We at ADGA acknowledge that our offices, located in Ottawa, Gatineau, Kingston, and Toronto, are located on unceded Anishinaabe Algonquin and Mississaugas, Huron-Wendat, and Haudenosaunee territories. We honour the Peoples of these Nations, who have lived on these territories for millennia, and whose culture and presence have nurtured and continue to nurture this land. We are grateful to be able to live, learn and play on these lands.
At ADGA, diversity, equity and inclusion are more than a policy—we are committed to learning and developing in our everyday leadership actions, recruiting and employment processes, business development practices, and community relationships. Enhancing, supporting and building on our relationship with Indigenous Peoples and communities is very important to us.
Putting Words to Action – What We’re Doing
Earlier this year, working with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, we announced that we have embarked on achieving the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) Committed Level, with the company-wide goal to follow through and achieve full PAR Bronze certification.
Four of our executive members have completed Indigenous Canada studies, and we are organizing formal virtual training sessions for our managers and employees. We are strengthening community relationships with Pikwakanagan First Nation (Algonquin) and Algonquin College to seek advice on increasing Indigenous participation in ADGA business development.
In March 2022, we announced a scholarship at Algonquin College for 50 students over the next five years. This scholarship is focused particularly on supporting women and Indigenous students who have career aspirations toward security, systems and networking, applied science and environmental technology, information and communication technology, and other advanced technology studies.
To honour the 2022 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we engaged our employees by encouraging them to wear orange and support Indigenous businesses. This included compiling a list of Indigenous organizations, companies and charities, purchasing the Calls to Actions booklet published by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, as well as encouraging employees to attend community events to learn more about the histories, traditions, culture, and experiences of Indigenous Peoples.
We also co-hosted a webinar with our Indigenous Advisor about Words that Hurt. We explored neutral and positive-sounding words and expressions to understand if they had ulterior meanings or disturbing origins that are offensive Indigenous Peoples—and some of our findings surprised us! We continue to learn every day.
Going Forward – What We Plan to Do
These are first steps and we know that we still have so much to do. Through our continued learning and informed actions, our focus is to do our part to make choices and changes that will contribute to prosperity in Indigenous Communities.