Manitoba Psychological Society Action Steps Towards Inclusivity and Reconciliation

Completed Steps:

  • MPS created a Diversity Director position on the Board in 2011. This position is to be held by a Psychologist in Manitoba who represents an underrepresented group (i.e., Indigenous, Immigrant, or Person of Colour). 
  • A joint venture between The University of Winnipeg, New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults & Families, and MPS helped to create a Student Mentor program.  In the fall of 2020, it was made into a certificate course in Applied Psychology. This program encouraged undergraduate students (with an emphasis on underrepresented groups) to learn about Psychology in a community setting and act as a mentor for a people in New Directions who required support for skill development. In the 2019-20 school year 8 students volunteered their time. The program has been offered to 10 students yearly since then. 
  • MPS members participated in Towards Inclusivity: Pathways for Indigenous Students into Clinical Psychology on October 8, 2020. This was a joint Grand Rounds at the University of Manitoba and smaller Workshop to discuss how we can encourage and support Indigenous students to continue on with graduate work in Psychology and how we can offer mental health supports to the Indigenous community in a culturally literate manner. 
  • The Diversity Director for 2020-2022 is also part of the Psychological Association of Manitoba (PAM) Truth and Reconciliation Task Force. This Task Force is charged with examining the TRC report and its recommendations and providing feedback to PAM as to steps the Psychology community needs to take to address Reconciliation. This will allow for a bridge between the ideas discussed and work completed by both areas. 
  • In response to discussions that took place during the Towards Inclusivity: Pathways for Indigenous Students into Clinical Psychology workshops, in the spring of 2021 MPS board agreed to set aside 1% of membership dues to go towards an Indigenous Student Bursary. This Bursary of $400 was awarded in the Fall of 2021 to Aleah Fontaine, a graduate student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Manitoba. The 2022 award was given to Ms. Sydney Lavasseur-Puhach who was entering her Master’s program in Clinical Psychology. This award will be given annually in September with applications due August 31 of each year.
  • During the 2021 AGM, MPS welcomed Grandmother Pahan Pte San Win to share her thoughts and teachings on the importance of Land Acknowledgements.
  • MPS Social Action Committee organized an educational event for psychologists and psychology students aimed at increasing awareness of indigenous history and the future of reconciliation. The first part of the event was a talk by an Indigenous Grandfather Wanbdi Wakita, who shared his thoughts on reconciliation and the calls to action. This was followed by a reading of selected excerpts from the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Excerpts were read by Manitoba psychologists and psychology students. 
  • MPS now has a Land Acknowledgement statement on its website and will include an Acknowledgment at the start of all MPS organized workshops.  This was created with a small committee of board members including the Diversity Director with input and guidance from an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper.
  • MSP Executive Director Karen Dyck and Board President Jo Ann Unger advocated with the Psychological Association of Manitoba (PAM) to collect Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) data on our members. This step would help us understand the makeup of our Psychology community.

Ongoing and Upcoming Steps:

  • MPS is committed to provide training opportunities to support Psychologist’s knowledge and ability to be allies in reconciliation and anti-racism. This could include Workshops and Presentations from Indigenous Psychologists and Researchers, opportunities for Traditional Teachings, providing links/articles of interest in MPS emails.
  • The Social Action Committee of MPS is committed to continue to advocate for policies and rights that support social determinants of health including anti-racist policies.
  • MPS is committed to working with an anti-oppression and anti-racism lens when editing our constitution and developing future policies.   
  • We have made a commitment to review these actions steps yearly at our Fall Planning Meeting.
  • Several members of the MPS board, including the Diversity Director, are participating in the Pathways Working Group which grew from the Towards Inclusivity: Pathways for Indigenous Students into Clinical Psychology on October 8, 2020. This group is tasked with looking at how the University of Manitoba and Clinical Health Psychology training programs will make steps to increase inclusivity of Indigenous students in Clinical Psychology. 
  • MPS is committed to looking at EDI data for our upcoming membership renewal and to include this information as part of our Psychologist directory.
  • The Social Action Committee has started to compile a list of resources for Psychologists and Psychology students to find information on issues related to diversity, colonization, Indigenous issues, and assessment and treatment of diverse groups of people. This will be available to people through the MPS website.