Canada Post has announced a “reconciliation strategy” to renew its relationship with First Nations, Métis and Inuit people and northern communities.
The strategy reflects Canada Post’s “commitment to undertake shared partnerships” with Indigenous people and Northern communities, according to a Nov. 17 statement issued by the Crown corporation, “and to make real, sustained progress throughout Canada.”
“I’m extremely proud that Canada Post is moving forward with its Indigenous and Northern Reconciliation Strategy,” said Doug Ettinger, Canada Post president and CEO. “It commits us to taking concrete action to renew our long-standing relationship with Indigenous and northern communities.”
The strategy has four key pillars, including:
- improving postal services to Indigenous and northern communities;
- developing and implementing an “Indigenous Procurement Policy”;
- improving Indigenous employment and retention; and
- supporting the viability, wellness and safety of Indigenous communities.
“Canada Post is a trusted network of people committed to serving every community,” added Ettinger. “How we serve, how we operate and how we make decisions can all have a profound impact across the country.”
Part of improving its postal services for Indigenous and northern communities is strengthening its retail network in those areas.
“The tailored approach allows for some communities to see new full-service post offices, while others will see existing services improved,” according to the Nov. 17 statement. “Options include centralized delivery such as parcel lockers and improved access to financial, remittance and government services. Improved service will foster local economic activity and provide greater access to the e-commerce economy.”
Canada Post’s Indigenous Procurement Policy is currently in development and expected to take effect in the second quarter of 2021. It will see the Crown corporation “redefine its business relationship with Indigenous-owned companies based on trust, economic reconciliation and good business sense,” reads the Nov. 17 statement.
“The redefined relationship also extends to Canada Post’s current Canadian suppliers to ensure they engage more with Indigenous communities. That could take the form of partnerships; Indigenous workforce apprenticeships, training, or development; and subcontracting.”
In partnership with its unions and Indigenous communities, Canada Post is also working to improve Indigenous recruitment and retention “in every employee classification, integrating Indigenous perspectives, knowledge and best practises,” according to the recent statement.
“Improving Indigenous representation in Canada Post’s workforce to reflect the country and the communities it serves should lead to better outcomes for, and relationships with, Indigenous communities.”
Lastly, in collaboration with community leaders and local Indigenous law enforcement, Canada Post will boost its efforts to serve Indigenous and northern communities safely.
“This includes working to reduce the non-mailable matter, such as alcohol and illicit drugs, that enter these communities.”