October 12, 2020
When we released our Strategic Plan (re-read it here) this past winter, we made DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and Transparency two of the four lenses through which we will be examining all our practices as we work to be a ”Best in Class” organization.
In June, after George Floyd’s murder, we released a statement (re-read it here) in which we recommitted to ensuring our practices facilitated our beliefs. Since then, we have brought DEI to the forefront and made it our primary lens, ensuring that we do the work required to become a truly anti-racist organization. Guided by our newly engaged DEI Committee, we have been reviewing our future plans as well as our previous practices for blind spots and areas for correction. It is in the vein of Transparency that we share today’s update on our DEI practices.
Today, on Indigenous People’s Day, we are publicly recognizing the ways in which our camp practices have appropriated the traditions, names, and practices of Indigenous Peoples, from the names of some of our smallcamp groups, to the use of the name “powwow” for our end of day debrief, to the design of our Value Catcher.
We recognize the need to address and correct this and have already done some of the initial work of retiring some of these practices. We are also examining other restorative actions, guided by the DEI Committee. This includes a Land Acknowledgement, a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. Learn more about Land Acknowledgements here. More work is needed and we will continue to share updates.
We are committed to continually learning and rectifying in order to help create a truly equitable and just world. Also, we ask you to join us and to continue to hold us accountable to this promise.
On behalf of our Board of Trustees and our staff, thanks for being a part of our Trail Blazers family and doing this work with us.
Riel Peerbooms, MSW