Updated: Nov 28, 2020
The Norther Society for Domestic Peace (NSDP) has had a survey out regarding people's experiences with sexual harassment and assault in the tree planting industry. Recently, at the Western Forest Contractor's Association (WFCA) conference, the NSDP presented their findings. We knew that there were isolated issues - that we needed to take steps to improve our culture and create one of true respect in many aspects of planting. But the pervasiveness and extremeness of some of the accounts in the NSDP's report is nothing short of horrific.
Horrific in the number of people effected, the inaction of our industry, and the lives that should have been protected by a safe environment but were not. Horrific in that as an industry we have a culture that did not allow victims to feel safe and welcome to discuss transgressions, or that, if they did have the courage to speak, that they were largely ignored.
The lack of meaningful conversation has proved tragic. Bringing this to light is going to cause real change in many areas of planting life, some will be nuanced and some profound.
We are so sorry to the people our industry has failed.
Thank you so much to the people who contributed their voice to this and thank you to Windfirm Resources for inviting the NSDC into tree planting. Their contribution to planting safety will be historic, creating respectful cultures will be on the forefront of everyone's minds.
Next Gen is dedicated to real conversation in our company. Our first step is to change the dialogue, starting with our employee orientation. Sexual respect and safety is at the forefront of our conversations this year.
If you’re interested in viewing our 2020 employee orientation, which outlines our policies, please log into our website with the information below:
Further to the online orientation, the following are steps we will take:
-- Retraining management in sexual violence and creating safe environments, conflict resolution and difficult conversations. We will ensure management thoroughly understands our sexual harassment/violence policy and how to fairly listen and enforce around it.
-- Offering peer support training and supportive listening to all our employees. By doing this, we are ensuring there are multiple allies in camp and individuals to implement and uphold a safe work culture.
-- During our in person orientation, we will be collaborating with Northern Society for Domestic Peace with our sexual violence training for both management and planters. We will ensure every employee knows how to report and what will happen after a report is made. We will make sure our people feel safe in all parts of their day.
Click the link below to read the CBC's article: