Saskatchewan Chamber works to realize billions in economic potential with Indigenous Engagement Charter

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 10:25am


Image Caption

Signatories to the new Indigenous Engagement Charter posed for a photo during the charter's launch Jan. 21.

The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is championing the province’s potential and that includes the opportunity to fully engage Indigenous peoples in the economy.

It’s a $90 billion opportunity, according to a 2011 report by University of Saskatchewan Professor Eric Howe, and the “most important economic opportunity on Saskatchewan’s horizon,” according to the chamber’s newly released Indigenous Engagement Charter.

The charter is the result of a task force established by the chamber, a living document that will be enhanced over time. It reinforces the “business community’s commitment to Reconciliation.”

It will provide a roadmap to provide businesses a tool to “achieve engagement” and will assist the business community in demonstrating the role it must play in reconciliation, reads the charter preamble.

The charter commits to:

  • the development of an internal Indigenous Engagement Strategy,
  • educate the workplace on Indigenous history and culture through training,
  • enhance HR practices to attract, hire and retain more Indigenous workers,
  • implement procurement practices, actions and partnerships,
  • reinforce relationships and support Indigenous communities through community involvement,
  • provide annual reporting on actions undertaken.

Businesses that sign onto the charter will be provided a number of resources, including a directory of Indigenous-owned businesses for procurement and partnerships and skilled worker directories, plus “easy to use online tracking tools” to measure success and progress against peers.

The signatories will commit to a three-year term with an investment of $250 per year.

A five-page document outlines charter program requirements with a signatory commitment form.

There are a number of business that have already signed on, including banks RBC and Scotiabank, energy groups such as SaskPower, and industry with Cameco and PCL Construction, as well as smaller businesses like Suds Car Wash