EBDN Event: Understanding the experiences of Indigenous people in the work place.

Happy New Year! EBDN kicked off the start of 2019 with an in-depth panel discussion on the experiences of indigenous people in the workplace.

Many thanks to our panel members for taking the time to share their story with us and provide a meaningful dialogue with those in attendance.  The conversation could have continued for much longer!

The panel included:

Each panelist shared stories of their personal experiences within the work place and discussed how we can all make a difference in creating an inclusive environment.

Some key highlights puled from the morning’s discussion include:

  • Think differently about how we’re attracting, recruiting, and retaining people.
    • A story was shared about the new Edmonton Police Chief, Dale McFee, a Metis, and the work he had done in Prince Albert, where in the same role he grew the number of Indigenous officers to 38%.
  • Be open and interested and acknowledge cultural differences
  • Be flexible and prepared to meet people where they’re at
    • Shelly spoke to the importance of creating circumstances that generate a place where people want to work. She shared the story of Naoka Incorporated, an Indigenous owned company located in Sherwood Park where she employs a number of people who you may not typically see in a traditional workspace, but she has worked with her employees to find an arrangement that is both flexible and meaningful for all parties which has resulted in a very productive and inclusive environment
  • Let go of your preconceived notions and perceptions

We look forward to continuing this discussion at a future session and more immediately online. Do you have questions, thoughts, ideas on this topic? If so take it to our Linkedin page (https://www.linkedin.com/company/ebdn/)  and let’s take the discussion further.

If you are not yet a member, please review our Membership page and submit a request to join .  A member of our team will be in touch.

EBDN looks forward to bringing you meaningful, engaging and thought provoking content throughout the remainder of the year.

Our next session is scheduled for March 13, 2019 on the topic of Microagressions with Farah Merali at the Stantec Tower. Stay tuned for more information in the month to come. If you are not on our distribution list, please email us at EBDiversityn@gmail.com



EBDN Event: ERIEC 2018 Business Leaders Breakfast

On November 6, 2018, EBDN was pleased to once again be a part of ERIEC’s 2018 Business Leaders Breakfast and further the keynote address with a meaningful and rapid fire roundtable discussion on practical tips for creating a welcoming business culture. Dr. Rachel Pettigrew was kind enough to stick around for the EBDN workshop.
Below you will find an overview of the morning’s events kindly provided by the ERIEC team.

ERIEC 2018 Business Leaders Breakfast
This year’s breakfast speaker was Dr. Rachael Pettigrew, an Assistant Professor at Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Rachael’s research focus is currently on organizational policies and culture surrounding employees’ management of work and life responsibilities, with a specific focus on both gender and diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She has also managed several large research projects on newcomer settlement and employment.

Dr. Pettigrew’s presentation Building a Welcoming Organizational Culture for Professional Newcomers provided a compelling overview of the diversity and inclusion environment in many Canadian workplaces and some valuable tips on how organizations can enhance their office culture to attract and retain their talent pool.

eriec 2018

Here are some comments from some of the event participants:

  • Thank you very much for organizing the event! It was exceptionally valuable for a newcomer & job seeker. Dr. Pettigrew’s presentation resonated with my own personal experiences.
  • Good session this morning! This is a reminder of past learnings & some new ideas to move forward on!
  • Great presentation by Rachael. A great discussion and info sharing opportunity after the presentation.
  • I believe it was a great way to open up about the topics of diversity and inclusion. It was amazing to have the workshop to generate discussion and bring ideas forward about a working business culture.

EBDN Workshop – A Focus on Practical Tips for Creating a Welcoming Business Culture
The keynote address was followed by a brief workshop, facilitated by the EBDN (Edmonton Business Diversity Network). Each table group discussed 3 questions.
1. What has worked well in your organization when it comes to creating a welcoming business culture?
2. What challenges have you faced in your organization when it comes to creating a welcoming business culture?
3. What resources have you utilized to help build a welcoming business culture?


  • Creating a welcoming organizational culture is crucial because it sets business up for success with things like employee happiness, productivity, engagement and more.
  • A welcoming culture is key in making or breaking the business’ future because it’s often the determining factor in their ability to attract and retain the talent needed to serve customers or target markets.

We want to hear from you – From your perspective, what makes a welcoming business culture? How would you respond to those questions above. Let’s continue the discussion on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/ebdn/). If you are not yet a member, submit a request to join and a member of our team will get back to you.

Edmonton Business Diversity Network (EBDN) workshops are an opportunity to hear and discuss various issues facing local business leaders with respect to the hiring, integrating and retaining all professionals within the Edmonton region.