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SaskPower apologizing after memo sent out with questionable language
Published Friday, March 2, 2018 3:37PM CST
Last Updated Friday, March 2, 2018 5:18PM CST
SaskPower is apologizing to its staff and the public after a memo was sent out with questionable language.
The memo gives advice about corporate leadership. But, the language used in one phrase has offended some people.
CTV News obtained a copy of the memo through an anonymous tip from someone who says they are a SaskPower employee. On Feb. 7, the Crown’s human resources department emailed to all SaskPower management staff.
In the memo, which is from a third-party blog, explains six steps to becoming a more visible leader. In the fifth step, it explains how to be empathetic. But, at the end of the step it reads “these legitimate concerns will influence what people hear and how they respond, so be ready for this and react appropriately. But remember, you are the leader – so no ‘going native.’
The person who sent the tip said they didn’t want to give their name for fear of retribution. In a letter written to CTV News, the person called the memo racist, discriminatory and disrespectful. The person said they hope by speaking up, they can help stop racist and discriminatory behaviour.
Oxford Dictionary says the phrase “going native” is derogatory. It’s defined as a person living away from their own country or region and abandoning one’s own culture and customs, instead adopting those of the country the person is living in.
SaskPower has confirmed the memo was sent out by the Crown. It calls the memo a “disappointing oversight,” adding it was a third-party article from the United Kingdom.
“The language used in the third-party article was unacceptable,” SaskPower CEO Mike Marsh said in a written statement. “We never intended to cause offence and we sincerely apologize to those the article offended. We are investigating internally exactly how this happened.”
SaskPower says it will be addressing the memo and working to ensure it does not happen again.