Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.59
Liaison Maria Mendes
Submission Date Aug. 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

Red River College Polytechnic
PA-5: Diversity and Equity Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.56 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a diversity and equity committee, office, and/or officer tasked by the administration or governing body to advise on and implement policies, programs, and trainings related to diversity, equity, inclusion and human rights?:

Does the committee, office and/or officer focus on students, employees, or both?:
Both students and employees

A brief description of the diversity and equity committee, office and/or officer, including purview and activities:

The Diversity and Inclusion Specialist at RRC Polytech is responsible for carrying out the vision of the college's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy which is:
- To build an Equitable, Diverse and Inclusive College culture.
- To enhance and promote knowledge and literacy of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
- To build a workforce that is representative of the available regional labour force.
- To remove barriers to access and establish systems, policies and practices that support the success of our College communities’ employment and academic goals.

Action plans to support the vision are being implemented across the following pillars which take both the student and employee experience into consideration:

- Recruitment and Selection
- Training and Development
- Retention and Engagement
- External Partnerships and Outreach


The Manager of Truth and Reconciliation and Community Engagement leads the College in implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 calls to action and in our commitment to Manitoba’s Indigenous Education Blueprint, an unprecedented commitment to advance Indigenous education in the province and to make Manitoba a global centre of excellence for Indigenous education, research, languages and culture. This is being done through the creation and implementation of Indigenous training programs for staff and students, developing programs to support Indigenous students access to and success at RRC Polytech, and developing key performance indicators to define what success is in an educational context.


The Anti-Racism Committee is an employee and student led resource group that is advancing the College’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion through supporting initiatives and events that stand up, speak out and push back against racism in all its forms. The Anti-Racism Committee is leading work related to establishing an anti-racism strategy for the College; supporting the planning of events that raise awareness and provide strategies to effectively address racism; and members of the Committee are involved in the development and implementation of anti-racism training for students and employees.

Estimated proportion of students that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

Estimated proportion of academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

Estimated proportion of non-academic staff that has participated in cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:

A brief description of the institution’s cultural competence, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and/or social inclusion trainings and activities:


All RRC Polytech staff are required to complete the following courses:
- Respectful College: This course orients staff to RRC Polytech’ Respectful Workplace and Learning Environment policy and explores what harassment and discrimination looks (and doesn’t look) like, the process and obligation to disclose incidents of sexual violence, and how staff can, in practical terms, do their part to ensure that everyone at RRC Polytech experiences respect.
- Four Seasons of Reconciliation: Four Seasons of Reconciliation follows Indigenous principles and was formed under the guidance of our Indigenous Advisory Circle and the First Nations University of Canada. This resource can assist staff in providing respectful reconciliation education in the workplace. This unique two-hour 33-minute online course promotes a renewed relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians through transformative learning about truth and reconciliation.
- Anti-Racism: A Journey to Allyship: This new course tackles urgently needed and under-acknowledged issues of racism in Canada with a particular – but not exclusive – focus on anti-black racism. Opening with a stunning short documentary from Canadian journalist Desmond Cole, this course cracks open concepts of privilege, unconscious bias and decision-making, the difference between anti-racism and systemic racism, why microagressions are called “death by a thousand cuts” and why silence makes things worse. Staff leave with concrete actions they can take towards racial equity and tackling discrimination that make a difference.
- Accessible Customer Service: RRC Polytech employees are obligated to provide accessible customer service to everyone in the workplace, including students, fellow employees, and members of the public. This course includes an introduction on barriers to accessibility, how to remove them, and a review of several case studies. The course includes three short quizzes. This course is mandatory within 14 days of hire at RRC Polytech.

RRC Polytech’s ENGAGE provides common needs training and development to all RRC Polytech staff across the employee lifecycle. Driven by College strategy, in consultation with employees and leaders, ENGAGE sessions align with RRC Polytech’s Values of Learning, Respect, Inclusiveness, Integrity, Sustainability and Service to Community. These courses are optional but are made available to all staff. Some examples include:
- The Blanket Exercise: In this workshop, a team of trained facilitators guide participants assuming character roles of Indigenous people and government officials through a chronological narrative where blankets represent North America’s land base. Through this facilitated simulation, you will experience your characters ‘outcome’ as you literally ‘walk’ through an experience of colonization to present day. The day also includes a de-brief sharing circle, guided by a RRC Polytechnic Elder in Residence, to discuss the learning experience, process feelings, ask questions, share insights, and deepen your understanding.
- Gender and Sexual Identities: Advancing Understanding and Inclusion: This training aims to enhance Red River College Polytechnic employees’ understanding of gender and sexual diversity identities, and provide strategies for advancing inclusion.
LinkedIn Learning: LinkedIn Learning is an online educational platform that helps all levels of learners discover and develop workplace business, technology-related, and creative skills through expert-led course videos. RRC Polytech staff and students have unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning at no cost. The college has curated self-directed LinkedIn Learning Collections of videos and courses to help staff get started, including the one listed below:
- Unconscious Bias Collection – includes courses on: Unconscious Bias, Cultivating Cultural Competence and Inclusion, Developing Cross-Cultural Competence, Confronting Bias: Thriving Across Our Differences, Communicating Across Cultures, and Developing Self-Awareness.

RED Forum is an annual event focusing on Relationships, Education, and Direction and is geared towards greater engagement and more opportunities to network and to learn about on-going and new developments at our College. RED Forum’s theme focuses on the main priorities in RRC Polytech’s Strategic Plan, In Front of What’s Ahead, offering professional development and networking sessions for staff to choose from. Some examples of sessions from past years relating to sustainability include:
- Promoting Wahkowtowin and Moving to Reconcili-ACTION
- Reconciliation in Post-Secondary Education with The Honourable Murray Sinclair
- Shifting from Unconscious Bias to Conscious Inclusion
- Creating Reconciliation through Metis-Cree Beading to become an Up-Stander in Indigenous Education
- Leaders and Community Developers: A Discussion with Indigenous Women in Leadership Roles
- Bust Your BS! Navigating Blind Spots and Bias
- Iga Mamawi Wiijiitimin "We Will Help Each Other": Vulnerability, Microagressions & Indigenous Achievement

CCDI Employer Partnership: RRC Polytech is an Employer Partner with the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) which provides the college with a number of benefits that will support us on our individual and organizational equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) journey. The following benefits are available to RRC Polytech Staff: CCDI Monthly Webinars, CCDI Knowledge Repository, and CCDI Monthly Newsletter.


The Academic Success Centre currently offers three Diversity Awareness Courses housed in LEARN. These courses feature video lectures, testimonies, learning activities, and accompanying resources. The suite of LEARN courses include:
- The Cultural Diversity Awareness Course aims to increase students' awareness of diversity and intercultural competence as they communicate, learn and work in the local diverse community, and the global environment.
- The Gender and Sexual Diversity Awareness Course aims to increase students’ awareness about gender and sexual diversity, and strategies for respectful and affirming communication.
- The Disability Awareness Course aims to enhance students' awareness about individuals with disabilities, and provide strategies for inclusiveness and social responsibility.

As part of the Hybrid LEARNing Modules suite, the Academic Success Centre also offer an Intercultural Competence Tutorial housed in LEARN. This tutorial features LinkedIn Learning videos and activities.
- Intercultural Competence Tutorial: To navigate cross-cultural environments, Intercultural Competence is very important. Intercultural Competence is the ability to interact effectively and appropriately with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. It is the ability to recognize, acknowledge, respect and incorporate an understanding of world views and the impact on relationships.

In collaboration with Library Services, the Academic Success Centre has also developed Diversity-related library guides. These guides include books, ebooks, videos, articles, community organizations, and other resources. The suite of Diversity-related library guides include:
- Intercultural Competence & Diversity: Our intent with this guide is to offer a starting point in understanding our cultural identities and building the skills to bridge cross-cultural differences. This guide also includes specialty pages with a focus on Intercultural Communication, Gender and Sexual Diversity, and Disability Awareness.
- Anti-Racism Learning Toolkit: This guide does go over historical instances of racism but also focuses on what's happening now. It is the goal of this guide to contribute to our educational efforts in acknowledging how racism has shaped our thinking and actions, enhancing our knowledge, and speaking out against racism and systemic barriers.
- Neurodiversity Guide: This guide provides learning resources to further understand neurodiversity from a diverse perspective thus highlighting how cultural values affect our perceptions of those who experience the world differently. In addition, with a strength-based approach, we can appreciate our diversity of brain strengths, talents, and aptitudes, and recognize and nurture neurodiversity.

There are many resources and events available every year to staff and students which provide support and training towards cultural competence, anti-oppression, social inclusion. A few examples are listed below:
- Elder’s Lodge is a virtual drop-in centre where you can build connections, hear stories, share, and learn more about Indigenous culture with our Elders-in-Residence
- Truth and Reconciliation Week in the fall is a collaboration with the Students’ Association and begins with Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters (September 30), and closing on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Honouring and Awareness Day (October 4). The week is dedicated to learning about Indigenous culture and history and starting a conversation around Truth and Reconciliation and the 94 Calls to Action. All are welcome to participate in special events and join the conversation.
- Pride 2021: June is Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month, and at the College we have very strong Indigenous supports as well as powerful commitments through diversity and inclusion for LGBTQ2+. However, we witnessed the opportunity for education, enlightenment, and further inclusion for Two-Spirit persons. During Pride 2021 we have decided to highlight Two-Spirit identity, and provide opportunities for knowledge sharing and the creation of safe(r) spaces as we work towards enhancing inclusion and equity at the College. The week features three live virtual opportunities as well as self-guided films and resources for you to take in.
- The Stay the Course speaker series is a hand from one generation to the next, hosted by Carla Kematch, Manager, Truth and Reconciliation and Community & Engagement. Incredible RRC Indigenous Alumni share their experiences on their journey to success. Advancing Indigenous achievement at RRC means listening to Indigenous stories. This is just one of the many ways we can embed the efforts of Truth and Reconciliation in our daily lives.
- A Métis Moment: History of Louis Riel and Manitoba: Shirley Delorme Russell from the Louis Riel Institute joins us for a lunch hour session to share the history of Métis peoples in Manitoba in advance of Louis Riel Day (February 21) to support our collective truth and reconciliation journey.
- Conversations with Authors: A Truth and Reconciliation Series: hosted by Indigenous Education and Library and Academic Services to further the conversation and our understanding of truth and reconciliation. We have selected some of the best of Canadian Indigenous writing, and lined up live conversations with the authors of these books. Everyone is welcome to attend the live sessions, which will also be recorded and posted on this site at a later date.
- Diversity Speaker Series: Join RRC Polytech’s Anti-Racism Committee for a four-part virtual speaker series featuring champions of equity, diversity, and inclusion in a post-secondary setting.
- Anti-Racism Speaker Series: Join RRC Polytech’s Anti-Racism Committee for a four-part speaker series featuring champions of equity, diversity, and inclusion in a post-secondary setting, accompanied by a moderated panel discussion designed to inspire change.
- Panel Event – Anti-Racism: A Dialogue about Transforming Higher Education: This panel discussion unpacked the ways in which racism and discrimination present themselves in our society. Panelists discussed how each of us can be a stronger ally and anti-racist on and off campus. We delved into ways to safely talk about race and discrimination and explored how post-secondary institutions can transform themselves into more inclusive spaces for staff and students. This panel was presented in partnership with the RRC Polytech Students Association.


Website URL where information about the institution’s diversity and equity office or trainings is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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