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Brief Regarding Bill C-15: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

On Monday, May 31, Katherine Wheatley and Mark Sevestre represented the Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative in a presentation to the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, regarding Bill C-15. Bill C-15 "provides that the Government of Canada must take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and must prepare and implement an action plan to achieve the objectives of the Declaration." RRII spoke to the importance of company and investor engagement when implementing Bill C-15, and highlighted the current lack of domestic guidance on the...

Statement regarding the Kamloops Indian Residential School from the Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative (RRII)

May 31, 2021 - It is with a heavy heart and many tears that we add our voice to those across Turtle Island who mourn for the 215 young spirits finally located last week in Kamloops, British Columbia. We grieve with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation and the families of the lost children. The truly devastating reality of what happened at these Indian Residential Schools is all too real today for many Indigenous peoples. We ourselves, or our family members and friends, have experienced the intergenerational trauma firsthand. Some will show the physical scars from where they were hit for speaking their own language, others...

Press Release: TMX Group Limited shareholders vote in favour of company-supported shareholder proposal on Indigenous inclusion

Historic support for shareholder proposal on Indigenous inclusion cultivates meaningful, transparent action on reconciliation in the financial sector May 12, 2021 – Shareholders of TMX Group Ltd. voted overwhelmingly to support a resolution on Indigenous inclusion and reconciliation at the company’s annual and special meeting of shareholders held earlier today. The vote will have profound effects on Canadian companies and the Indigenous economy. The Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE), a national investor advocate, filed the proposal on behalf of the Atkinson Foundation. TMX Group made history when the company announced it would recommend a vote in favour of an amended version of the proposal.  This...

Proxy Alert: Proposal on Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation at TMX Group

TMX Group LtdSymbol: X.TOAnnual Meeting date: May 12, 2021Filer: Atkinson Foundation, supported by the Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE) Shareholder proposal on Indigenous relations and reconciliation (amended) SHARE’s Recommendation: Vote FOR shareholder proposal (amended)TMX Group Management Recommendation: Vote FOR shareholder proposal (amended) RESOLVED that the TMX Group’s Board of Directors report to shareholders on its work: to develop internal programs and policies on equity, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I), including those that encompass current and prospective Indigenous employees, and relationships with Indigenous communities;to review procurement from Indigenous-owned businesses, and those owned by other underrepresented groups, and establish appropriate disclosure practices and objectives; andto engage with qualified Indigenous and other organizations...

TMX management joins Canadian businesses committing to Indigenous economic empowerment

22 April 2021 – By Katherine Wheatley, Kevin Thomas, & Anthony Schein Following productive dialogue with the company, we are pleased to announce that the board of directors of the TMX Group (which owns the Toronto Stock Exchange) has agreed to jointly support a resolution on reconciliation and Indigenous relations to TMX shareholders filed by SHARE on behalf of the Atkinson Foundation. The Atkinson Foundation’s proposal asks the company to commit to develop internal programs and policies on equity, diversity, and inclusion including Indigenous employees; to review procurement from Indigenous-owned businesses and establish procurement objectives; and to engage with Indigenous organizations to identify standards of practice...

“Strong leadership and an effective system of accountability” needed at the Chartwell board of directors: SHARE

19 April 2021 – By Sarah Couturier-Tanoh, Senior Shareholder Engagement & Policy Analyst, SHARE Cross-posted with permission from the SHARE blog. At the upcoming annual meeting at Chartwell Retirement Residences, SHARE is recommending unitholders vote FOR the shareholder proposal (proposal No. 1) on board oversight of the workforce, and that unitholders withhold (Vote against) their vote for the chair of the Board, Michael D. Harris. SHARE argues that the company’s performance during the COVID-19 pandemic, when at least 393 Chartwell residents have died from the virus, underscores the importance of board oversight of the workforce, and the need for the company to provide reporting to investors on...

Reconciliation and responsible investment: Growing the Indigenous economy in Canada

30 March 2021 – By Katie Wheatley, Manager, Reconciliation & Responsible Investment Initiative, SHARE and Lindsey Walton, Head of Canada for Signatory Relations, PRI Cross-posted with permission from the PRI blog. Canadian businesses must support Indigenous communities in securing long-term, sustainable benefits from economic development, as part of their reconciliation duties, enshrined in the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #92. Creating opportunities for equity ownership and participation are significant steps in this process, and responsible investors have a role to play in encouraging these. The Indigenous economy in Canada continues to grow, but remains largely untapped. Indigenous peoples contribute over CAD 30 billion annually to Canada’s GDP,...

New research finds corporate Canada dragging its feet in disclosing progress on reconciliation

March 11, 2021 – New research suggests that corporate Canada is slow to recognize the value of tracking and reporting on Indigenous relations and reconciliation. The report, Business and Reconciliation: An Update Exploring the Performance of Public Companies in Canada, reviewed company disclosures using a broad set of indicators to measure  progress in advancing reconciliation since the release of a benchmark report in 2017. Research on a sample of 78 companies found a 26 percent increase in the number of companies stating that they prioritize employment of Indigenous people, up from 13 percent in 2016. In addition, there was a 28 percent increase in companies that...

Survey Launch: Asset Manager Action on Reconciliation

How can we think about and further support asset managers’ action towards advancing reconciliation in Canada? Background Central to the investment process is the relationship between asset owners, such as Indigenous trusts, and their asset managers. However, oftentimes the firms that assist Indigenous decision-makers in overseeing their invested assets have not explicitly adopted a reconciliation and rights recognition lens to their investment policies or processes. As research conducted by SHARE and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) in 2019 illustrates, investment organizations are important actors in the Canadian economy at large.[1] Investment organizations play critical roles as employers, shareholders, and capital providers – as well as...

Standing in solidarity with Indigenous rights-holders in the Maritimes: Investors and fisheries in Canada

By Katherine Wheatley, Shannon Rohan, & Anthony Schein - SHARE Last week, our team watched the escalating violence against Mi’kmaq fishers and started exchanging emails and messages internally: “How much do we know about the Nova Scotia fishery supply chain?” “Which major companies buy Nova Scotia lobster?” “Do seafood sustainability labels have any human rights analysis?” “Has the Fisheries Council of Canada made a public statement?” At first glance, Indigenous fishing rights seemed far removed from the investment context. As we examined the relevant fishery and market dynamics further, we found opportunities for companies, and investors, to uphold Mi’kmaq treaty rights – and their own commitments...