S.i. Systems recognizes that Indigenous cultures are vibrant, diverse, and important communities and peoples who contribute to Canada's overall diversity.
By pursuing truth, acknowledging Indigenous territories, and encouraging reconciliation for our First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples each employee, regardless of their role, is also living our values of professional, accountable, possible, and transparent. Pursuing truth and reconciliation also aligns with our core tenets on diversity, inclusion and equity in the workplace and contributes to our core purpose of connecting human potential to meaningful work.
Guiding Principles on Indigenous Rights
S.i. Systems has created our Truth and Reconciliation Policy taking guidance from our core values and three foundational documents. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report provided 94 calls to action to ensure Canada has the opportunity to learn from harmful past Indigenous policy such as residential schools. In 2016, Canada endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which provides a framework for reconciliation efforts. In 2019, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its final report providing 231 calls for justice to improve quality of life for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQ+ people. Key points from each of these documents that guide our truth and reconciliation policy are as follows.
Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Final Report
Call to Action 92 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
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Article 2 Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination
7.1 Indigenous individuals have the rights to life, physical and mental integrity, liberty, and security of person
Article 15.1 Indigenous peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories, and aspirations
Article 17.3 Indigenous individuals have the right not to be subjected to any discriminatory conditions of labour and, inter alia, employment or salary.
Article 35 Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the responsibilities of individuals to their communities.
Article 43 The rights recognized herein constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.
Article 46.3 The provisions set forth in this Declaration shall be interpreted in accordance with the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, equality, non-discrimination, good governance, and good faith.
Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Call for Justice 15.2 Decolonize by learning the true history of Canada and Indigenous history in your local area. Learn about and celebrate Indigenous Peoples' history, cultures, pride, and diversity, acknowledging the land you live on and its importance to local Indigenous communities, both historically and today
Call for Justice 15.4 Using what you have learned and some of the resources suggested, become a strong ally. Being a strong ally involves more than just tolerance; it means actively working to break down barriers and to support others in every relationship and encounter in which you participate
Call for Justice 15.5 Confront and speak out against racism, sexism, ignorance, homophobia, and transphobia, and teach or encourage others to do the same, wherever it occurs: in your home, in your workplace, or in social settings
Call for Justice 15.7 Create time and space for relationships based on respect as human beings, supporting, and embracing differences with kindness, love, and respect. Learn about Indigenous principles of relationship specific to those Nations or communities in your local area and work, and put them into practice in all of your relationships with Indigenous peoples
Specific Actions to live our Truth and Reconciliation Policy
Truth and Reconciliation will be lived when:
- All new employees receive and acknowledge reading our Truth and Reconciliation Policy when they are hired.
- We continually seek out opportunities to hire Indigenous new graduates from Indigenous-focused post-secondary institutions and programs, as well as Canadian post-secondary institutions.
- We promote the economic and professional advancement our Indigenous employees with equal opportunity, pay, and responsibility as employees, managers, and consultants to our clients.
- We encourage our employees to use Volunteer Time Off days to attend, or participate in key events and initiatives with the Indigenous communities where we work where possible and appropriate including but not limited to the following events:
- Annual Women's Memorial March to commemorate Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) (February 14)
- National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21)
- Orange Shirt Day (September 30)
- Reconciliation Canada Events
- When an employee of S.i. Systems faces a situation in which our corporate obligations conflict with Indigenous values or interests, the employee is strongly advised to use our safe whistleblower policy to report the conflict to the board and request a way to advance the company's interests in a culturally sensitive manner.
- We maintain and update our Truth and Reconciliation Policy and keep it available to all staff on our wiki page, along with our core values, to encourage employees to learn about conscious and unconscious racism and intersectional privileges that are woven into existing Canadian systems and institutions including those promoted by the Indian Act.
- Guest speakers, including local Indigenous Subject Matter Experts, are invited to give presentations and host small group conversations about matters that impact Indigenous peoples in the communities in which we live and work.
- We gather statistics on representation of Indigenous peoples among our workforce, and every three years we benchmark our progress against the Canadian Census data on labour market availability and set new goals for hiring.
S.i. Systems commits to continuous improvement of this policy, as well as our practices and approaches. We will review the policy on at least an annual basis and incorporate feedback from impacted members of our staff, our clients, and our communities.