The Maple Leaf
Vol. 15, Issue 08
Defence Leadership Recognizes Canadian Defence Academy (CDA) Aboriginal Team
An Aboriginal dancer performs during the graduation ceremony for the Bold Eagle course at CFB Wainwright, Alta. in 2011.
As part of the Defence Team’s commitment to celebrating excellence within the organization, profiles of the 2012 Corporate Awards recipients will be featured. The following profile is of CDA Aboriginal Team, recipient of the Management of Human Resources Award, in the Employment Equity category.
It is not every day that members of the Defence Team have the opportunity to talk to the DeputyMinister, the Chief of the Defence Staff and the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff about their work and accomplishments. This was just one of the surprises that awaited the 2012 Corporate Award recipients at the National War Museum in Ottawa this past June.
As a recipient of the Management of Human Resources Award, Lieutenanat-Colonel Chantal Fraser, Senior Staff Officer Plans was one of the Canadian Defence Academy (CDA) Aboriginal Team members recognized by defence leadership at the ceremony.
“We were thrilled to receive the award. The support from the highest level of the Canadian Forces was just fabulous! Attending the ceremony, and seeing the level of the award we received was an honour for the team,” she exclaims.
Although LCol Fraser sees the award as an honour and appreciates the recognition, she explains that, “We don’t do the work for the recognition; we do the work because it’s what we love to do.”
Leading the way in increasing diversity
LCol Fraser and members of the Aboriginal Team at the CDA help to increase an understanding of Aboriginal culture and cultural diversity for CF personnel. They strive to develop leadership opportunities for Aboriginal peoples through various CF programs. As a result of their efforts, specific Aboriginal programs have been created to demonstrate to Aboriginal communities in rural, urban and remote locations, that the CF offers a fair and equitable environment in which to serve.
One of the team’s recent successes was the development of a Northern Aboriginal Awareness Course intended to increase Defence Team member’s cultural understanding of the North.
The CF conducts a series of programs that expose potential Aboriginal recruits to life in the CF. (see side bar) LCol Fraser explains how these programs are designed to introduce aboriginals to the CF in a “try before you buy” environment. Many successful candidates end up joining the CF upon completion of the program, but those who don’t still develop valuable leadership skills they can use in their communities.
“The CF has employment equity goals in order to be reflective of Canadian society. These Aboriginal programs are unique because they are entry programs that have the potential of attracting one of the designated groups to the Canadian Forces,” says LCol Fraser.
For more information on the 2012 Corporate Awards recipients visit dt-ed.mil.ca.