PAFSO’s Indigenous Mentorship Initiative

In October 2023, the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) will launch a pilot Indigenous mentorship program.

The PAFSO Indigenous Mentorship Initiative (PIMI) will equip Indigenous post-secondary students and recent graduates with a network and the resources to empower them to pursue careers in Canada’s foreign service.

PAFSO is committed to advancing reconciliation and promoting the development of a Foreign Service that reflects Canada’s diversity. Accordingly, this initiative also aims to complement Global Affairs Canada and Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada’s efforts of improving Indigenous representation within their departments.

Through PIMI, PAFSO members will support Indigenous students interested in the foreign service by 

  • Sharing their unique perspectives about the profession of a foreign service officer
  • Providing exposure to formal and informal networking opportunities
  • Informing Indigenous students about how they can prepare for both student employment and foreign service recruitment opportunities.

The PIMI will include webinar and one-on-one mentorship components. Mentors participating in the initiative will have completed mentorship and Indigenous awareness training.

In the lead-up to the PIMI’s launch in October, 2023, we hope to promote the initiative to potential mentees. Mentees interested in participating in the initiative will be invited to participate in a webinar and/or submit a short questionnaire about their interest in a career in the foreign service and participation in the PIMI.

By way of this e-mail, we are sending you information including key dates: 

October 19, 2023, 8 p.m. EST PIMI Webinar (English)


October 17, 2023, 8 p.m. EST PIMI Webinar (French)


The purpose of these webinars is to raise awareness of and interest in diplomacy and foreign service work to Indigenous students and recent graduates, and to provide information on the PIMI to support those who would like support to embark on this career path.

Additionally, we are sending you posters and brochures that you may distribute electronically to your networks and Indigenous students on campus or recent graduates (in the past two years).

Please contact pimi-pmaa@pafso-apase.com for additional information.


PIMI application form 


About PAFSO and Foreign Service Officers

PAFSO is the professional association and bargaining agent for Canada’s Foreign Service Officers.

We are proud to be launching PIMI to empower Indigenous students interested in careers in Canada’s foreign service. This pilot initiative will build on PAFSO’s support for Indigenous students through theDeborah Chatsis Indigenous Scholarship.

Our 2000 members are employed by either Global Affairs Canada or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. They serve Canadians in rotational postings in Canada and around the world within the following five streams:


Foreign Service Officers in the trade stream work to help the Canadian business community and other partners access international markets and develop export opportunities, attract foreign investment, conclude science, technology and innovation partnerships, and recruit foreign students. Trade Commissioners assigned abroad and within Canada provide clients with market intelligence and insights, connect them with useful contacts, and help resolve complex business problems. They develop extensive experience in the organization of business-relevant activities and events, advocacy to government and communications with the public, as well as an understanding of issues related to, for example, Responsible Business Conduct and corruption risks. Officers in this area may also focus on Canada’s international trade policy, representing Canada at the World Trade Organization or other international economic organizations, negotiating and implementing Canada’s free trade agreements, and managing trade disputes or irritants from within Canada or posted at key trading partners.


Foreign Service Officers in the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service represent the foreign policy interests of Canada in countries and multilateral organizations across the globe. Through bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, advocacy, and the negotiation and implementation of international agreements, diplomats engage and influence international players to advance Canadian interests and values. They enhance social and cultural ties and promote international security and democratic development in support of global stability.


Foreign Service Officers who are Management Consular Officers are responsible for the strategic, integrated management and delivery of the consular, readiness and mission operations programs. Mission operations responsibilities include financial management, property management, materiel management (encompasses procurement, contracting and fleet management), human resources for locally engaged staff, and information management and technology. MCOs provide consular assistance, sometimes in complex circumstances, to Canadians who are travelling, working and living abroad. This includes provision of travel advice and assistance to individual consular clients and delivery of passport and citizenship services. They also manage readiness programs to ensure that Canadian personnel and facilities around the world are secure, prepared for a wide range of emergencies and able to fulfill their mandate.


Foreign Service Officers in the International Assistance stream work with Canadian, multilateral, international and local partners to develop policies, and manage programs, in support of Canada’s objectives in the field of international assistance. They also work to reduce the vulnerability of people in crises, such as during armed conflicts, acute food insecurity and natural disasters, by providing humanitarian assistance bilaterally and through multilateral institutions.


Abroad, Foreign Service Officers deliver the Canadian immigration program. They process and render decisions on applications from persons seeking to immigrate to, study in, work in or visit Canada. Through these decisions, Foreign Service Officers contribute to building Canada’s future and meeting Canada’s economic and social needs. Foreign Service Officers also liaise with local and international authorities and organizations and monitor and report on migration trends. When assigned in Ottawa, they provide support to our offices abroad or to other areas of IRCC (such as policy development, ministerial support, international and intergovernmental co-ordination or corporate services).

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