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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Indigenous Elder and cultural awareness

Public service priorities

  • Mental health and workplace well-being
  • Improving the capabilities of the public service
  • Attracting, retaining, and developing top talent

Indigenous Support and Awareness Office

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has established an Indigenous Support and Awareness Office to enhance departmental capacity to support Indigenous agriculture by:

  • Increasing recruitment and retention of Indigenous employees, including through the Indigenous Student Recruitment Initiative and Indigenous Network Circle for employees
  • Enhancing awareness of Indigenous peoples and cultures through a department-wide training program, including current and historic agricultural activities

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is committed to fostering a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples and to advancing reconciliation through support for Indigenous agriculture.

AAFC has been engaging Indigenous peoples across Canada in order to understand the current agricultural landscape, opportunities and challenges. This continued dialogue helps ensure agriculture programs and policies, including the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and a Food Policy for Canada, reflect the needs of Indigenous communities. AAFC is also exploring how programming under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership can enable Indigenous peoples to take advantage of economic development opportunities in the agriculture and agri-food sector.

A key part of AAFC's efforts to advance Indigenous agriculture was the hiring of a First Nations Elder.

The Elder:

  • acts as the primary liaison with Indigenous communities
  • builds awareness of the Department and agriculture, especially amongst youth
  • encourages young people in Indigenous communities to consider a career with AAFC and the government

The Elder plays an instrumental role in increasing awareness for and appreciation of Indigenous cultures amongst staff by:

  • imparting cultural teachings to employees across the department
  • providing vision and expertise related to Indigenous agriculture, and
  • facilitating engagement with Indigenous peoples and organizations
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