The Institute of Canadian Agencies and its staff are physically located in the City of Toronto and as such acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands. Our member agencies are located across Canada and we encourage them to research the territory acknowledgement that is applicable to them.
This page is intended to serve as a resource to all non-Indigenous people and parents to deepen our understanding of the Indigenous worldview, journey, history, beliefs and traditions. If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now.
Dr Dori Tunstall's Six Six Steps for Structural Change starts with Step One: Indigenous Demands First. Understanding Diversity, Inclusion and Equity for Black people and People of Colour means first understanding the Canadian government's Federal mandate around decolonization. Only once we truly understand the effects of systemic racism on Indigenous people can we begin to work toward dismantling the structures in place that disadvantage all visible minorities.
September 30th marks the new federal statutory holiday, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day provides an opportunity for Canadians to recognize and commemorate the intergenerational harm that the legacy of residential schools has caused to Indigenous people, families and communities.
This holiday seeks to answer Call to Action 80 which reads:
80. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.
September 30th is also Orange Shirt Day, a day to acknowledge and commemorate the day that Indigenous children were removed from their homes, families and communities and taken to residential schools.
To honour those who have been affected by residential schools and other colonial injustices we encourage families, communities and businesses to come together in the spirit of reconciliation. Please consider finding time on September 30th for quiet reflection, purposeful listening, research and learning or participation in a community event. You’ll find resources in various categories below to support you with your commemoration activities.
What's Your Reconciliation?
This five-part series follows-up on Dr Dori Tunstall's call to action to place Indigenous Demands First. Join the ICA Community on this journey to discover What is Your Reconciliation?
Tracey Lindberg, Indigenous-Rights Activist, Professor of Law & Acclaimed Author of 'Birdie', joins the ICA Community to start us off on our journey to answer the question What is Your Reconciliation? In this session, Tracey discusses development and maintenance of healthy relationships and how that informs and impacts our understanding of territoriality, lawful responsibilities, challenges and possibilities of reconciliation.
Deck available upon request.
BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) is now a widely used and accepted term, but is it the right term? Does it adequately illustrate the cultural insensitivities, health & safety crises and land challenges that Canada’s First Nation and Metis peoples have experienced and currently face? In this session, Guy Freedman, President of First Peoples Group, helps us to understand what Cultural Safety is and why it’s an important first step in our journey to creating diverse and inclusive work environments. We’ll discuss how leaders can incorporate the cultural safety approach into their business ensuring that they are marketing to and employing this marginalized and under-represented group.
The Truth & Reconciliation template isn’t unique to Canada but perhaps we need to ask if it’s right for Canada and First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples? Do we know what the Truth is? Are we ready for Reconciliation?
Dr. Eva Jewell, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Ryerson University, Yellowhead Associate Fellow and co-author of the Calls to Action Accountability: A 2020 Status Update on Reconciliation, provides us with an overview of the 94 Calls to Action, the status of those calls and more importantly the barriers to meaningful progress. Reconciliation is not static and where gains have been made one year, they have been lost the next. In this presentation Eva shines a spot light on the 5 reasons there has been a lack of action on the Calls to Action and what we can individually and collectively do as we look inward and answer the question, “What is Your Reconciliation?”
We cannot attract Indigenous talent without understanding and connecting in an authentic way with their community. But how? Krystal Abotossaway, President of the Indigenous Professionals Association of Canada (IPAC) and Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training helps the ICA Community understand why authentic connection with the Indigenous community is important, how leaders and businesses can achieve this and most importantly, what first steps they should take.
This session series is aimed at helping participants build up their Cultural Fluency and is the culmination of our learnings: Relationships & Reconciliations, Creating Cultural Safety, Truth & Reconciliation and the Land Back initiative and Creating Purposeful Connection with the Indigenous Community. Now we’re ready to apply these learnings in our hiring practices by doing what Dr Tunstall urged: Change Your Employee Call!
Join Melissa Hardy-Giles, Founder and Paul Giles, Director of ORIGIN as we explore how Agencies can and should change their call. ORIGIN, an Indigenous-owned company, is focused on innovating the recruitment and selection process through localized workforce and partnership strategies. They do this with an emphasis on integration & reconciliation, acting as a communication and connection mechanism, bridging the gap between Indigenous people and employers. They assist companies that want to tap into the Indigenous workforce using VR and story-telling as a tool to increase awareness and interest in non-traditional career paths. Melissa and Paul will provide you with some of their learnings and experience on how you can improve your connection with the Indigenous workforce.