This week, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce held its Annual General Meeting. Critically, two resolutions related to Indigenous reconciliation, submitted by BC-based chambers of commerce, were resoundingly passed by the national chamber network.
The two resolutions were titled: Creating a Comprehensive Action Plan on Building a Sustainable Business Relationship with Indigenous Peoples and Establishment of the First Nations Infrastructure Institute.
“The BC Chamber of Commerce and our provincial network are thrilled that the resolutions related to prioritizing economic Indigenous reconciliation across Canada were adopted by the national chamber network,” said Fiona Famulak, BC Chamber of Commerce President and CEO. “British Columbia and other provinces have enacted legislation that includes the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). To enable businesses to implement UNDRIP in their business models, it is essential that the Government of Canada actively engage with the business community to ensure a cohesive environment exists across the country for businesses and Indigenous Peoples to build sustainable relationships.
“On behalf of the South Peace Chambers who tirelessly advocated for this policy, we are incredibly proud to have the Canadian Chamber of Commerce endorse a made-in-BC policy that moves our collective reconciliation efforts forward with indigenous peoples across the country,” added Naomi Larsen, Executive Director of the Chetwynd Chamber of Commerce. “At its very core, this policy is about building bigger tables, not bigger walls. I’m especially grateful for the support and efforts of my chamber colleagues in Tumbler Ridge, Dawson Creek and Surrey who were instrumental in the development of the policy.”
“High-quality public infrastructure is critical for the health and sustainability of all communities. First proposed over four years ago, this was a team effort, driven by Chief Commissioner C.T. (Manny) Jules, who brought immense insight to this project,” said Acacia Pangilinan, Executive Director of the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce. “Having the Canadian Chamber of Commerce endorse the First Nations Infrastructure Institute will help drive the concept forward and gets us another step closer to launch. Ultimately, we believe the success of the institute will be that it is a ‘by First Nations, for First Nations’ solution to a problem that is long overdue to be addressed.” Versions of each policy were previously passed at the BC Chamber of Commerce’s Annual General Meeting in May 2021. The adoption of these policies at the national level represents another important step along our collective path to meaningful reconciliation.