” in the name highlights that GBA+ goes beyond gender and includes the examination of a range of other intersecting identity factors (such as age, education, language, geography, culture, abilities and income etc.).

Equity: Ensuring that everyone gets the support and resources they need to be successful and fully participate. It offers intentional approaches to correct the historical disadvantages existing between genders and groups.

Equality: This refers to the equitable distribution of tools and resources, and provides access to required information, knowledge, and training. It recognizes that not everyone benefits when everyone is treated the same and are offered the same supports.

Equity Seeking and Equity Deserving Defined: Groups generally considered to be historically “equity-denied groups” include women, Indigenous people, and people living with disabilities, people who are part of LGBTQ2+ communities, religious minority groups and racialized people. The types of equity-denied groups may vary based on factors such as geography, socio-cultural context or the presence of specific subpopulations.

Equity-seeking groups: These are groups that work on behalf of persons or a group of people who, because of systemic discrimination, face barriers that prevent them from having the same access to the resources and opportunities that are available to other members of society, and that are necessary for them to attain just outcomes.

Gender Identity: An individual’s sense of their own gender, typically identified as man, woman, or nonbinary.

Gender Expression: The way an individual expresses their gender to the outside world, through clothing, hairstyle, interests, mannerisms, and movement. It is typically labeled as masculine, feminine, or androgynous.

Sexual Orientation: The part of an individual’s identity that describes to whom they are sexually attracted.

2SLGBTQAI+: The acronyms or initialism were created to reflect the evolving diverse and complex nature of all members of the LGBT2SQQIA* and other communities. Each letter or grouping represents a specific identity within the diverse range of sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identities.

Often, the terms gender and sexual diversity (GSD) or sexual and gender minority (SGM) persons can be used to describe 2SLGBTQAI+ issues and persons (the order and acronym itself may vary based on the organization or context of use.) i.e. Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Intersexual and sometimes a plus or asterisk to indicate that other sexual or gender minority identities can be read in.

2-Spirit or Two-Spirit: An English umbrella term to reflect and restore identities and roles honouring the fluid and diverse nature of gender and attraction and its connection to community and spirituality in Indigenous traditions forcibly stamped out by colonization.

Lesbian: A person who identifies as a woman and experiences attraction to people of the same sex and/or gender.

Gay: A person who experiences attraction to people of the same sex and/or gender as themselves. Gay may be used by individuals of a diversity of genders, or may refer specifically to men who are attracted to other men.

Bisexual: A person who experiences attraction to both men and women. It may also describe the experience of attraction to individuals of the same sex and/or gender and individuals of different sexes and/or genders.

Transgender or Trans: A person, whose gender identity does not correspond with what is socially expected, based on their sex assigned at birth. It can be used as an umbrella term to refer to a range of gender identities and experiences.

Queer: This term has been reclaimed by some LGBTQ communities as a term of pride and affirmation of diversity. It can be used to encompass a broad spectrum of identities related to sex, gender, and attraction, or by an individual to reflect the interrelatedness of these aspects of their identity.

Questioning: Is often included in the initialisms to remind us to embrace the fact that for many people understanding one’s identity is an ever-changing process that can take place over be a long period of time.

Asexual: A person who does not experience sexual attraction, or who has little to no interest in sexual activity.

Intersex: A person, whose chromosomal, hormonal, or anatomical sex characteristics fall outside of the conventional classifications of male or female.

Step 3: Outreach and Recruitment

B. Sample List of Core Competencies for Success

Integrity and Accountability: Personal commitment to the values of the organization by obtaining the knowledge and skills required to be held accountable to the organization’s standards of respectful, ethical behavior and professionalism in one’s interaction with others.

Communication: Actively listen and share relevant information verbally and in writing across a range of technologies, in a way that builds trust, respect and credibility. Ensure that messages are conveyed in a clear, concise manner and are received and understood by the target audience.

Decision Making & Problem Solving: Interpreting, linking and continuously processing information to understand issues and produce creative solutions that could be broadly applied. Identifying cause and effect relationships, weighing alternative solutions against established organization practices to arrive at reasonable decisions.

Teamwork & Interpersonal Relationships: Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity and respect; considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of others. Works to build and maintain friendly, constructive, collaborative, and effective relationships. Relates well to people in all their diversity and builds appropriate rapport with both internal and external contacts.

Customer Service Excellence: Demonstrated belief in serving others at a level that exceeds their expectations by identifying and responding to their needs while respecting the individual’s dignity and values.

Continuous Improvement: Supports a learning culture and is committed to personal growth and program development that exceeds the goals of the organization and consistently meets high quality standards. Adapting to changing situations and meeting new challenges through proactive innovative thinking.

Role/Job-Specific Knowledge Competency: Demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills required to perform the daily, weekly, monthly and annual key responsibilities, tasks, activities and special projects as outline in their designated role/job description.

Step 4: Recruitment

A. Job Posting Checklist:

Inclusive Language: Inclusive Language includes words and phrases that can be used to help make all members feel welcome and accepted. The way we speak to one another is an important aspect of fostering an inclusive environment. What is a pronoun? Pronouns are words that we use in place of nouns or names in a sentence to make it less repetitive. Learn more 

Step 6: What’s Next

Privilege: A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group

Disadvantage: An unfavorable, inferior, or prejudicial viewpoint where the quality or circumstance makes achievement unusually difficult.