Creating a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) - Our Story
September 30th is the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. We thought this would be a good time to share the journey of how Tenfold HR Solutions created our own Reconciliation and Action Plan (RAP) over the last year or so. It took some time for us to pull it together; we had a lot of questions and accessed resources along the way. We hope that sharing how we went about this might be helpful if other organizations are thinking about creating a RAP for their organization.
Tenfold HR Solutions:
We work with organizations big and small, and we are focused on helping strengthen areas that improve employee engagement. These areas include work focused on improving employees’ sense of belonging, focusing on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility. Cultural understanding is foundational, and in Canada, Truth and Reconciliation is essential, but we believe it’s one of many points where an organization like ours can make a difference.
What is a RAP?
A RAP represents the strategic framework for a business that helps them identify ways to foster reconciliation by acknowledging past injustices and promoting mutual respect & understanding concerning Indigenous peoples. We share a future, and the RAP is meant to ensure we have integrated ways to incorporate meaningful change into our business wherever possible.
Why Create a RAP?
We first learned about Reconciliation Action Planning when we heard Annie Korver speak at the bEX conference in 2022. Annie owns Rise Consulting, and their focus is advancing Truth & Reconciliation. Subsequently, we reviewed the TRC’s Calls to Action.
We focused primarily on item #92, which called on businesses like ours to contribute to reconciliation efforts, and we decided that a RAP would be an excellent way to lay out our commitment.
To ensure we were going about things correctly, we signed up for a workshop presented by Rise Consulting, where we were taken through the components of a RAP in more detail. We felt ready to get started with a better understanding of the framework and the steps we would take to build out our plan.
We support our clients with Diversity and Inclusion initiatives on an ongoing basis. Later this year, we attended the IDEA Conference (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility), where we also gathered more information and inspiration, which wasn’t all related to reconciliation. We learned from speakers about the importance of accessibility and where it’s still lacking in business, such as some aspects of the interview process and where employee onboarding could be improved.
Truth & Reconciliation Day
Last year, we didn’t have the plan ready to roll out yet; however, on September 30th of this year, we encouraged our team to take the University of Alberta’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Truth and Reconciliation and attend events in their area. We all jumped on a call the week after, and everyone shared what they had done or learned.
Shares included having learned about Jordan’s Principle, which aspects of the MOOC were covered and what was most enjoyable, and books that had been read, including “7 Fallen Feathers” by Tanya Talaga and another called “21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality. We added those books to the Tenfold Library so they are available for all employees to check out and read throughout the year. Others shared what they had done to recognize the day with their children and what they had learned at school.
This year, we were ready to roll out the RAP. We decided not to wait for September…
On July 17th, 2023, we presented our RAP plan to our Tenfold team with an in-depth presentation. We summarized what we’d done leading up to that point. We reviewed what a RAP is, the TRC and inquiry outcome, relevant history information, and commitment as business owners to answering the 92nd call to action. While most of our employees are already quite knowledgeable, we discussed our actions, the steps we took to learn about our areas of focus, and our RAP plan to build this into our everyday work.
Tenfold RAP Plan:
Our Reconciliation Action Plan has the following four areas of focus:
Educate: We’re committed to continuously learning about Indigenous history, culture, and reconciliation to remain informed and sensitive.
Integrate: Our newfound knowledge enters our policies, training, and procurement practices, allowing us to walk the talk.
Support & Promote: We’re all about empowering Indigenous-owned businesses helping foster economic growth and empowerment within Indigenous communities.
Indigenous Communities: We actively engage with Indigenous peoples and clients, building relationships based on trust, understanding, and respect while fostering inclusion.
Feel free to reach out if you’d like to learn more or discuss how to start your own company’s RAP to further your diversity and inclusion strategy.
For more information on Rise Consulting, please click on the following link: Rise Consulting – A purpose-driven Indigenous-owned national management consultancy supporting Truth and Reconciliation in Canada (riseconsultingltd.ca)
Education from the Source - Fort Edmonton Park for an Exclusive Indigenous Peoples Experience
We didn’t just present and call it a day. After our presentation, we arranged for everyone to head to a new area of Fort Edmonton Park for an exclusive Indigenous Peoples Experience. It was a fantastic way to take what we discussed and make it more meaningful. The ‘experience’ was unlike anything we’d seen before. It was immersive and thoughtfully laid out – essentially a journey through time and the seasons to reflect the indigenous worldview. We won’t be able to do it justice, but we can’t recommend it enough. As we’d booked the experience for our team to attend together, a dedicated guide led our tour, and we could ask questions and participate in a smudging ceremony.
Other Things We’ve Done to Continue the Focus on Reconciliation
We added land acknowledgments to our website, Edmonton – Tenfold HR, and our internal email signatures, an outward demonstration of our commitment.
Learnings during Team Meeting
In subsequent team meetings, we have shared bits of information as we learn them as a group. For example, we shared the Cree name for Edmonton: Amiskwacîwâskahikan. Edmonton is also home to many nations, including the Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Sioux and Métis People.
Awareness & Support
At the bEX conference, we learned about the “Moose Hide” campaign, which is a campaign to bring awareness to their cause. We donated money and ordered 60 moose hides, so whenever possible, our team will be able to display our support and continue to help raise awareness.
Looking Forward for a Brighter Tomorrow
Our journey is far from over. Our awareness has just started as we continue to explore ways to learn more about Indigenous history and experiences.
In 2024, we’re excited to take another step by creating a bursary to support Indigenous individuals pursuing careers in HR, opening doors and creating opportunities.
Our RAP journey speaks to the power of knowledge, empathy, and action. When we know better, we do better. By embracing Indigenous perspectives, we’re shaping a future that’s more inclusive, more equitable, and more respectful of every individual.
Our RAP will guide us as we continue to grow, ensuring that the path we tread is one of reconciliation, understanding, and unity.