We have heard the call to address the urgent matter of systemic racism plaguing our country. This is a call for deepening both individual and corporate self-examination. This year in particular, we have seen horrific reminders that anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, and other forms of racism continue to be destructive, harmful, and divisive. We join those who have already spoken in expressing our concerns.
We recognize that archaeology has inherently colonial roots, and strive to work in awareness of our privilege, and to challenge the perpetuation of this colonial legacy. To this end, ARA is self-reflecting on how we can further enact antiracism within our business. As part of this, ARA has struck an Antiracism Committee to challenge systemic racism within archaeological practice.
We are committing to a multi-focused plan to increase diversity, inclusion, and equity within ARA, and to push for more meaningful changes within the industry more broadly. The committee is proceeding from a place of openness, fluidity, and flexibility. As this committee continues to mature and new insights emerge, recommendations and policies will likewise change. Taking our lead from the experts in education and research in this field, we are beginning with the following actionable steps:
- Actively seeking out new hires from racialized and marginalized communities
- Emphasizing retention and supporting employees from those groups.
- Thoroughly investigating the structural and/or other racist barriers that are hindering promotion of members of racialized and marginalized communities within the company;
- Increasing our outreach efforts to include historically underrepresented groups within the profession of archaeology broadly, and CRM in Ontario specifically;
- Developing a mentorship or sponsorship program to help interested candidates develop in the profession;
- Continuing to examine guidelines and current practices in dialogue with all stakeholders to challenge systemic and implicit biases that persist within archaeology, heritage, and cultural resource management in Ontario.
This list is not exhaustive and many of these actions require strategizing beyond what is laid out here. This work is ongoing, and as such regular updates to reflect on efforts to reach our goals and outline other actionable steps will be forthcoming. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns or inquiries.