In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) issued its final report on the legacy of Canadian residential schools, which affected generations of Aboriginal people in Canada and their relationships with non-Aboriginal Canadians.
The Commission spent six years hearing testimony from residential school survivors and their descendants, and its report provides a roadmap for a reconciliation process that will lead to better relationships between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples of Canada.
The report included 94 recommendations, three of which were focused on the business sector. Foremost among these was a call for companies to obtain the free, prior and informed consent of Aboriginal peoples before proceeding with economic development projects. The Commission also recommended that businesses “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.” Reconciliation is not only the right thing to do; it’s also the best way for businesses to build long-lasting value.
SHARE is engaging with selected strategic companies to advance policy, performance and reporting in each of these areas, as a way of building sustainable value for those companies and their investors, for the communities in which they operate, and for the longer-term health of the Canadian economy.
This report 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.