Reconciliation needs to be on the agenda for Canadian companies, investor report concludes

By July 27, 2017Press Release

Toronto, ON, July 27, 2017A new report published today by the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) introduces a new investor-led effort to put reconciliation on the agenda for Canadian companies. Step one: bring reconciliation and Indigenous relations into the open through better corporate disclosure, which the report finds is often incomplete, inconsistent or lacking altogether.

In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) issued its final report, providing a roadmap for a process to build better relationships between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. For investors and companies, the TRC issued Call to Action 92, which calls on the corporate sector to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in their own operations. Call to Action 92 says companies can do this by ensuring access to jobs, training and long term benefits from economic development; training management and staff on Indigenous history and rights, intercultural competency and anti-racism; and, committing to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with projects.

“Call to Action 92 is an important rallying cry for both investors and companies” says Delaney Greig, SHARE engagement analyst and co-author of the report. “Companies need to stop viewing Indigenous relations as risk management, and instead cultivate relationships with Indigenous peoples as partners, employees, and neighbours.”

SHARE’s report, Business and Reconciliation: How can investors evaluate the efforts of Canadian public companies? reviews the public reporting of 173 publicly listed corporations in 8 TSX indices on a set of indicators based on Call to Action 92. The research was funded by Edmonton Community Foundation, Inspirit Foundation, the McConnell Family Foundation, and Vancity Community Foundation who are committed to supporting reconciliation through their own activities, including their investments.

“We have a powerful role to play not only as grant-making organizations, but also as institutional investors, in mobilizing our voice and investment dollars to support reconciliation in the Canadian economy and with Canadian companies” says Andrea Nemtin, President and CEO of Inspirit Foundation. “Working with SHARE and our partner foundations on this research has given us the opportunity to begin a conversation amongst Indigenous and non-Indigenous investors, businesses and leadership about how to progress business and reconciliation in a meaningful way.”

In order to address the need for greater disclosure of business and reconciliation practices in Canada, SHARE is co-hosting a series of workshops with Indigenous organizations and businesses, to get feedback and continue the conversation. The findings in this report will serve to spark further conversation about the policies, practices and disclosure that institutional investors, Indigenous peoples and all Canadians should expect from Canadian companies, and the contribution investors can make to reconciliation as active share owners.

SHARE is also leading shareholder engagement on behalf of Canadian institutional investors with a number of firms to improve policies, practices and public reporting related to Indigenous peoples and the TRC’s Call to Action.

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Notes for Editors
Interviews available with Delaney Greig, Engagement Analyst and co-author.
Contact: Norah Murphy, 604.695.2026 or nmurphy@share.ca

About SHARE (Shareholder Association for Research & Education)
SHARE is a Canadian leader in responsible investment services, research and education for institutional investors. Since its creation as a non-profit organization in 2000, SHARE has provided proxy voting analysis, shareholder engagement, education, policy advocacy, and practical research on issues related to responsible investment. SHARE’s clients include pension funds, mutual funds, foundations, faith-based organizations and asset managers across Canada.
www.share.ca / @share_ca

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