Promoting Inclusion and Equity: Observing Indigenous Peoples in Your Workplace
Indigenous People’s Day happens in August globally, October in the United States, etc. These days not only serve to acknowledge the rich cultural heritage of Indigenous communities but also to recognise the structural discrimination, intimidation, and violence faced by Indigenous communities across the globe. Observing Indigenous People’s Day in your workplace should show solidarity with Indigenous folks – whether or not you have an Indigenous population in your workplace. Here are practical steps to help you commemorate Indigenous People’s Day in your workplace to promote DEI.
- Raise Awareness: Educate your workforce about the significance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. If your country doesn’t have one formally, you can still highlight the importance of the day. Provide information about the history, struggles, and contributions of Indigenous communities by sharing informative articles, organising workshops, or inviting Indigenous speakers to speak. Awareness is a good starting point but it’s crucial more steps are implemented to avoid tokenism.
- Acknowledge Indigenous Lands: Recognise the land your workplace occupies and its original Indigenous inhabitants. Consider incorporating a land acknowledgement statement into your workplace’s communications, meetings, and events. This small yet powerful gesture demonstrates your respect for Indigenous heritage and history.
- Collaborate with Indigenous Communities: Engage with local indigenous communities to understand how your workplace can support their initiatives because the reality is that steps one and two are not enough. Partnering with Indigenous organisations or artisans for events, workshops, or cultural exchanges to provide real opportunities.
- Promote Volunteering: Encourage employees to volunteer with Indigenous-led initiatives like community projects and fundraisers. To show real solidarity with Indigenous communities, offer this on a working day and guarantee paid time to do this rather than employees having to use their annual leave to do so.
- Review Company Policies: Evaluate your workplace’s policies to ensure they are inclusive and respectful of Indigenous people – whether or not you have Indigenous employees. This might involve revisiting your DEI policies, hiring practices, and procurement strategies to align with Indigenous values.
- Provide Learning Opportunities: Create a culture of continuous learning through educational sessions that highlight Indigenous cultures, traditions, and challenges to contribute to a more informed workplace. Work with training providers such as Fearless Futures to help design meaningful educational experiences – get in touch with our team today.
Acknowledging Indigenous Peoples’ Day advances your workplace’s broader commitment to DEI through showing solidarity with Indigenous people – whether or not you have Indigenous employees. These efforts will resonate beyond the workplace and contribute to a more inclusive society. It’s more than just a gesture – it’s an opportunity to embrace DEI, acknowledge historical injustices, and pave the way for a more inclusive future.