TAS is listening, learning, and building relationships with Indigenous organizations.
TAS believes our industry has a significant role to play in advancing Truth and Reconciliation. The City of Toronto recently released its Reconciliation Action Plan, which builds on and is guided by The Calls to Action set out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions final report (2015), the principles detailed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) and the Calls for Justice outlined by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2019).
We, at TAS, have been putting real thought into to how we can learn from these resources and best contribute to this important process. As a first step, we’re listening, learning, and building relationships with Indigenous organizations we are inspired by, to see how we can support their work, collaborate, or build our own internal capacity. On this National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, we want to highlight some Indigenous organizations we either work with already, hope to in the future, or simply admire.
- Shared Path Consultation Initiative works towards a future in which Indigenous voices, obligations, and rights form a sustained and integral part of how we share land and water, particularly with respect to land-use planning law, policy, and governance in Ontario. TAS is working with Shared Path to deliver a Truth and Reconciliation Learning Program for #TeamTAS to help us build internal capacity to effectively advance Truth and Reconciliation actions at our projects. To get a sense of what we’re learning about, check out this Shared Path and ULI Toronto webinar: 13,000 years of Indigenous History in the GTA – And Why It Matters to Planning and Development.
- The Bowery Project believes that vacant spaces should be used to grow food. Hundreds of pounds of herbs and leafy greens have been harvested from our sites at 2 Tecumseth Street and now at 38 Walmer Road, used by local neighbours, donated to local restaurants and social service programs including the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT).The NCCT empowers the Indigenous community in Toronto by providing programs that support their spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental well-being.
- First Story Toronto researches and preserves the Indigenous history of Toronto to build awareness of and pride in the long Indigenous presence and contributions to the city. We worked with First Story to deliver a neighbourhood walking tour around our site at The Walmer Road Baptist Church in the Annex so community members could learn about and honour histories and peoples that predate the church.
- The Mississaugas of the Credit Business LP (MCB-LP) develops and manages a portfolio of for-profit enterprises for its sole shareholder, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN). The goal of Mississaugas of the Credit Business Limited Partnership is to contribute to the self-sufficiency of the Nation. The treaty lands of MCFN include almost all of Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe, and the MCB-LP has a wide range of sub-contracting services that the real estate development sector can work with.
- The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. With two national programs, Legacy Schools and Legacy Spaces, DWF provides access to education on the true history of Indigenous people in Canada and the history and legacy of Residential Schools, encouraging “reconciliACTION” by way of programming and events.
We’re at the very beginning of our Truth and Reconciliation journey. We have a lot to learn, and we know we have a long way to go. Here at TAS, we often say that ‘we can’t do it alone.’ We encourage others in our industry to share with us the organizations and people who inspire them, so that we may learn from each other as we move forward.