Celebrating Pride and National Indigenous History months
This June, we’ll be sharing and celebrating the contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and LGBTQ+ individuals to Canada’s Lifeline, through a series of stories, resources, virtual events and more. Our celebrations do not erase the ongoing and historical hurt experienced by those individuals and groups who may experience multiple forms of marginalization, stigma or systemic discrimination. Our hope, however, is that better representation and education will improve cultural competence across the organization, provide more psychological safety for employees, and allow us to take steps on our diversity, equity and inclusion journey. Learn more about the ways you can engage and celebrate Pride Month by visiting connect.blood.ca/pride and access important resources about Indigenous inclusion at connect.blood.ca/DEI.
A beautiful story of survival begins with donated blood
May was Asian Heritage Month and to recognize it, we explored the connections and contributions to Canada’s Lifeline by employees, donors and patients of Asian descent. In our final story, we feature blood recipient, Munira Premji of Toronto, Ont. Munira is part of the Ismaili community, a culturally diverse community of approximately 12 to 15 million people in countries around the world. She has written eloquently about her battle with three different cancers in her memoir Choosing Hope: 1 Woman. 3 Cancers. Blood donations have been essential to her treatment; without them, Munira is certain she would have died before her very first dose of chemotherapy nine years ago. Read more at blood.ca/stories.
CEO reflections on Asian Heritage Month
As we wrap up our month-long celebration of individuals from East Asian, Southern Asian, Western and Southeast Asian communities, CEO, Dr. Graham Sher looks back at some of the conversations, content and cultural experiences we shared throughout the month. He also reflects on some of the not-so celebratory events that Asian-Canadians have suffered through this year, including increased racism and violence due to ignorant and ill-informed reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read his thoughts and join him in looking back on Asian Heritage Month in his latest blog.
Reminder: Join us TOMORROW for our DEI-themed town hall
As we kick off June by celebrating and recognizing Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month, we are also committed to listening, learning and continuing to take steps to address inequity and systemic racism that continues to exist within our organization.
We invite you to join Graham and this month’s panel of experts tomorrow (Wed., June 2) at 1 p.m. ET as we discuss the work that has been done this past year as part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion — and where we’re headed next.
Participate by clicking on the meeting link in your Outlook invite. Can’t make it live? A recording will be available on your COVID-19 employee portal following the event.
Question of the day: Where can I access resources to learn more about the history of the residential school system and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada?
The recent and tragic news of a mass grave found at a residential school in British Columbia containing the remains of 215 Indigenous children is the latest horrific discovery in our country’s history as it pertains to residential schools and treatment of generations of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
As we prepare to observe and celebrate the diverse cultures and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples during National Indigenous History Month this June, we encourage you to also reflect on this event as a moment of national grieving.
Employees who wish to learn more about the past (and ongoing trauma) experienced by Indigenous peoples in Canada are invited to access the available resources on Indigenous inclusion on the DEI resource page on Connect.
Some employees may also be triggered by these recent events and are encouraged to access the mental health and wellness resources available on the employee portal.
About your digest
This digest will highlight the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content like articles and videos to remind us that what we do matters. No access to email? No problem — all this information and more can be found on blood.ca/employees from any device, no login required.
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