Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre / SLCC
Shelby Dan, an Indigenous Youth Ambassadors graduate and current employee at Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre   (Photo credit: Logan Swayze)

Recognized as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2024):

Here are some of the reasons why Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre / SLCC was selected as one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers (2024):

  • Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre prioritizes employing Indigenous staff, with more than 90 per cent of its workforce Indigenous and its board entirely made up of Indigenous leaders -- its recruiting practices include sending any job opening to both Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Líl̓wat Nations before they are posted publicly to enable interested Nation members to apply first
  • Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre worked with a local Indigenous business to decolonize the organization's recruitment, onboarding and retention processes and reflect Líl̓wat7úl ways of knowing and being -- some changes include removing education requirements from most job descriptions, more inclusive language, and interviews are held over the phone or videoconferencing to accommodate barriers with internet service and transportation
  • Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre operates the Indigenous Youth Ambassador Program, which teaches skills and employment training -- most of the organization's staff have completed this program, with more than 600 Indigenous youth completing this program to date
Bill Ritchie, an Elder and tour guide at Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre   (Photo credit: Logan Swayze)

Highlights

Major Canadian locations Whistler BC, Squamish BC
Full-time employees in Canada 28
Management of diversity and inclusion initiatives guided by its board of directors (which is made up of Indigenous leaders), the organization works to decolonize and cultivate a culturally cognizant workplace where non-Indigenous peers and customers learn Indigenous ways of knowing and being, redefines the traditional service industry model by creating an environment where staff and guests are free to build a relationship instead of transactional interaction
Noteworthy diversity strategies and policies strategic plan includes investing in succession planning to increase the number of Indigenous staff on its senior management team, chef, kitchen and café team have established relationships with land managers, harvesters and cooks to inspire authentic menus and teach guests about traditional cooking, worked with a Líl̓wat Nation business, Amawilc Consulting, to decolonize the organization’s recruitment, onboarding, and retention processes
Recruitment initiatives prioritizes employing Indigenous staff, recruiting practices include sending job openings to both Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Líl̓wat Nations before they are posted publicly to enable interested Nation members to apply first, education requirements have been removed from most job descriptions, holds interviews over the phone or videoconferencing, SLCC Indigenous Youth Ambassador program teaches skills and employment training
Training and awareness initiatives non-Indigenous managers take an online course to build their Indigenous and historical knowledge and learning ways, circle workshops hosted by a Líl̓wat Nation member demonstrate what it means to walk beside or behind Indigenous people, lateral violence workshop (teaches participants how to recognize and respond), cultural supervisors from both Nations hosted a video on their respective language, mental health first aid course led by an Indigenous facilitator
Diversity highlights cultural ambassadors share stories and first-hand cultural experiences with visitors, offered an immersive course in Indigenous cultural awareness and connection through the lens of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Líl̓wat7úl to local businesses to help them move towards reconciliation, gift shop showcases Indigenous art and merchandise

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