Economic reconciliation aims to create meaningful partnerships and mutually beneficial opportunities based on a holistic, values-driven approach to attaining community economic prosperity. This shared prosperity approach draws on the values of the community to inform the structures, processes, and environments to stimulate action towards community resilience.
Traditional economic development tends to emphasize individual material wealth, often at the expense of community relationships or the health of the physical environment. This contradicts notions of oneness as expressed by Indigenous peoples through the concept of ‘Namwayut – We Are All One.
As a community-led and community defined process, economic reconciliation in any particular community will reflect the values of that community. Reconciliation Canada is piloting a process in which it serves as a facilitator, partnering with communities to coordinate various threads supporting economic reconciliation.
What is Economic Reconciliation?
Economic reconciliation is for all peoples in Canada. It seeks to engage an entire community in an inclusive process of developing shared understanding and agreed-upon values. All people have an opportunity to learn from each other.
Economic reconciliation stimulates concrete action. Although the specific goals and outcomes will be unique to each community, economic reconciliation aims for concrete actions such as creating businesses, modifying the built environment and strengthening institutional capacity to enhance shared prosperity. It is not merely a theoretical exercise.
Economic reconciliation builds upon local heritage and positions communities within broader contexts. The benefits of economic trade at regional and international levels are widely recognized. Economic reconciliation builds on local strengths to forge strong paths within a larger community.
Economic reconciliation employs a holistic view of prosperity. Material prosperity is an important dimension of prosperity. However, material wealth, including how it is generated and spent, is placed within the context of community wellbeing and values.
Structure and Process
Engage in dialogue to revitalize relationships, increase understanding of shared histories, and explore the meaning of reconciliation.
In the first step, a Reconciliation Dialogue Workshop, participants engage within their community to gain a deeper understanding of personal stories and shared histories. This allows participants to build resilient and mutually beneficial relationships, explore shared pathways to reconciliation and to develop reconciliation action plans.
Develop plans in line with community values.
Participants deeply reflect on their values, consider their practical implications, and take steps to implement change. Plans and progress harmonize with local values such that they meaningful and holistically contribute to community wellbeing.
Strengthen local institutions and develop entrepreneurial capacity.
By expanding the capacity of local institutions to function effectively and the ability of individuals to identify opportunities, design and execute business plans, communities are better able to mobilize their energies towards desired, effective ends.
Maintain ongoing reflection of plans and progress.
Ongoing reflection on plans and progress allows the community to reinforce inclusive participation from many community members in order to forge a New Way Forward.
Economic reconciliation is a form of reconciliation in action. It encourages material prosperity within the context of a holistic approach that is consistent with the notion of ‘Namwayut – We Are All One.” The work of reconciliation is multifaceted and ultimately influences every aspect of life. Economic reconciliation works towards building opportunities for all peoples to achieve their full potential and shared prosperity.
We believe that all forms of reconciliation begin with increased understanding and healthy and safe communication resulting in renewed relationships between Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. Our Reconciliation Dialogue Workshop is therefore a pre-requisite to the Economic Reconciliation program.