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(OTTAWA) – June 21, 2019 – Reconciliation means many different things to many different people, but a new report finds most agree success depends on small, focussed actions undertaken day-by-day.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce report, Lessons in Reconciliation: What We Heard in Saskatoon, captured the perspectives of Indigenous and non-Indigenous business and community leaders from the first of three roundtablesin Western, Central and Atlantic Canada.

“Businesses and Indigenous peoples don’t want to wait for, and do not need to be led by, government in moving forward with reconciliation. As we learned from Indigenous and non-Indigenous business and community leaders in Saskatoon actually living reconciliation day-to-day, the actions that make it meaningful are often straightforward business decisions and respectful actions. Their successes can provide lessons from which government – and all of us - can learn,” said Susanna Cluff-Clyburne, Senior Director and Lead, Indigenous Policy.
 
The report arrives at 14 recommendations for governments, drawn from reconciliation success stories like:

·        The First Nations Bank of Canada

·        Nutrien’s Aboriginal Content Playbook

·        the City of Saskatoon’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

·        the new Indigenous Engagement Charter Program from the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce

·        the Nuclear Waste Management Office’s Voices in Reconciliation video series

One of the report’s key findings was “to recognize reconciliation for what it is; an opportunity, not an obligation.  Many businesses and Indigenous peoples have based their successful relationships on this belief. Government needs to do the same,” concluded Cluff-Clyburne.

Other findings include:

  • Determine what needs to be reconciled and be specific about it
  • Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each goal and make officials accountable for achieving them
  • Create pathways for Indigenous entrepreneurship.  This includes expanding federal procurement thinking beyond having more Indigenous suppliers to incentives for all suppliers to have more Indigenous content in their businesses
  • Ensure there is leadership succession planning in the public service so that reconciliation continues beyond political mandates, and that Indigenous peoples have the opportunity to fill those roles.

Download the full report here. Lessons in Reconciliation reports on discussions with Indigenous and non-Indigenous business and community leaders in Thunder Bay and Fredericton will be released this summer.

The Voice of Canadian Business

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is Canada’s largest and most representative business association, which speaks with one unified voice on behalf of nearly a quarter million businesses. The Chamber’s job is to help Canadian businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions grow their business. We do this by helping them connect to each other, new opportunities, providing essential business services, and influencing government policy on their behalf. For more information visit www.Chamber.ca or follow us @CdnChamberofCom.

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For more information, please contact:

Phil Taylor
Senior Director, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
ptaylor@chamber.ca (preferred and fastest response time)
613.238.4000 (2231)