Throughout 2021 BTY took multiple steps in answering the call-to-action Number 92 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRCC). Number 92 asks, among other actions, for Canadian businesses to undertake meaningful relationship development with Indigenous peoples, support their skill and capacity development, and create access to opportunities.
As part of the process, BTY engaged Indigenous Awareness Canada (IAC), an Indigenous owned organization with the mission to assist Canadians in learning about Canada’s Indigenous People and to help non-indigenous Canadians and Indigenous peoples move toward reconciliation.
Krista Laboucane, a senior instructor and workshop facilitator with IAC, and Ian Ralph, its Director of Operations, both worked with BTY over the past year and continue to guide the firm’s efforts. They describe BTY as “a leader among its peers in the industry” in responding to the TRCC’s call to action.
Developing policy and embedding cultural training
One of BTY’s first steps was to develop a policy that supports growing mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous people. This was followed by training in cultural awareness for all employees across Canada through tailored workshops. That training will now be repeated annually during June, Indigenous awareness month, for new hires and those seeking a refresher.
Hand-in-hand with the training are the fostering of an inclusive workplace that honours Indigenous history, culture and heritage – and creating land acknowledgements as well as training on pronunciation of Indigenous territories.
Applying for corporate performance certification
BTY is preparing to apply for Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) certification program. The PAR program confirms corporate performance in Aboriginal relations as good partners and great places to work that are committed to prosperity in Aboriginal communities.
Supporting education and career development
BTY has confirmed the provision of BTY Student Indigenous Awards of $1,000 at three post-secondary institutions: British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), and George Brown College in Toronto. The awards are part of the overall effort that includes creating a mentorship program and supporting career development, and promoting mobility of Indigenous employees.
Networking with Indigenous-owned businesses and communities
As part of ongoing efforts to engage with Indigenous business and communities, BTY is taking part in the Forward Summit, an Indigenous led conference within the built environment. Another community-building initiative in the planning stage is to arrange team PowWows within Indigenous communities – with BTY employees attending as a group – or as families – to get to know Indigenous cultures in an engaging setting.