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Marking the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is meaningful at NATIONAL

September 30, 2022
Marking the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is meaningful at NATIONAL

This year, to mark the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, which takes place on September 30, we focused on education to help our people understand the essence of the process. Our teams designed and produced two webinars for all employees: one on the Two-Eyed Seeing approach, presented in English, and the other on the Pivallianiq Program, presented in French.

NATIONAL also made a donation to support the projects of Le Grand Pas, an organization that works with First Nations and urban Inuit youth.

Two webinars to bring reconciliation one step closer

The Pivallianiq program, "A change for the better" is a good example. It all began in 2011 when a call for projects was launched with the goal of carrying out an awareness and prevention campaign in Nunavik. Many years of presence on the territory have led to an awareness program deployed in fourteen Aboriginal communities that have decided to mobilize to beautify and preserve their living environment. From the maintenance squad to fire and suicide prevention, our efforts have made a difference, with objective indicators, including a 40% decrease in fires in two years, and human successes, with a team integrated into the life of the communities.

Our team also had the opportunity to explore the Two-Eyed Seeing approach, Etuaptmumk, a concept brought to us by Albert Marshall, an elder of the Mi'kmaw Eskasoni Nation. It is an invitation to look at the world and the issues around us from different perspectives, combining our general knowledge with the unique perspective of First Nations. This approach allows us to approach dialogue with greater openness, to learn from each other and build meaningful and sincere relationships. This form of engagement has guided the realization of several mandates for and with First Nations. The example of the design of the brand image of an Indigenous organization focused on wellness and health illustrated the relevance of multiple consultations to find a consensus that takes into account multiple points of view and the knowledge of elders, chiefs, but also professionals present on the ground.

Interestingly, the webinars put forward common elements to ensure a successful relationship and project implementation with First Nations:

  • Respect
  • Diplomacy
  • Listening
  • Trust

No matter where you are in the country, these values take precedence over everything else. Let's keep the habit of looking inclusively at the perspectives around us.