4.8 Indigenous Peoples: Responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

In 2012, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada[1] (TRC) released 94 Calls to Action to redress the legacy of Indian residential schools and advance the process of reconciliation between the federal and provincial governments and Indigenous nations of Canada.

Not-for-profit boards have a responsibility to respond to the Calls to Action, but many have not yet begun this work. By including discussions about Calls to Action in your board governance, you help to remove barriers to potential board membership by Indigenous community members and support existing Indigenous community members in your organization.

If you have not yet started the conversation, here are some ways to begin:

  • Land acknowledgement

Learn about the traditional Indigenous territory where your organization is located. Start board meetings by making a statement of acknowledgement of the people of the territory. Organizational events should also begin with this verbal acknowledgement.

  • Relationship-building

Learn about Indigenous groups and organizations in your community. Look for opportunities to attend their events to watch, learn and make a connection. Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire[2], a charity that invests in the education of Indigenous youth, says that she has never been more optimistic about the future of Indigenous people. She says that before we can move forward, we need to understand our shared history. When that happens, positive change will be possible[3].


  1. To learn more about the process of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, visit Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
  2. For more information about Indspire, visit their website
  3. Latif, A. (June 13, 2017). We need to understand our shared history, says Roberta Jamieson. Retrieved from Waterloo Chronicle.


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