On May 12, 2021, Hockey Nova Scotia released its Diversity & Inclusion Task Force: Final report & recommendations. The Task Force was created in December 2019 after Logan Prosper (We’koqma’k First Nation) received racist comments at a minor hockey game. To their credit, Hockey Nova Scotia moved quickly to try to make sure that what happened to Logan wouldn’t happen again. A province-wide survey was launched and received over 800 responses. The survey feedback touched on girls hockey, race/racism, cost, try-outs, scheduling, disability, and culture. For any associations out there trying to figure out how to make hockey more accessible and inclusive, the Hockey Nova Scotia report offers a solid blueprint.
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT [HERE], but below are the main points from the 54-page document.
Three recommendations made by the Task Force have already been acted upon:
Hockey Nova Scotia Board of Directors move to create a permanent seat at the board leadership level to be occupied by the chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. This recommendation was presented to the board in July 2020 and accepted unanimously.
Hockey Nova Scotia Board of Directors move to support a province wide public engagement to gather stories, input and ideas on how to make the game inclusive and welcoming.
Hockey Nova Scotia Board of Directors move to support the creation of the Future of Hockey Lab, a separate, arms-length structure to operationalize the bulk of recommendations. The Future of Hockey Lab, established in December 2020, will prototype existing and new ideas for implementation.
The Future of Hockey Lab will focus on three specific areas:
- Identifying new approaches to address existing problems
- Scaling local solutions so their impact is deeper by affecting a broader range of people
- Prototyping existing ideas that have never been tried
The remainder of the Task Force’s 9 recommendations are as follows:
- Develop a Member Code of Conduct that reflects ZERO tolerance to racism and discrimination.
- Develop and institute an Equity, Diversity & Inclusion training module for its Board of Directors and staff, coaches, officials, volunteers, and closely connected partners.
- Pursue more diversity on boards, councils, committees, and staff with the objective of achieving gender parity (50%) and significant representation (30%) for under-represented groups, within 5 years.
- Develop a 5-year growth strategy for participants with a disability.
- Collect demographic data and make it publicly available.
- Share stories and honour past AND current participants from historically marginalized populations.
- Collaborate with Recreation Facilities Association of Nova Scotia to create uniform signage for hockey facilities.
- Review, revise and modernize the constitution, bylaws and regulations with a diversity and inclusion lens.
- Support the Future of Hockey Lab as the structure to carry out the palace of the recommendations, including an annual financial contribution for a minimum of three years.