BMO and the FCCQ release new report on social and business value of strengthening Indigenous relations
BMO Financial Group and the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ) today presented their new report: Bâtir un capital de confiance [building trust equity].
In addition to the economic and social hardship brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been unfortunate events affecting Indigenous communities nationwide.
Against this backdrop, BMO leaders in Quebec met in 2021 with a dozen Indigenous managers and entrepreneurs from different nations to elicit their comments on how to develop economic ties between Quebeckers and Indigenous peoples. This report aims to educate and raise awareness among Quebec’s business communities on the economic and social value of strengthening relations with Indigenous peoples, particularly in a context where Quebec is facing a labour shortage and Indigenous communities have a dynamic demographic and a large number of young people who want to grow personally and professionally.
“This report is not an end, but a beginning. It opens a dialogue between Quebec and Indigenous business people, and it signals a lasting commitment. We also hope that a permanent forum for dialogue between Quebec and Indigenous business communities will be developed,” said Claude Gagnon, President, BMO Financial Group Quebec.
As part of this initiative, BMO and the FCCQ will call on the government to work together on implementing certain recommendations:
For Quebec’s business communities:
- Establish reconciliation tables in each region between the local and Indigenous business communities so they can get to know each other better and see potential exchanges in terms of labour, local purchasing, and business partnerships.
- Identify Quebecois and Indigenous mentors in each region who can act as guides and advisors in local collaborative economic development projects.
For Canadian, Quebec and municipal governments:
- Facilitate the hiring of Indigenous workers through incentives such as tax credits and internships for Indigenous job candidates.
- Integrate Indigenous purchasing into the local purchasing strategies of governments and municipalities with an Indigenous community procurement target.
“Building a capital of trust with Indigenous communities is essential for the Quebec business community. In this sense, we are proud to join BMO for this report aimed at strengthening business relations between Quebecers and Indigenous communities. This is an essential first step in forging strong links as well as in developing new economic opportunities”, said Charles Milliard, President and CEO of the FCCQ.
BMO is committed to progress for Indigenous communities across three pillars that reflect our response to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission calls to action for corporate Canada: employment, education and economic empowerment. An Indigenous Advisory Council comprised of First Nations, Métis and Inuit leaders nationwide guides and advises BMO in relation to these three areas of focus. Key initiatives and outcomes include education, employment and economic empowerment.
BMO supports Indigenous communities with more than $15 million in pledges and contributions to areas including education, healthcare, and more. BMO is the only bank to have received Gold level Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) certification by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) six consecutive times.
The full report can be found here.