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RRC partners with Winnipeg and Indigenous Chambers of Commerce to provide free reconciliation training for businesses

August 3, 2021

In honour of the 150th anniversary of Treaty 1, Red River College, the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce have come together to make truth and reconciliation training more accessible for business owners by offering one free month of the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation Education e-modular training program to Chamber members.

This initiative is focused on helping businesses learn their role in Call to Action #92 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and will create a foundation of knowledge for businesses and their teams to build on. The 4 Seasons program has been offered to RRC staff and faculty for nearly a year, and is part of the College’s truth and reconciliation training, which is complemented by engagement and events.

“Red River College has long worked with industry to anticipate the training needed next to advance our province,” says RRC President Fred Meier. “As a leader in preparing Manitoba’s workforce and as a partner to the business community, we are committed to building and offering learning opportunities that will advance reconciliation and respectful working relationships in our communities, and we will have more to offer in the coming year.

“We are proud to play a part and contribute to educating our community on the history and truths of the past and present, and the landscape of reconciliation in Treaty 1, but we also acknowledge that reconciliation will not look like one action or initiative. It will be a fluid, ongoing process that will need to adapt as we learn, and it will take time to heal relationships and make the necessary changes.”

The initiative will start with a panel discussion, Reconciliation in Action: Understanding Call to Action 92, on Tue., Aug. 31, so members have an opportunity to learn more about the program and the responsibility of businesses in truth and reconciliation before gaining access to 4 Seasons in September.

Chamber members and RRC staff will also be invited to attend two debriefing sessions on Tue., Sept. 14 and 28, to discuss the training content, learning experiences and next steps in a safe, supportive environment.

“We know the first step to enacting and embedding reconciliation is learning and understanding the truth of Canada’s history, and the legacy of colonization in all areas of our lives, including education and business,” says Winnipeg Chamber President Loren Remillard. “The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to supporting businesses on their journey towards reconciliation. It is imperative that businesses embrace initiatives that advance inclusivity to attract and retain talent, and to reflect its customers and our community. This opportunity will build on the resources we outline in our Truth and Reconciliation Roadmap.”

The 4 Seasons of Reconciliation is a new multimedia program been developed through collaboration and co-creation with the First Nations University of Canada, its Indigenous Advisory Circle, and Indigenous contributors.

The training creates an understanding of the history of colonization in Canada and how it impacts current issues and Indigenous peoples today through engaging slideshows, short videos, documentary films and mini-quizzes. It also provides the knowledge required for informed, respectful and effective engagement in the classroom and workplace.

“The Indigenous Chamber of Commerce understands that we can create the partnerships and synergies important to the growth and development of all business in this province,” says Indigenous Chamber Chair Jamie Dumont.

“Today is not only an important day to acknowledge the anniversary of Treaty 1, reflect on our collective history and learn more about where you live, but to also do a check-in on your reconciliation progress and plans — whether that be personal or for your business. Treaty 1 is home, and now more than ever, it’s vital that we recommit to working in collaboration to honour respectful Treaty relationships that operate on mutual understanding and thriving.”