With guidance from the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business (CCAB), ADGA has embarked on a journey to meet the certification requirements for Progressive Aboriginal Relations TM (PAR) – Bronze Level. PAR certification is Canada’s premier corporate social responsibility program that emphasizes progressive Indigenous relations.
CCAB fosters business relationships between Indigenous businesses, partnerships between Indigenous entrepreneurs and Canada’s institutional enterprises, and awareness of Indigenous participation within the Canadian economy. Certified companies promote their level with a PAR logo, signalling to communities that they are:
• good business partners
• great places to work
• committed to prosperity in Indigenous communities
In ADGA’s pursuit of demonstrating our ability to be a good business partner, a great place to work, and a collaborator in growing the prosperity of Indigenous communities, we have prepared this statement with seven commitments:
1. Commitment to Indigenous Peoples
ADGA Executive Leadership Team (ELT), in conjunction with our broader Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) strategy, commits to ensuring a safe, welcoming, and mutually respectful workplace for Indigenous employees and partners.
2. Commitment to Indigenous Businesses, Communities and Educational Institutions
We also commit to working with Indigenous businesses, local Indigenous communities and educational institutions to help remove barriers and dismantle systemic racism, so that Indigenous Peoples have fair access to employment, training or contracting opportunities.
3. Commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility
At ADGA, we believe that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is more than about “doing the right thing” in public ways. We are making conscious choices, driven by moral principles, to adopt a genuine, long-term focus on protecting and improving the health, well-being and quality of life for present and future generations of Indigenous Peoples. We commit to taking responsibility for the Indigenous causes we invest in, what we say publicly about them, and the steps we are taking to be engaged participants.
4. Commitment to Implement Our Indigenous Reconciliation Action Strategy and Plan
Embracing and adopting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action process, to restore trust and rebuild our relationship with Indigenous Peoples, is another way in which ADGA is taking action. ADGA has mobilized resources to implement our Indigenous Reconciliation Action Strategy and Plan (RAS/RAP). For example, we will provide scale-appropriate opportunities to conduct business with Indigenous-led companies and identify new opportunities to develop Indigenous capacity within our workforce. We commit to this being an ongoing and progressive effort.
5. Commitment to Building Indigenous Capacity and Community Capacity
We understand that building Indigenous capacity also requires building community capacity. We commit to playing a role in the growing prosperity of Indigenous communities, which includes protecting and respecting land, animals, plants, and the environment. We understand that community development relies on authentic partnerships and effective strategies. Therefore, before investing in community development initiatives, ADGA also commits to ensuring we have consulted our Indigenous partners and confirmed such initiatives are meaningful, relevant and beneficial to them.
6. Commitment to Connect and Communicate with Patience and Openness
Even when opportunities have been confirmed as meaningful, relevant and beneficial to Indigenous communities, we understand Indigenous Peoples may have questions about the motivation of a business, and how a collaboration might (or might not) be possible. ADGA understands that fundamental beliefs, processes and timelines may differ, and we will not impose our expectations. ADGA commits to the need for patience and openness while we connect and communicate with Indigenous community leaders and Indigenous business decision-makers.
7. Commitment to Authenticity
ADGA will not treat our commitments to a sustained partnership with Indigenous communities or businesses as a “Sales, HR or PR” exercise. Instead, our focus—emanating from the heart of ADGA’s corporate culture—is to be authentic in our collaborations and engagements with Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous communities and Indigenous-led businesses.
These commitments began with the ADGA Executive Leadership Team and together, we are mobilizing our entire workforce to champion a more inclusive, diverse and equitable culture. There are many investments—from recruiting and training to communicating and networking—that are fuelling our progress. We understand that pursuing PAR Committed certification is only one of the ways we are exploring how to transform our awareness, attitudes and actions.
Our Executive Leadership Team is grateful for the guidance and wisdom of our Indigenous Advisor, whom we are consulting regularly on this journey. Although we value his support as an intermediary while we build and strengthen our relations with Indigenous Peoples, we also commit to researching, listening and learning, without expecting our Indigenous Advisor to do the heavy lifting for us.
As our awareness increases, we will advance with our own feet and take responsibility for following through on the seven commitments we have made to Indigenous employees, partners and communities—commitments we have also made to each other. We stand by these seven commitments, which collectively are a reflection that we want to change how we work and live, so we can do better and be better.