Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, & Decolonization (EDID) Research Project

The Canadian Parks, Protected, and Conserved Areas Leadership Collective (CPPCL) – an externally-funded project housed in the UBC Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability -with support from the Parks Canada Knowledge Mobilization unit and Canadian Parks Council, have designed and launched a Pan Canadian Parks and Protected Areas Research Network. A recurring theme in this network has been the desire to foster inclusion and integrate different knowledge systems in decision-making in parks and protected areas – a desire supported by research on the lack of diverse perspectives in evidence-based decision making in parks (Lemiex et. al, 2020) and the Tri-Council Statement on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and multiple reports identify need to support racialized Canadians in environmental (Scott and Tenneti, 2021; National Parks and Recreation Association, 2020; ECO-Canada, 2021). Finally, the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan of the Canadian Parks Council –representing all federal, provincial, and territorial park agencies – commits to seven guiding principles, including reconciliation, respect, and inclusiveness (Canadian Parks Council, 2020).  


In late 2020, CPPCL hired a group of diverse youth (BIPOC, LGBTQ2A+, and persons with disabilities) to work as Knowledge Gatherers and help identify hidden narratives in parks and protected areas leadership. This action research project was proposed by two of the CPPCL Youth Knowledge Gatherers and is supported directly by funding from Parks Canada and indirectly through a collaboration of federal, provincial, and territorial park agencies. The project is also informed by ongoing dialogue with agency and academic contacts working on equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization (EDID) in their organizations. The goal is to investigate and inform ways to advance diversity and inclusion within parks and protected areas science and research. The project will examine workplace equity, diversity, decolonization, and inclusion within organizations that lie on the broad continuum of parks and protected areas practitioners, academics, researchers, and partners across Canada. There are five study components currently planned. 

Study Components

  • to understand current research related to EDID in the parks and protected areas workforce and related scholarly community, and current research methods related to assessing EDID within an organization or sector.
  • to review and compile workplace EDID policies and/or legislations governing federal, provincial, and territorial parks and protected areas agencies in Canada andassess the accessibility of EDI policy information and representation of workplace equity among these policies, specifically under a Canadian parks and protected areas scope.
  • This survey will examine staff from federal, provincial, and territorial park agencies, academics working in the field of parks and protected areas, and people connected with other organizations working in the parks and protected areas field (e.g. not-for-profits, municipal parks). This quantitative, anonymous, online survey will assess: 

    • organizational demographics and pathways into the workforce 
    • equity, diversity, inclusion, & reconciliation practices in agencies 
    • perceived alignment of personal values with organizational values  
    • progress towards advancing EDID and increasing representation 
  • Qualitative interviews with parks and protected areas practitioners will explore specific lived experiences, systemic barriers, and promising practices that could inform guidelines to improve equity and diversity in parks and protected areas across Canada. These semi-structured interviews will be conducted online to ensure health safety and accessibility for participants from across Canada. Interviewers will ask volunteers to share their experiences in the form of a story. Analysis will be grounded in narrative research 
  • In collaboration with agency and academic contacts working in the space of EDID, findings will be designed to explore the topic iteratively through dialogue and expert presentations. These activities will both inform and be informed by the study results to create a diverse suite of resources intended to guide all through EDID.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • We employ participatory action research (PAR) to investigate and inform ways to advance workplace equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization within the organizations that lie on the broad continuum of parks and protected areas practitioners across Canada.
  • A final report that will include a high level summary of all identified issues and suggestions will be created and made available to all on the CPPCL website. 
  • Upon project completion, the final research paper will be published on a open source journal.
  • If you currently work within parks and protected areas, or are affiliated with them in any way, you can be involved in either the survey or interviews. If you would like to participate, please contact any of the project coordinators below.
  • You can stay updated on the project by frequently checking back here or through our newsletters.

Project Contacts

If you have any additional questions, or would like to recieve more information please feel free to contact: kgcoordinator@cpcil.ca