According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, reconciliation means, “to restore friendship or harmony.”
Canada’s residential school system and the many devastating effects it had on our country’s Indigenous population and their cultures can never be forgotten, and reconciliation between all Canadians and their Indigenous neighbours is never finished.
So what does reconciliation look like?
“What we’re looking to do is create an equal opportunity, not only for companies, but also for First Nations people,” says Buffy Handel, director of business development with Working Warriors.
Put simply, Working Warriors acts as a membership for three groups: Indigenous individuals, Indigenous organizations, and non-Indigenous business. It is a virtual bridge that makes one unified statement on behalf of each group; “I’m ready to engage.”
As Working Warriors gains more members, it serves as a database, both to help non-Indigenous organizations and businesses fulfill their commitment to engage and build relationships with Indigenous communities, and for Indigenous peoples and organizations to be able to see which non-Indigenous companies are taking reconciliation seriously and taking steps to fulfill their promises.
“It puts companies in a position where they’re going to have to say it and act on it,” Handel says. “It’s easy to say anything. We are tired of listening to talking. When are we going to start seeing real relationships?”
Working Warriors will also provide companies with the ability to present their comprehensive analytical reports, to not only give a detailed synopsis of their organization’s engagement with Indigenous peoples and groups, but to also allow them to locate Indigenous groups that they could engage with.
On Thursday, April 11, Working Warriors will be hosting a networking and information event from 7 to 9 p.m. at the World Famous Palomino Club.
“What we’re looking to do is have networking, and have this piece of the conversation brought to the forefront, for anybody who is curious and wants to ask questions about how the membership works and what exactly the tool does,” Handel says.