Commitment to Social Action
Our organization prides itself as an Indigenous-led organization working to empower Indigenous peoples through clean energy. Our work affects systems change through clean energy which increases equity and self-determination of Indigenous peoples.
The Indigenous communities we have the privilege of working with, continue to experience the impacts of colonization, on-going systemic racism and violence. We know too, that Black people and People of Colour face their own realities of racism in Canada and hope our work will affect change for them as well.
With guidance from our Board of Directors, Advisory Council, and Staff Team, we have identified the following commitments for how we can continue to grow our impact when it comes to equity in Canada. These actions are reflective of ICE’s approach to its work: positivity and inspiration. Our commitments focus on showcasing a positive approach to change that comes through leading by example. Given the nature of our organization, our actions focus on equity and anti-racism work primarily related to Indigenous peoples.
Beyond inequalities in terms of race, we also know that people who identify as women, LGBTQIA2S+, and/or with disabilities, all face their own forms of discrimination, often intersecting with their identity as Indigenous, Black, or Person of Colour. ICE is firmly committed acting on these important, ethical imperatives. We have already taken small steps in this regard (including being a signatory on the Equal By 30 initiative). As we put the actions below into practice, we will look for opportunities to engage and support people, particularly Indigenous people, who share these identities.
Some of the actions below are already being implemented across our programs and operations. Others require some development to be thoughtfully put into practice. We welcome input and suggestions as we continue to learn how to affect more change. We also call on everyone within the ICE community to think of ways they can join us in actioning these commitments for themselves.
Commitments to Social Action
Swipe through to read our commitments to social action
2. Integrating Culture
Culture is central to identity. Understanding, appreciating, and creating space for the expression of culture in our work ensures we remain grounded in Indigenous worldviews. By integrating culture throughout our programming, we help break down walls between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. We commit to integrating culture throughout our work and sharing it with our partners by:
i. Dedicating space for cultural teachings, activities, and language within Team retreats, meetings, and public events hosted by ICE.
ii. Having an Indigenous Elder participate at events for their ceremonial opening and closing, along with being available to speak with participants, where appropriate about Indigenous culture. Alongside this, we will also engage an in-house Elder to support the cultural needs of our staff.
iii. Accommodating time for employees to be on the land for cultural practices and traditions through our vacation and volunteer policies.
3. Hiring and Supporting Indigenous, Black, and other People of Colour
One of the key actions we can take is emphasizing hiring and supporting Indigenous people and their businesses. The commitments below have an explicit focus on Indigenous people however we will also be conscious of opportunities to support Black people and People of Colour. We commit to this action by:
i. Continuing to prioritize hiring First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people.
ii. Reviewing our hiring practices to identify ways to increase Indigenous applicants and address any hiring biases that exist.
iii. Supporting BIPOC businesses when contracting services for programming such as catering, transportation, photography/videography, etc.
4. Educating Ourselves and Our Colleagues
Learning is essential to change. Education is how we grow and find better ways to affect the change we want to see. We are committing to the following actions to ensure our team and partners are continuously learning how systemic racism is at play in all our work. We will integrate these opportunities to learn in different ways and magnitudes across our programs based on the design and delivery of the program. It is critical to note that these actions will be open to our whole team with a focus on our non-Indigenous team members and partners. It will also be delivered in a way that recognizes, honours, and respects the lived-experiences and historical traumas that may have been experienced by Indigenous team members.
i. Making equity and anti-racism training available for Staff, Advisory Council, and Board, especially non-Indigenous team members. The sessions will include content related to how these factors impact lives today and how to talk to other people about these issues.
ii. Developing onboarding resources and training on equity, anti-racism, Canada’s colonial history, and the connections to clean energy to ensure all new staff understand the intersections of these issues, our work. and how they can take action on a personal level.
iii. Exploring and putting in place practices/tools to support non-Indigenous partners in learning about equity, anti-racism, and Indigenous realities in Canada.
5. Acting on Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action are key pieces of righting past injustices and transforming Canada’s relationship with Indigenous people. As an Indigenous-governed organization, we fully support the implementation of the Calls to Action. We commit to doing our part to act on them because we believe that everyone has a role to play in making them a reality. We’ve identified ways that we can directly support the implementation of several Calls.
i. Incorporating Indigenous language into the programs we run and content we create and encouraging participants to translate our materials into their own language.
ii. Working to address the health gap using energy (especially energy efficiency) as a lever to achieve positive health outcomes in communities.
iii. Supporting clean energy related community-based youth initiatives and national youth programs, especially through our Generation Power initiative (Call to Action 66).
iv. Supporting Indigenous inclusion in media by supporting Indigenous focused programming (such as Power to the People on APTN) and leveraging our profile to showcase and raise awareness of Indigenous clean energy projects and leaders (Call to Actions 84 and 85).
v. Implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for our organization and the approach to project development we promote through our programming (Call to Action 92).