Virtual Townhall for Indigenous-identified employees

In June 2018, the Union of Safety and Justice Employees initiated and convened a National Indigenous roundtable in Ottawa. This roundtable involved numerous Indigenous USJE front line members from across the country who met with the Commissioner and Senior Deputy Commissioner of CSC to discuss the following issues:

  • how the Correctional Service of Canada could better respond to the needs of Indigenous offenders;
  • the need for better supports and professional development for Indigenous employees working with Indigenous offenders.

This day-long, face-to-face discussion, was very impactful and helped to inform an Indigenous framework within the Correctional Service of Canada which is still an important guidance document. 

Based upon the dialogue that day, USJE determined to support the call for the establishment of a Deputy Commissioner for Indigenous Corrections who would bring deep knowledge and insight into the needs of Indigenous-identified offenders and employees.  After many years of advocacy, the Correctional Service of Canada finally appointed its first Deputy Commissioner for Indigenous Corrections this past March. 

In March 2023, some Indigenous CSC employees in the Kingston area approached USJE about re-igniting the dialogue on better supporting Indigenous employees within CSC in their crucial work with federal offenders.

With this in mind, USJE is convening a National Virtual Townhall for Indigenous-identified employees on Thursday, May 18th at 8 p.m. ET with National President David Neufeld and National Vice President Lynette Robinson.

Shauna Ward, Regional Vice President and Co-chair of USJE’s Equity Committee will facilitate this dialogue.

USJE’s senior leadership team is eager to hear the perspectives and personal experiences of Indigenous identified employees who are working with Indigenous offenders within federal Corrections.

During the Townhall, we plan to ask the following questions: 

  1. As an Indigenous person, what are you proud of when it comes to your job?
  2. What are the barriers or challenges that you encounter as an Indigenous employee working within the Correctional Service of Canada?
  3. What changes are necessary to address the barriers and challenges faced in the workplace by Indigenous employees? (Ie. in the area of recruitment, retention and development)

The result of this dialogue will help to inform a meeting that USJE is preparing to have with senior management of CSC and the Minister for Public Safety during the last week of September 2023. This is the same week as the next National Truth and Reconciliation Day (September 30th). 

If you are an Indigenous identified employee within the Correctional Service of Canada, please join us for this Virtual Town Hall by registering with the USJE communications team at