The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce has released a study based on businesses in the province who observed the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30. The study was done in partnership with InputSask, a business insight platform.
In October, the study was conducted online through email with 192 business leaders sent by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber wanted to find out the degree of adoption of the concept of Indigenous engagement and reconciliation across the province.
“We know, as a Chamber, that it’s absolutely critical to the economic and social success of Saskatchewan that we’re much more engaged as a community,” said Steve McLellan, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. “We wanted to make sure our data was current.”
The survey was sent out to 1,500 to 2,000 businesses but not everybody completed the survey, said McLellan.
The report’s key findings show 86 per cent of respondent businesses (165 of 192) undertook activities that recognized the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation while just 14 per cent indicated that no actions were taken.
“In a nutshell, we have found that Saskatchewan businesses are embracing the Indigenous opportunities that are there,” said McLellan. “We’ve also found there’s an enhanced willingness and appetite for everything around reconciliation.”
According to the report, the key findings are:
- 56 per cent of staff wore orange
- 48 per cent of educational resources were shared internally
- 37 per cent of staff were encouraged to learn on their own time
- 24 per cent of staff were given the day off as a paid holiday
- 19 per cent of business operations were suspended for the whole day so that staff could participate in educational activities
- 19 per cent of staff accessed resources provided by the chamber
- 16 per cent educational resources were shared externally
Overall, McLellan said it’s important for every Saskatchewan business to sit down and talk to their staff to figure out how to become better in terms of engaging reconciliation.
“Indigenous employees in businesses make it a better business,” he said. “When Saskatchewan really opens up our arms and hearts, I think the lessons that we will learn and the reconciliation we will achieve will change our province for the better, forever.”