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Equity, diversity, inclusion and reconciliation

Silva21 is committed to a research project that supports equity, diversity and inclusion in all areas of academia, research and collaboration

Forest Aerial View

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Research Plan

Due to the nature and focus on forest ecosystems, consideration of sex, gender and diversity was not concerns in the principle research design. However, when it was relevant such as projects AD5a and AD5b which involved surveys of community members and the general public, the selection of candidates will be ethically sound and rigorous, avoid unconscious biases, and ensure accurate extrapolation of research results to the population as a whole. To do this, we will follow best practices (sex and gender-based analysis plus (GBA+, SGBA+) courses) proposed by the Canadian government. We commit to using the most up-to-date knowledge on this important societal issue and constantly re-evaluate our research program to monitor whether gender and/or diversity considerations become relevant factors to other projects. By sharing experiences and continually reviewing our approach, we will strive to maintain the highest possible standards.

Academic Team

The team of applicants for this project was assembled with the aim to find researchers with the relevant expertise while ensuring thoughtful consideration for EDI issues. After the first NSERC-funded Connection Workshop, all participants were surveyed to determine their interest in participating in the research initiative. This ensured to remove any potential biases in the first stage of the selection process, as researchers made the choice themselves. Co-applicants were then selected following three key objectives: 1) ensuring a match between expertise and stakeholder needs, 2) including researchers from underrepresented groups in STEM and 3) including professors at different career stages, from assistant to full professors. All interested participants that were not selected as co-applicants were invited to take part in the project as collaborators. Silva21 is proud to have assembled a highly talented and diverse group of co-applicants notably in which the representation of women is high. We recognize, however, that efforts must still be made to ensure the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM.

Training Plan

Like many in the STEM, co-applicants face issues obtaining a gender-balanced lab with the majority of applicants being male. In Silva21, we aim to achieve gender parity (or above) in the recruitment of HQP over the course of the initiative. While recognizing that the challenges of EDI go far beyond the issue of gender and gender equity, this target will allow us to continually strive for improvement in reaching out to underrepresented groups and offering fair recruitment chances to all. The recruitment effort in Silva21 has, and will continue, to involve national and international postings aimed to reach multiple, diverse communities of students. This will be ensured by maintaining a repository of offers on our website, but also distributing the information widely both internationally and within Canada through social media as well as distribution lists, ResearchGate and university repositories. We will analyse applications and work with University access and diversity professionals to ensure we avoid unconscious biases interfering with the selection. Each co-applicant will be actively encouraged to participate in this collective effort. HQP will also be encouraged to take EDI courses with a particular focus on understanding unconscious bias. Given the wide number and disciplines covered within Silva21, HQP attending conferences and workshops will also contribute to a rich, diverse training experience. They will be provided with literature and other promotional material about Silv@21 to be distributed to other interested researchers globally, to expand interest in Silva21 and aid recruitment efforts. The Silva21 project team will also give HQP exposure to cutting edge science with an international perspective. Each international expert will provide an overview of their research at the AGM and be encouraged to meet with the HQP as a group to discuss their perspectives with respect to silvicultural research and issues globally. Allowing HQP to interface with these international experts will offer an international perspective to their research, in addition to the national focus provided by the Silva21 research team. Where relevant, visits by HQP to these international experts respective universities and organizations is also possible to further build links between their own research and that undertaken globally. Through field work participation, data processing, image processing and computer coding, Silva21 will also support at least two undergraduate students per year for whom we will seek NSERC undergraduate scholarships. These undergraduate students will benefit from interactions with the Silva21 research team through provision of data for undergraduate and honors level projects as well as providing exposure to the students of the research process and silvicultural needs of the Canadian forest industry more broadly. The inclusion of undergraduate students within Silva21 also provides a vehicle with which to promote Silva21 activities within our respective undergraduate programs, thereby allowing exposure to a wide range of diverse students and potentially bringing them in as graduate level HQP upon completion of their undergraduate programs.

EDI resources by institution

University of Alberta

University of Toronto

University of British Columbia

Université Laval

University of New Brunswick

Land acknowledgement

As a Canada-wide research group who’s ongoing work is conducted on traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of multiple Indigenous communities, we acknowledge the diverse Indigenous cultures, languages and histories that have shaped - and continue to enrich - these lands. We pay respects to both past and present Elders and extend our gratitude to the Indigenous communities who have stewarded the forests and lands upon which we live, work and play.

We acknowledge that the past and ongoing effects of colonization have had profound impacts on Indigenous peoples and their relationship with the land. We recognize the importance of decolonizing our mindsets and practices and are committed to learning from, and working in partnership with, Indigenous communities to promote the principles of reconciliation, respect, and collaboration in the field of forestry.


We invite all of the Silva21 community to reflect on the vital role that Indigenous knowledge, perspectives, and voices play in shaping our understanding of the forest ecosystem and sustainable management. Join us in committing to ongoing efforts of building meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities, acknowledging their rights and sovereignty, and integrating Indigenous knowledge and perspectives into our research and practices in a future of reconciliation, equity, and sustainability.

Land acknowledgement by university

University of British Columbia

UBC Vancouver is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. The land it is situated on has always been a place of learning for the Musqueam, who for millennia have passed on their culture, history, and traditions from one generation to the next on this site.

University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is located on the traditional territory of the
Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Métis, and
the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation.

University of Alberta

The University of Alberta, its buildings, labs, and research stations are primarily located on the traditional territory of Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, and Ojibway/Saulteaux/Anishinaabe nations; lands that are now known as part of Treaties 6, 7, and 8 and homeland of the Métis. The University of Alberta respects the sovereignty, lands, histories, languages, knowledge systems, and cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit nations.

Université Laval

Dans un esprit d’amitié et de solidarité, l’Université Laval rend hommage aux Premiers Peuples de ces lieux. Étant à la croisée du Niowentsïo du peuple Huron-Wendat, du Ndakina du peuple Wabanaki, du Nitassinan du peuple Innu, du Nitaskinan du peuple Atikmekw et du Wolastokuk Malécite, nous honorons nos relations les uns avec les autres.

University of New Brunswick

UNB stands on the unsurrendered and unceded traditional Wolastoqey land. The lands of Wabanaki people are recognized in a series of Peace and Friendship Treaties to establish an ongoing relationship of peace, friendship and mutual respect between equal nations.

Learn more about the land where you live, work and play


Use the interactive map at to learn more about First Nations territories, languages and treaties that exist where you live, work and play and around the world.

Do you have an EDI concern?

If you have any concerns regarding EDI or reconciliation within Silva21, please click the button below to inform us of a situation or to provide your comments, concerns or suggestions. You can choose to do this anonymously or leave your email if you want someone to contact you to discuss it in more detail.

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