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Indigenous Peoples in Engineering

Engineers Canada works to promote a profession that is representative of society. We believe that by developing a diverse and inclusive workforce, ingenuity and creativity in engineering will thrive, and more sustainable solutions to the world’s problems will be advanced. In order to protect and serve the public, engineers need to represent the Canadian population and understand how best to engage with a variety of communities.

As part of our work on diversity and inclusion, supporting Indigenous peoples in engineering is the focus of our sub-strategy, Indigenous access to engineering 2020-2021.This sub-strategy which includes the following goals:

  1. Engineers Canada supports engagement with Indigenous histories, increasing awareness and cultural competency​
  2. Engineers Canada supports Indigenous engineers and engineering students
  3. Engineers Canada explores collection of data on Indigenous students and professionals
  4. Engineers Canada develops a framework for engaging with Indigenous organizations​

To achieve these goals, Engineers Canada receives guidance from its Indigenous Advisory Committee.

Engineers Canada is dedicated to working with Indigenous engineers, subject matter experts, and organizations to address Indigenous access to engineering.

Canadian Indigenous Advisory Council

In September 2017, Engineers Canada supported the creation of the Canadian Indigenous Advisory Council (CIAC) to the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), which also supports Canadian Indigenous students. In order to help AISES decision-making serve Canadian members more fully, CIAC provides guidance to AISES and supported the establishment of the new Canadian region of AISES, named .caISES, which works to provide support, mentorship, and networking opportunities for Indigenous peoples in STEM.

Indigenous Peoples’ Access to Post-Secondary Engineering Programs: A Review of Practice Consensus

In 2016, Engineers Canada published the report ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Access to Post-Secondary Engineering Programs: A Review of Practice Consensus,’ which provides an overview of activities that some Canadian post-secondary engineering programs have used successfully and that others can use in establishing or growing their own Indigenous access programs..

Decolonizing and Indigenizing Engineering Education Network

In March 2019, Engineers Canada created the Decolonizing and Indigenizing Engineering Education Network, which convenes educators and administrators from Canadian post-secondary engineering programs. Members represent post-secondary institutions and engineering regulators. The working group is aimed at creating a community of practice for engineers and engineering educators who are addressing: a) Indigenous access to engineering education, and b) truth and reconciliation within engineering education.

Acknowledging First Peoples and traditional land

As part of our recognition of Indigenous histories, Engineers Canada has developed a guide for our staff and volunteers to acknowledge First Peoples and traditional lands when they host meetings, public events, or conferences. 

Although land acknowledgments have become ubiquitous in Canada, there are still many opportunities for us to learn about traditional protocol and the role that land acknowledgements can play on our path towards truth and reconciliation. The guide offers an understanding of the value of land acknowledgements, and tips, templates, and protocols for how to do a land acknowledgement in a personal and meaningful way. 

For more information

For more information contact Cassandra Polyzou, Manager, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Cassandra.Polyzou@engineerscanada.ca