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Business & Reconciliation Call to Action in Canada

The selected Call to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRCC) is #92, focusing on the business and reconciliation category. It encourages the corporate sector to adopt the reconciliation framework in its values and operations. This includes building relationships and consulting indigenous people, ensuring equitable access to job and education opportunities in business as well as community economic development projects, and finally to provide education for all staff and management on the history and laws of the Aboriginal peoples (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015).

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An organization which is able to respond well to this 92nd Call of Action is the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB). The CCAB is a member-based activist and community organization which seeks to build bridges between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities specifically through businesses and related networking. The organization focuses on Aboriginal businesses as the foundation to strengthening indigenous communities by promoting a progressive and intertwined economy that also emphasizes values of mutual respect and shared prosperity.

The CCAB offers a variety of tools and programs for development of businesses including help with certification of Aboriginal-owned businesses, tools for growing and financing companies, and aiding with progressive Aboriginal relations with other communities. The organization also offers support, training, and networking opportunities for Aboriginal-based entrepreneurs. The organization also conducts research and publishes reports which helps members in the economic climate and provides information on how to expand their businesses (Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, n.d.).

In order to better meet the 92nd Call to Action, the CCAB has recently developed a new initiative and releasing a publication to go along with it, named Building a Prosperous Canada Together, the Business Reconciliation in Canada Guidebook. It is aimed to provide guidelines and knowledge that addresses a gap for Canadian business non-Indigenous owners that want to work with Aboriginal communities and businesses. As a result, the knowledge gap can be a barrier to building positive relationships and networks. This guide specifically addresses this issue, providing basic knowledge regarding communication and traditions, and incorporating the rich experience that CCAB has working with various business owners on both side of the cultural spectrum.

The guide offers a history background and outlines what Indigenous businesses and communities are seeking in these business and financial relationships. The CCAB is encouraging continuous growth of Indigenous business which is growing 9 times the national rate and already contributing over 30 billion annually to Canada’s GDP (Wright-McLeod, 2019). In turn, this can potentially lead to more business dealings, increased hiring of Indigenous peoples, and better career paths as understanding within the non-Indigenous communities grows.

The CCAB has been recognized as highly inclusive and successful in its mandate. Their achievements can be attributed to the focused approach taken on the subject by building a community of Aboriginal business owners and fostering relationships between them and non-Aboriginal-owned businesses. The organization offers concrete support to new and existing business owners and provides guidance with overcoming any potential social or regulatory barriers.

It is also largely a volunteer-driven organization with its leadership and dynamic team consisting of successful members of the Aboriginal business community which are encouraged to help others. The CCAB’s spirit of inclusion, focus on creating a foundation through business, and tools they provide for the Aboriginal community are all aspects which can be learnt from the organization in the context of fulfilling one of the most critical Calls to Action from the TRCC.

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Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. (n.d.). About CCAB.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2015). Truth and reconciliation commission of Canada: Calls to action.

Wright-McLeod, B. (2019). CCAB launches new initiative based on 92nd TRC call to action. Anishinabek News.

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