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. In 2020-21 New Directions supported 8 students as they worked towards a certificate. Another 10 students are part of the program in 2021-22.
  • 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. Ms. Fontaine met all of the criteria including leadership, research, and commitment to her Indigenous Community. Congrats Aleah! 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 held a 2-hour educational event for psychologists and psychology students on January 24, 2022 aimed at increasing awareness of indigenous history and the future of reconciliation. The first part of the event included a talk by Indigenous Elder, Wanbdi Wakita, who shared 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. This free event was open to psychologists, psychological associates, and psychology students.
  • The MPS Diversity Director and a small committee of board members, in consultation with Grandmother Pahan Pte San Win, created a Land Acknowledgement statement. This statement was approved by the board in April 2022 and included on the MPS website. 

Ongoing and Upcoming Steps:

  • MPS will include the aforementioned Land Acknowledgement at the start of the MPS annual general meeting and at the start of all MPS organized workshops and formal presentations (e.g., psychology month presentations).
  • 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.