Celebrate and learn about the history and culture of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples this National Indigenous History Mon

June 29, 2022

gs Talk

June is National Indigenous History Month, a time to reflect on the history of Canada's Indigenous peoples, to acknowledge how far we have come and the work that still needs to be done and to celebrate the unique culture of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. As we continue to educate ourselves, we encourage our employees, families, and business partners to take advantage of the resources and initiatives listed below. First, however, we wanted to share some exciting news:

This month, GSC is proud to join the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business as a Business Member.

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) positions Indigenous business at the focal point for strengthening Indigenous communities, promoting progressive and prosperous relationships, and growing a new economy based on mutual respect and shared prosperity. Business Members of the CCAB are non-Indigenous organizations that are committed to creating relationships with and supporting Indigenous businesses and communities. We are honoured to be among the newest members of this network and to take action to strengthen our relationships with Indigenous enterprises and communities.

GSC's commitment

GSC is committed to engaging and collaborating with Indigenous partners in many ways, including:

How GSCers, friends and family can get involved

There are hundreds of celebrations and educational events happening across Canada this month. Find one that is meaningful to you and join us in honouring Indigenous history and culture. Here are some ways to get started:

  • The Government of Canada has a detailed list of resources and events available to all Canadians.
  • On June 19, the 2022 Indspire Awards will be broadcast on CBC and APTN. The Indspire Awards represent the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows upon its own people.
  • In honour of Indigenous History Month, The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund is pleased to present a series of four events in celebration of the diversity of Indigenous Peoples across Canada.

Continue learning, understanding, and advocating

Truth and reconciliation

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was created through a legal settlement between Residential Schools Survivors, the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit representatives and the federal government and church bodies. The TRC’s mandate was to inform all Canadians about what happened in residential schools. The TRC documented the truth of survivors, their families, communities and anyone personally affected by the residential school experience. The Calls to Action document's a list of 94 actions to be undertaken by the government, non-profits, the private sector, and all sectors of society to advance reconciliation. Progress on the Calls to Action has been slow, with only eleven completed as of December 2021. To change this, all Canadians should familiarize themselves with the TRC and the Calls to Action.

Formal learning opportunities

  • The University of Alberta’s Indigenous Canada course is a free, 12-week program that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. You can complete it online at your own pace.
  • The University of Toronto’s “Aboriginal Worldviews and Education” course explores Indigenous ways of knowing and highlights how they can benefit all students. Topics include historical, social, and political issues in Indigenous education; terminology; cultural, spiritual and philosophical themes in Indigenous worldviews; and how Indigenous worldviews can inform professional programs and practices. The course is free and takes 14 hours to complete.

Informal learning opportunities and culture

Advocating for truth and reconciliation

The scope of the tragedy of Canada's residential school system is so large, and it can be hard to know how we as individuals can make a meaningful difference, especially after decades of inaction. Here are some ways we can personally advocate for reconciliation:

Support Indigenous groups and businesses

As a company, GSC is committed to increasing our support of Indigenous peoples through our Social Impact programs. For those seeking ways to contribute, below are some organizations providing support to Indigenous communities and focusing on Indigenous issues:

Finally, don't forget to celebrate

National Indigenous History Month is recognized throughout June, culminating on June 21st – the summer solstice – with the celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day. We must continue to recognize and celebrate the richness of Indigenous culture, history and traditions, and strongly encourage everyone to take part and get involved: