November 24, 2009
Minister Ambrose's message to participants at the Mastering Aboriginal Inclusion workshop in Edmonton
On behalf of our government, I am pleased to welcome you to today's Mastering Aboriginal Inclusion workshop.
Fair and inclusive workplaces are essential to a productive economy and a cohesive society. Workplaces should reflect Canada's diversity and ensure the talents of all workers are developed to their full potential. All Canadians have the right to a fair, and safe work environment. Everyone should be able to get jobs and promotions based on their abilities, free from discrimination.
In view of this, our government, through the Racism-Free Workplace Strategy, is working with partners to educate and engage Canadians about the social and economic benefits of inclusion and the centrality of fairness in the workplace.
The Strategy strives to remove barriers faced by visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples, thus promoting workplaces that are fair, inclusive, and free of discriminatory barriers towards their recruitment, retention and advancement.
Today's workshop, presented in partnership with the Aboriginal Human Resource Council, will provide you with the information and resources needed to transform your organization into an inclusive work environment. You will be presented with a collection of best practices, tools and methods in Aboriginal human resources allowing you to specifically target and advance Aboriginal inclusion in the workplace.
You have the power to turn your organization into an employer-of-choice for Aboriginal talent. The workshop will provide you with the resources you need to get started or to build on your existing recruitment strategy.
The Racism-Free Workplace Strategy is working to create similar workshops in 2010 to remove barriers for visible minorities in the workplace. The Strategy will also develop assessment tools to measure its success and learn from the outcomes of its initiatives.
It is not only the government's responsibility to step up and take action. Each and every one of us must work towards a racism-free workplace. Working together, we can make a difference.
We are not asking you to put competitive objectives aside to achieve social objectives. Rather, we are asking you to recognize that workplaces that are fair and inclusive and can draw on the talents of all people regardless of their background will be the most successful. Canada's openness, multiculturalism, and desire to effectively integrate all Canadians together helps to fuel our economic strength.
We recognize that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples have been significantly wronged at certain points in our history. We also believe that reconciliation is not only possible but is happening now. Our government's apology for what happened in Residential Schools has played an important role in this reconciliation. Also, our new investments in Aboriginal skills training and Aboriginal infrastructure as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan are making a big difference. Despite past wrongs, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples are overcoming various challenges and are making ever-increasing contributions to this great country.
I trust this workshop will allow you to find the tools you need to increase Aboriginal inclusion in your organization. All Canadians need to contribute to the country's shared prosperity by using their skills and expertise to the fullest.
On behalf of our government, I applaud your willingness to make a difference and your dedication to Mastering Aboriginal Inclusion.
Have a wonderful workshop!