Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is an important societal process taking place around the world to address the negative legacies of past colonial eras in countries such as Canada, the United States, Chile and Australia.
As part of our role in reconciliation, Teck has made a two-year commitment to Reconciliation Canada, an Indigenous-led organization with a vision to revitalize the relationships among Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians, through open and honest dialogue.
Started in 2012, Reconciliation Canada engages Canadians on reconciliation through events and national initiatives such as the Walk for Reconciliation in 2013, which brought together 70,000 people in downtown Vancouver, and events in Ottawa and Vancouver in 2015 to mark the closing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (see below).
Teck’s support of Reconciliation Canada helps fund programs that continue to build on the movement, with initiatives like National Reconciliation Gatherings, which bring together reconciliation leaders from across Canada and help build awareness around reconciliation and mobilizing action.
Among initiatives planned for 2017 are reconciliation dialogue workshops, leadership learning experiences, economic reconciliation, and public awareness and education. Reconciliation in Action: A National Engagement Strategy is also underway and is a Canada 150 Signature Project.
“As part of our partnership, we are working with Reconciliation Canada to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan for Teck that reframes the work we are doing with Indigenous Peoples through the lens of reconciliation,” says Heather Lawrence, Manager, Indigenous Affairs, Vancouver office. “We are also working collaboratively with other companies like Vancity and Suncor to support Reconciliation Canada and one another as we work towards this shared vision of reconciliation.”
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
From 2008 to 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was part of a holistic and comprehensive response to the negative impacts of the Indian Residential Schools system on Indigenous Peoples. The Commission delivered its final report in December 2015, which identified 94 recommendations to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of reconciliation with Indigenous People in Canada.
One of these calls to action, in recommendation 92, is addressed specifically to the business community:
“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.”
Teck is guided by the work of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and supports the work undertaken by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Government of Canada’s decision to implement all of the recommendations of the Commission’s final report.
We see this as a key step in renewing the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. We also recognize our role in reconciliation and are working to build strong relationships and enhance respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples, organizations and communities in the areas where we operate.