Truth & Reconciliation
Above photo: Josh Bear photographed by Bert Crowfoot
Call to Action
In its 2015 report, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada outlined 94 calls to action to “redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.” Call to action #92 specifically urges Canada’s business community to actively engage in reconciliation:
“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. This would include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Commit to meaningful consultation, building respectful relationships, and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects.
- Ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects.
- 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.”
In response, MLT Aikins has committed to supporting the work of reconciliation though meaningful action and education.
From our guiding principles: “Our actions will have meaningful significance both within the firm and to our clients, and be more than performative. They will engage Indigenous perspectives and strive to foster change in accordance with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action.”
In collaboration with our Indigenous practice group and members of the Indigenous communities we serve, we will provide opportunities, resources and tools for all firm members to be informed of and participate in this commitment to reconciliation. We will invite and amplify Indigenous perspectives.
We’re publicly sharing our commitment and progress in the spirit of transparency and accountability, and to encourage other private organizations to further their commitments to Indigenous communities.
The firm has undertaken a number of initiatives that support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action. These include:
- Establishment of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
- Unconscious bias training for all lawyers and staff
- Creation of an annual Indigenous Scholarship
- Annual observance of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30)
- Intranet resource centre with recommended reading, films, podcasts and courses; suggested activities; and lists of local events for commemorating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30), MMIWG+ and Red Dress Day (May 5), National Indigenous History Month (June) and Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21)
- Annual firmwide activities for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, with photography, t-shirts and pins sourced from Indigenous-owned businesses
- Land acknowledgment at all events and training sessions, on the firm’s website and other digital properties, and in email signatures
- Client work supporting communities engaged in economic development; sharing Indigenous client success stories internally and on our digital channels
- Leverage our office spaces to showcase Indigenous culture, displaying and commissioning Indigenous artwork
- Ongoing partnerships with Indigenous networks and involvement/support for Indigenous-led events
For more information about the firm’s commitment to truth and reconciliation, please contact email@example.com.