Our commitment to Indigenous peoples

July 30, 2021

An image of an orange square that represents the Indigenous community
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We are a proud Canadian company, and we understand and acknowledge this country’s past and ongoing challenges, and our relationship with the Indigenous peoples who called Canada home long before us. The confirmation of children who were taken from their families and lost their lives in the residential school system, and stories told by survivors, leaves us with heavy hearts and a greater urgency to strengthen our commitment to truth and reconciliation. We’ve been doing the work to learn and unlearn, build relationships with Indigenous peoples, and contribute to broader social change and healing.

“Our commitment to Indigenous peoples is deeply personal,” says Zebrina Kassam, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Loblaw’s Inclusion Council Co-Chair. “We have thousands of team members who are Indigenous, and we serve Indigenous peoples every day in our stores. They are looking to us to create change. We value them, and we are listening.”

Loblaw and its many retail banners and brands are taking action to this effect, including:

  • Building relationships through our partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, which connects us with more than 1,000 businesses operated by Indigenous peoples.

  • Forming a commitment to achieve a Progressive Aboriginal Relations Certification to signal that we are good business partners, a great place to work, and are committed to Indigenous communities.

  • Sponsoring the 2021 Indigenous Women in Leadership Awards to celebrate the accomplishments of Indigenous women.

  • Providing mandatory and optional education and opening conversations with our teams about Indigenous peoples, the history of residential schools, and systemic racism, which includes hosting an Indigenous Book Club and amplifying stories like Clara’s on embracing her Indigenous heritage.

  • Creating an Indigenous inclusion task force within our employee resource group network to connect with Indigenous colleagues and allies and effect change throughout our organization.

  • Contributing $300,000 to The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

  • Collecting voluntary self-identification information to monitor and improve Indigenous representation in our organization.

  • Partnering with Indigenous talent, including 2 Spirit Ojibway artist, Patrick Hunter, to design land acknowledgement plaques in certain stores, and experienced consultant, specializing in Indigenous relations and inclusion, Lea Nicholas-MacKenzie.

  • Matching our stores with food banks and food recovery agencies to address food insecurity within Indigenous communities by providing healthy options.

  • Providing fundraising support for President’s Choice Children’s Charity’s High School Container Farm Projects, which empower students in Northern communities experiencing limited access to fresh produce, to provide for themselves and their community by growing food in a high-tech, controlled environment.

  • Supporting organizations that are committed to Indigenous-led conservation, such as our partnership with World Wildlife Fund Canada, and actively exploring ways we can help further these efforts.

"These commitments are rooted in our long-standing belief that businesses can help generate have a positive impact in the communities they serve. We’ve spent the past decade building a strong foundation around diversity, equity and inclusion, which has grown and evolved through the years,” says Greg Ramier, President Market Division and Loblaw’s Inclusion Council Co-Chair. “We also recognize that there’s a lot more work to be done.”

Join us in taking action by doing your own research, listening to and amplifying the voices of Indigenous peoples, and supporting Indigenous-owned businesses and brands. Learn more by reviewing the 94 Calls to Action shared by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

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