We acknowledge that we operate on Treaty 7 Territory.
We recognize the traditional custodians of the land upon which we live and work and the continuing connection to land, water and community of the Kainai, Piikani, Siksika, Tsuu T’ina and Stoney Nakoda as well as the many First Nations, Métis and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for generations.
We are grateful for the traditional Knowledge Keepers and Elders who are still with us today and those who have gone before us. We commit to advancing Truth and Reconciliation. Of the TRC's 94 Calls to Action, action 92 speaks to what we can do as a business in Canada.
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.
As a sole proprietor, many of the first steps have been taken by me as an individual, and my learnings help shape the way I operate Banff Graze Co.
I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to support an Elder-designed and led Youth Camp for the Ktunaxa First Nations, facilitated a donation drive for Eagles Nest Women's Shelter in Mini Thni, being a student of the Stoney Language & Culture course held by the late Buddy Wesley and participated in Truth and Reconciliation learnings and discussion as part of my role on the board of YWCA Banff.
Some of the most impactful resources that I have come across so far are:
- CBC Indigenous podcast hosted by Rosanna Deerchild for current interviews and news relating to First Nations issues in the current climate
- Think Indigenous and Red Man Laughing podcast, both hosted by Ryan McMahon who is both witty, humorous and serious all in one
- Buddy Wesley's Stoney Language and Culture course at ArtsPlace was such a wonderfully rich learning that I was so grateful to have been able to listen and learn in. Keep an eye on ArtsPlace's upcoming courses as they often have excellent offerings for deepening our understanding of culture, language, arts and history of First Nations peoples.
- CBC releases a list of books to read each year, here are their recommendations for 2021: https://www.cbc.ca/books/48-books-by-indigenous-writers-to-read-to-understand-residential-schools-1.6056204
While I still have many to read from this list, the most profound for me was Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese. If you haven't read this book yet, please try your best to. For those of us who were privileged not to attend a residential school this helps us catch a small glimpse of what happened between those walls and helps us understand and feel, why it has had the incredibly dark, unjust impact that it has had, not just on the survivors but the generations that followed. Understanding the truth is an important first step we cannot gloss over.
- I have a young daughter and we have a couple of the books from this list that we love to read: https://www.cbc.ca/books/17-books-for-kids-and-young-adults-to-read-for-national-indigenous-history-month-2022-1.6495631
- In late October 2022 I will be participating in a Blanket Exercise at Stoney Nakoda Resort and Casino hosted by Tim Fox. I am grateful to be participating and look forward to learning from this experience. If you have the chance to participate in a Blanket Exercise, I have heard good things and will soon know for myself!