Truth & Reconciliation blog - Featured Image updated

Diversity, equity, and inclusion at canfitpro isn’t just a blog post, an image, or a tweet. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are priorities for our organization. We believe and value how important it is to create an open and caring community that extends beyond the walls of canfitpro. We hope that our actions will influence and inspire our members and partners in the industry to join us in bridging gaps in learning and growth. Recognizing the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion and taking action to create positive change in your organization and beyond is an ongoing commitment. Reconciliation is a particularly important issue that every person in Canada should pay attention to. As fitness and business leaders, we have a collective responsibility to support Truth and Reconciliation. This includes educating ourselves and our teams. In this blog, you will learn about Truth and Reconciliation in Canada; why it matters; and practical ways to commit to reconciliation by setting goals and ways you can act as a Canadian fitness professional and business owner.

Truth and Reconciliation in Canada

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was launched in 2007. The purpose of the TRC was to investigate the history of the residential school system in Canada and produce a solution to support reconciliation among former students and survivors, their families, communities, and all Canadians. The TRC published its final report in 2015, which resulted in 94 “calls to action” (or recommendations) which, when achieved, will support reconciliation efforts between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada. According to Canada’s TRC, reconciliation is about “establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples”. The TRC Calls to Action are recommendations that have been given for different sectors and community groups in Canada to engage in the process of reconciliation. Did you know that there is a Call to Action specifically directed towards Business and Reconciliation? Call to Action #92 states that “We call upon the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a reconciliation framework and to apply its principles, norms, and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources.” As fitness professionals, we also fall under the category of Sports and Reconciliation which includes Call to Action #89 which includes the recommendation “to promote physical activity as a fundamental element of health and well-being, reduce barriers to sports participation, increase the pursuit of excellence in sport, and build capacity in the Canadian sport system, are inclusive of Aboriginal peoples.”

Learn about the history and culture of Indigenous Peoples

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. This is an important day to honour, celebrate and learn more about, and from, the diverse cultures, voices, experiences and histories of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. National Indigenous Peoples Day is part of a month-long celebration, that is National Indigenous History Month, which happens throughout the month of June every year. This is a time where we can all learn more and start or continue taking action to be difference-makers and leaders in our organizations and communities. A fantastic way to learn more is to get involved in events and celebrations in your community. If you own a fitness business or studio, look for where there might be opportunities to partner and collaborate with local organizations and celebrations to show your support and get involved. Start by sharing this blog with your staff in your upcoming team meeting. 

Learn about the land on which you live and work

One way you can support reconciliation personally and professionally is by learning about the land on which you work and live. Do you know whose territorial lands your club is located on and what the treaties for that land are? There are mobile apps and websites such as “Whose Land” which you can access to find out! Creating a land acknowledgement and personalizing it for your business or you is a step toward action. At canfitpro, we have made our land acknowledgement part of our core operational activities by giving it a permanent position at the beginning of our All-Staff meetings. We give our staff members an open invitation to step up and share the land acknowledgement. This has provided our organization the opportunity to collectively think about the land on which we work and live and the presence of Indigenous people.

Cultivate your courage to listen, learn and work towards reconciliation

It takes courage to be a champion of change in your organization and beyond. It also takes time and patience. Courage is the theme this year for our canfitpro’s 30th anniversary, and it is the spark that is necessary to enact the transformative change that is needed to move our country and industry forward. We invite you to set a goal for yourselves around reconciliation and have the courage to join us in leading change to make our fitness community more diverse, equitable, and inclusive for all. What goals will you set for yourself, your business, and your teams? What do you need to learn and where can you find the knowledge you need?

Reconciliation is a long-term, ongoing process – it is more than a single day or month out of the year. That is why a commitment to ongoing continuing education is vital. At the canfitpro 2023 Global Conference and Trade show August 16 -20, we are proud to announce that our presenter line-up features over 50% BIPOC representation. In addition, there is an entire track of sessions at the conference which are dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion. You can see these sessions and learn more about the other 11 tracks by going to the event website and filtering by “track” here:

Last but not least, the keynote address at our Opening Ceremonies on Friday, August 18 will be given by Kendal Netmaker and it is called Courage To: Tell Your Story – The Power of Indigenous Storytelling. This is going to be one session you do not want to miss!

We invite you to join us and learn more together so that we can move our industry forward. Register for canfitpro 2023 and don’t forget to use your business member discount code!

References and Additional Resources:

National Indigenous Peoples Day. (2023 April 6). Government of Canada

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2022 September 9). Government of Canada

Whose Land


Maureen (Mo) Hagan is COO at canfitpro, and a global fitness ambassador recognized for her leadership in the fitness industry that spans almost 4 decades. She is an international award-winning fitness professional and her passion for moving people extends beyond the fitness industry as a licensed physiotherapist and, with her work on the Canadian National Board of Directors for Prescription To Get Active

Emily Dobrich works at canfitpro and as a group fitness instructor. Her limitless enthusiasm for fitness and learning has helped her to establish herself as highly experienced and multi-talented fitness professional and educator with bachelor’s degrees in nutrition and kinesiology and a Master of Education in adult learning and global change. Emily loves sharing her knowledge, experience and passion for health, fitness, education and community development through teaching, writing, and presenting and finds the greatest fulfilment in creating and contributing to fostering positive, empowering, and inclusive communities where everyone feels connected, supported, and has boundless opportunities to thrive.