Telus released its 2021 Reconciliation and Indigenous Connectivity Report on November 29. The report shares inspiring stories of the transformative benefits that connectivity brings to newly connected Indigenous communities.
This year’s report also includes Telus’ first-ever Indigenous reconciliation action plan. Guided by Indigenous voices and Indigenous-led frameworks of reconciliation, Telus has formalized its commitment to reconciliation, becoming the first technology company in Canada to develop and launch a public Indigenous reconciliation action plan.
In 2021, Telus connected 48 Indigenous lands to its advanced broadband networks and 382 Indigenous lands to the transformative power of 5G. In support of its continued efforts to connect Indigenous communities to the life-changing power of high-speed internet and mobility solutions, Telus developed its Indigenous reconciliation strategy and Indigenous reconciliation action plan through an inclusive, culturally relevant process.
Telus hosted two rounds of engagement over 18 sessions with Indigenous leaders, Elders, subject matter experts, and Indigenous team members from across its serving areas, and Telus said it is committed to having this manner of engagement as a cornerstone of its actions moving forward.
“At Telus, we have a longstanding dedication to working collaboratively with Indigenous peoples through meaningful engagement to provide world-leading connectivity, tools and resources that enable unique community, social, economic, and governance goals as showcased throughout the report,” said Tony Geheran, executive vice-president and CCO at TELUS. “We take our responsibility very seriously, and we are becoming more intentional in our commitments to reconciliation through both strong relationships and supporting the recommendations of Indigenous-led frameworks for reconciliation.”
TELUS’ Indigenous reconciliation action plan identifies four pillars that can drive meaningful change and includes measurable targets and timelines for each.
– Connectivity: Connecting an additional 20 communities to broadband by 2023
– Enabling social outcomes: Launching the $1 million Telus Indigenous Communities Fund, which provides grants of up to $50,000 to Indigenous-led organizations focused on mental health and well-being, language and cultural revitalization, access to education, and/or community building
– Cultural responsiveness and relationships: Working with Indigenous educators to develop and deliver e-learning material and ensuring learning opportunities and resources are available and accessible to TELUS team members
– Economic reconciliation: Achieving Bronze Progressive Aboriginal Relations status by demonstrating sustained leadership in our commitment to working with Indigenous businesses and prosperity in Indigenous communities by 2024
In 2022, an Indigenous advisory council consisting of Indigenous leaders, subject matter experts, and Elders within our serving areas will be established to provide ongoing advice and guidance on the implementation of Telus’ reconciliation actions.
“Indigenous peoples have struggled for more than 150 years due to the imposition of the written system on our traditional oral system. Through understanding Indigenous Ways, I believe reconciliation can be achieved,” said Elder Reg Crowshoe, former Piikani First Nation Chief, Treaty 7. “I’m happy TELUS is looking in the direction of reconciliation while learning from Indigenous knowledge. Their understanding of our ways will make it so that their goals and our goals as Indigenous peoples are the same”
To further its commitments, Telus has embarked on the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’ Progressive Aboriginal Relations certification program, the premier corporate social responsibility program with an emphasis on Indigenous relations.
“Telus’ commitment to an Indigenous reconciliation action plan exemplifies the four pillars of CCAB’s Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program: Leadership Actions, Employment, Business Development, and Community Relationships,” said Tabatha Bull, President and CEO of Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.