Building our capacity to engage effectively with Indigenous peoples and communities was an important objective in 2022. This included diverse and Indigenous-led cultural awareness training at many of our operations as well as specific training for environmental-management staff on key aspects of engagement and information sharing with local First Nations.
In general, the cultural awareness training we provided focused on deepening understanding of the harms inflicted on Indigenous peoples, and of how their values and worldviews intersect with businesses and workplaces such as Paper Excellence’s.
At Howe Sound, we developed an online Indigenous cultural awareness training module which was well received this year. In early 2023, it was fully integrated into our new learning management system and made a standard part of employee onboarding at this operation.
At our Skookumchuck mill, the cultural awareness training session was led by representatives of the Ktunaxa Nation, and held at the site of a former residential school that the Ktunaxa have transformed into a resort. It included a “blanket exercise” which powerfully illustrated the shrinking space Indigenous people have been allowed to occupy over earlier periods of Canadian history. Hear Khushbu Vandara’s perspective above.