I'm trying to convince (and had a few successes) fellow aboriginals to join the military, and have had 90% positive feedback, but I know once they get in they're going to be given some heavy harassment, from students AND staff as I've went through. Theres jokes, and then there's "jokes" *elbow poke, elbow poke* it seems that the forces doesn't take it lightly when aboriginals join up. Any idea why?
As a unit Harassment Adviser, your experiences have me concerned. The CF is committed institutionally to fostering a harassment free workplace.
Are we perfect? No, we are a work in progress. But I do take great personal pride in the idea that the CF is getting far better at dealing with workplace harassment issues as we evolve.
dukethr3rd, if you would like to talk electronically or by voice, please PM me. I will give you my DWAN email, and we can go from there on slightly more secure means.
A couple of points:
1. Now days, some people are truly innocently ignorant that what they had just said is hurtful and derogatory in nature. Talk to the person (in private) who just offended you and tell them. It is possible that they did not know (make the assumption). I like to believe, that the vast majority of us are reasonable enough to acknowledge and learn from our mistakes. Resolving conflict at this, the one on one level, is the most effective method and often resolves the issue quickly while preserving and repairing the relationship between members.
2. Approaching a Workplace Relations Adviser (WRA) or a Harassment Adviser (HA), will not result in anyone getting fired (without just cause, and only in the most extreme cases). WRAs and HAs are appointed in every unit in the CF. They are a resource available to all of us. WRAs and HAs receive the same training and are capable of pointing you in the right direction for conflict resolution. We are not guidance counsellors or anything like that, but we do know what is available to each of us in the system and can direct one to the most appropriate actions and/or resources (like Dispute Resolution Centres). Know that WRAs and HAs are committed to resolving conflict in the workplace at the lowest level. Sometimes that means one on one between members, sometimes that means bringing in Harassment Investigators leading to imposed changes.
3. All of us in the CF and the DND have been commanded to ensure that we work in a harassment free workplace. Each of us has a duty to be a better person and correct behaviour as it occurs in front of us. This does not mean that the "fun sponge" has to come out and we should go tell the RSM or CO everytime someone thinks they were "funny". It just means that we all have to use common sense, tell each other when someone has offended us and react like a true professional soldier, sailor or airman/woman when someone tells us we have offended them. Conflict resolution at the lowest level does work, but only if we act on it early in the conflict... Do not wait and let something fester for months before trying to correct offensive behaviour.
I have offended people in the past and I very likely will offend people in the future. No one needs to walk on eggshells, we just have to be more empathetic of each other in our day to day business and when someone tells us they have been offended, act like an adult, assess our own behaviour and then change if needed.
** Not related to your situation dukethr3rd **
FOR ALL, counselling for disciplinary reasons or work deficiencies is NOT harassment, but rather an expected and necessary action/communication which the chain of command must occasionally engage in.