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:
i. Commit to meaningful consultation, building respectful relationships, and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects.
ii.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.
iii. 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 a few words: The corporate sector must also respect Indigenous rights.
What does this mean in simple English?
- Genuinely consulting Indigenous groups before developing industrial projects on their land
- Not assuming economic interest automatically take priority over Indigenous interests
- Working to involve Indigenous peoples in the workforce, especially on development projects that take place on their land
- Making sure all employees have an understanding of Indigenous history and culture, especially when working on development projects which take place on Indigenous territory.
Compiled by Jonathan Wearing