Advancing Reconciliation through Investor Action

Image credit: Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative

In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its report with 94 recommendations to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance reconciliation. Call to Action #92 called on the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for corporate policy and activities that involve Indigenous people, land, and resources.

The Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative is a partnership between the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association (NATOA) and the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE). They’re interested in how investors can contribute to implementation of the call to action and charting progress. Their latest report, Business and Reconciliation: An Update Exploring the Performance of Public Companies in Canada,  tracks how 78 publicly traded companies are disclosing  information and making change.  They found that:

  • There has been an increase in the number of companies that reference Indigenous people within  diversity policies.
  • There has been a two-fold increase in the number of companies that overtly prioritize the employment of Indigenous people.
  • Companies are more likely to disclose qualitative information, over quantitative information, related to contracting and procurement opportunities for Indigenous businesses, Indigenous employment, and education and training programming for Indigenous peoples.
  • Companies have increasingly partnered with Indigenous agencies or organizations to increase hiring.
  • Few companies have disclosed formal commitments to upholding Indigenous rights.

Read the report here.