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Call to Action #92- Corporate Education

Tansi Nîtôtemtik,

Call to Action #92 calls upon the Canadian corporate sector to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and to apply its principles, norms and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous people, their lands and resources.

The purpose of Call to Action #92 is to create meaningful inclusion in the Canadian economy and take steps towards economic reconciliation. The goal of this strategy is to provide a guideline for any business or corporation to create its own strategic plan or policy changes to work toward Indigenous economic inclusion. One of the key steps in achieving this goal is to “provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.” [2]

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Corporations need to be proactively addressing systemic racism and inequality and can demonstrate their leadership by using UNDRIP as a reconciliation framework to develop educational tools that focus on intercultural knowledge, conflict resolution and to combat racism. At the date of this posting, the corporate sector has not collectively adopted UNDRIP, nor have they formally committed to management-level training of UNDRIP and the legacy of residential schools.[1] This is a significant problem as the majority of Canadians are employed through the corporate sector. Additionally, a national survey of corporations revealed that most corporations “do not actively seek to engage Indigenous Peoples or cultures, and do not recognize the importance of it” and that only ¼ companies were even aware of Call to Action #92. [2] This is a troubling statistic as Call to Action 92 is an extremely important economic strategy that will lead to the creation of a pathway forward, ultimately transforming opportunities for future Indigenous generations.

So how can we improve the engagement of the corporate sector with the Calls to Action? We need to start with mandatory requirements from professional organizations. Many professions- such as financial advisors, accountants, engineers, geologists, realtors, and insurance brokers have their own council or regulatory body that sets standards, rules and conduct of practice. Professional associations have both the power and the ability to set practice requirements and many include mandatory continuing education requirements.

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Another organization that could provide education and information to the private sector is the Canadian Chamber of Commerce network. A Chamber of Commerce is a business advocacy association committed to creating both a vibrant community and creating value for their members. They often hold events such as mixers with educational opportunities. While it is true that the national body supports reconciliation, I was unable to find documentation that there has been an adoption of a resolution requiring Indigenous educational programming through local chamber organizations. Such a resolution would create wide access to programming that would become an effective tool to achieving Call to Action #92.

It is safe to say that Call to Action #92 is far from started. When Calls to Action, such as #92, are not fully implemented, systemic changes, especially in the workplace, will not occur. Canadians and their employers are in “dire need of this education, training and support.”[3] Without it, the goals of reconciliation will never be achieved.

Until next time,

Team ReconcilACTION YEG

[1] “Beyond 94: Truth and Reconciliation Canada” (26 July 2022), online: CBC News

[2] Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2015) at 92(iii).

[3] Ibid.

[4] Rachel Gilmore, TRC’s 92 Calls to Action: Progress being made, but more needed, Indigenous advocates say (30 Sept 2022), online: Global News <>.

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