September 29, 2021 (Amiskwaciwâskahikan – Edmonton Metropolitan Region) – Edmonton Global will observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30, 2021. The office will be closed, and team members will spend time reflecting and deepening their understanding of the intergenerational trauma experienced by survivors of Canada’s residential school system. Employees will engage in active learning and participate in community events or other activities that are planned to mark this important day.
The Government of Canada’s decision to recognize the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday is a direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action 80. While not legislated to provide September 30 as a statutory holiday, Edmonton Global has made the decision to provide this time for its staff to reflect, act, and consider the role we play as individuals and as an organization in reconciliation. Public commemoration of the tragic impacts of residential schools is an important part of the reconciliation process. As the regional economic development corporation for Amiskwaciwâskahikan – the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, we must examine our role in responding to Call to Action 92 which makes the following appeal 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. 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.
We encourage all of our partners, stakeholders, and regional business community to learn more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action which includes an organizational responsibility to provide learning opportunities for management and staff on the history of Indigenous communities including the legacy of residential schools. As we consider our roles as treaty people, we understand that inclusivity must be at the heart of sustainable growth and are committed to building meaningful partnerships with Indigenous communities.