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Equity Commitments

The Association of Canadian Archivists recognizes that equity is critical to developing a talented, capable and supportive profession. We are committed to creating an environment, both within the ACA and the broader archives and recordkeeping profession, that attracts, develops and retains individuals that better reflect the communities we serve. 

In recognition of our commitment to equity, the ACA has shared the following statement with its members and the public:

We acknowledge that the Canadian archival system is based on Western European archival theory and recordkeeping practices As a result, the foundation of this system shares core values and goals with the legacy of European colonial mandates and upholds social hierarchies that privilege some members of society while marginalizing others. Today, it is widely accepted that archives have an active influence on public memory and that, in the words of Jarrett Drake, they have never been neutral. Yet, the archives and recordkeeping profession often remains unwilling or reluctant to confront the continued colonialism, racism, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, and disenfranchisement that are built into the creation, maintenance, and use of archives in this country.

With these statements, the ACA is taking responsibility for having directly and indirectly avoided difficult conversations about the systems of oppression that are deeply embedded within the Canadian archival system.

The ACA acknowledges that archivists and recordkeeping professionals have contributed to and upheld systems of power that privilege one homogenous set of voices while silencing a richly diverse set of others. 

The ACA acknowledges that the association’s past commitments to the equitable treatment of new and existing professionals, in and outside of the association, have not been consistently followed by meaningful, appropriate, and timely action. We know this inaction has eroded trust in the ACA to act on behalf of all archivists and recordkeeping professionals. 

The ACA unequivocally apologizes for the mishandling of sensitive and pressing equity issues within the profession. We want and need to do better. 

The ACA recognizes the transformative work of equity-seeking groups within and outside of Canada who have and continue to raise urgent, critical demands for justice. We support Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, and other groups seeking equity for racialized people, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, new Canadians, and 2SLGBTQIA+ (Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, and asexual) people. 

Because statements are not enough, we also include these Equity Commitments:

  • The ACA will prioritize the urgent need for equity and justice for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour), people with disabilities, new Canadians, and 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and communities.
  • The ACA will offer a range of professional development opportunities and resources that support members with diverse perspectives and needs.
  • The ACA will provide equitable opportunities for members to volunteer for leadership positions and fully participate in association business.
  • The ACA will actively work to make its programs and services accessible to an increasingly diverse archives and recordkeeping profession.

Each commitment is supported by actions outlined in the ACA Equity Commitments. This document is a living plan that identifies the steps that the association will take to achieve its Equity Commitments, and the resources that it plans to invest to enable the course of change.  

The ACA will continue to report on the status of these Commitments and regularly review and reassess equity work as a critical component of current and future strategic planning.

We thank members of the ACA’s Equity Task Force for their contributions and expertise in helping the association incorporate equity into its current and future work.

To share your thoughts, concerns, or suggestions with the Board of Directors, please contact Executive.Director@archivists.ca

Sincerely,


ACA Board of Directors

October 6, 2020

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