As the largest business organization in the province, representing 100 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and 36,000 businesses of every size and from every sector and region of British Columbia, the BC Chamber of Commerce has unrivaled reach into all corners of the province and a deep understanding of what businesses need.
It is from this vantage point that the BC Chamber of Commerce is well-positioned to deliver on Call to Action #92 of the ninety-four Calls to Action set out in the 2015 report published by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada:
Call to Action #92 Business and Reconciliation
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:
- Commit to meaningful consultation, building respectful relationships, and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous Peoples before proceeding with economic development projects;
- 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;
- 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 this context, please find below a carefully curated selection of education offerings and resources, which will evolve and expand over time, that are essential to our reconciliation journey as Canadian citizens and as businesses.
4 Seasons of Reconciliation
The BC Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with Reconciliation Education to deliver "4 Seasons of Reconciliation", a course designed to empower and educate.
Used by many companies across the country as their go-to cultural onboarding tool, this unique 3-hour online course promotes a renewed relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians through transformative learning about truth and reconciliation. Upon completion of the course, students will receive a certificate issued by the First Nations University of Canada.
To access more information and secure a special member rate, click here to register for this program.
Indigenous Canada comprises 12 comprehensive lessons, offered as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) by the University of Alberta Faculty of Native Studies. This course delves into the diverse historical narratives and contemporary viewpoints of Canada's Indigenous communities.
From an Indigenous standpoint, this course investigates the intricate challenges Indigenous communities face in the present, employing a historical and critical lens. It emphasizes the dynamics of Indigenous-settler relations, both on a national and local scale, to provide a comprehensive understanding of these complex experiences.
This course is offered free of charge OR pay a modest fee of $66 to receive a certificate upon completion.
To access more information and to register for this program, click here.
A Brief Timeline of Indigenous History
It is essential to recognize the history of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous relations in Canada. Reconciliation, in essence, entails delving into historical roots and the truth to gain insight into the current circumstances that enable us to collectively forge a brighter future for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities across Canada.
Listed below is a concise chronology of decrees, Acts, policies, reports, and significant events that have played a pivotal role in shaping the history of Indigenous communities in Canada.
To explore the topics in greater depth, click on the links below.
The sharing of Indigenous stories and culture through video holds significant importance for Indigenous communities. It enables a deeper understanding of British Columbia and Canada as it exists today, emphasizing that without the contributions of Indigenous peoples, our perception of Canada would be fundamentally altered.
- Destination BC and Indigenous Tourism BC (ITBC) have unveiled Illahee, documentary-style videos, which passionately amplify Indigenous voices and celebrate the profound connection between Indigenous communities and the rich natural landscapes and wildlife of British Columbia.
- Destination Canada has introduced "Indigenous Canada – A Story to Tell," a video on Indigenous culture. Delve deeper into the rich Indigenous cultures of Canada, spanning from coast to coast to coast. You will depart with a personal connection and a unique narrative to share, leaving an enduring imprint on your heart. To view this video, click here.
- Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada has created a video, "The State of Our Industry," which focuses on the physical, mental, and financial struggles of Indigenous businesses during and post-COVID. To view this video, click here.
- 4 Seasons of Reconciliation video "A Sharing of Indigenous Knowledge," a film series comprising short documentary films set in Canada on the heels of the final report from Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The project chronicles stories on reconciliation, each to be released at a different season. The series is accompanied by bonus features highlighting reconciliation champions from across the lands in Canada. It aims to inspire reconciliation through media arts. To view this video, click here.