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Recruiting and retaining of Indigenous Probations Officers: Steps to creating diverse workplaces that reflect community cultures

Frank Morven (Probations Department, Government of British Columbia, Prince Rupert, Canada)
J. Barton Cunningham (School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 12 December 2019

Issue publication date: 9 March 2020




The purpose of this paper is to define different types of culturally commensurate experiences, events, activities and interventions which Indigenous people find relevant for improving cultural diversity.


Based on interviews and surveys with Indigenous Probations Officers, the authors define a framework of nine experiences and events relevant to the organization, team and cultural development.


The key finding lies in proposing a framework of what Indigenous Probation Officers finding lies view as commensurate experiences, activities or interventions which recognize their cultural context (American Psychological Association, 2003).

Research limitations/implications

The key limitations to this study are the size of the sample and the inability to conclusively argue that the framework of experiences developed can claim to represent those important for improving recruitment and retentions of all Indigenous Probation Officers. Further exploratory research of this type is necessary to add to this research in guiding future research and practice.

Practical implications

The definition of a multicultural experiences offered here might be useful in encouraging Probation Officers and others in developing a deeper appreciation of cultures of Indigenous peoples and other groups.

Social implications

The purpose is to better understand an Indigenous perspective on enhancing a connection to culture within the Corrections system.


Rather than using a list of competencies to shape behaviors and experiences that people practice, the underlying assumption is to encourage cultural multiculturalism framework competency development by focusing on experiences and events important to objectives related to improving diversity.



Morven, F. and Cunningham, J.B. (2020), "Recruiting and retaining of Indigenous Probations Officers: Steps to creating diverse workplaces that reflect community cultures", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 39 No. 2, pp. 145-165.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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