October 25, 2021 / All Stories, Community, Company News, Featured, Indigenous, Mercer Celgar, Mercer Forestry Services, Mercer Peace River Mercer’s Canadian Operations and the Shared Path of Truth and Reconciliation With Canada’s inaugural Day for Truth and Reconciliation having come and passed, the time for collective remembrance and reflection on the tragic legacy of residential schools does not end. Mercer continues to reflect on our role in this important process, along with the ways to support active and meaningful participation in this journey. Our organization has many positive relationships with Indigenous peoples; a sound policy framework; a commitment to Progressive Aboriginal Relations; and important achievements in the space of meaningful consultation – however, as with all parts of our business, there is always room for improvement and more that we can do in response to the Calls to Action. With that, we are pleased to share that we have initiated two partnerships to support and strengthen our commitment to Indigenous peoples. National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) is dedicated to community healing, commemoration, and public education. This consists of hosting annual virtual dialogue events, including the events hosted online this year, and providing year-round educational resources for schools and the general public. Their work in schools includes a youth leadership program called Imagine a Canada that engages youth through art that envisions a Canada reconciled. To support commemoration and healing for Indigenous survivors and communities, the NCTR also manages Na-mi-quai-ni-mak (I remember them), a fund available to support small, community-based projects that further healing and remembrance related to residential schools in Canada. The NCTR team is excited to work with us and to support our desire to continue our learning and awareness journey across all of our teams in Canada. Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards Program This award program is provided by Indspire, an Indigenous organization that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. Mercer will invest in bursaries for four students per year – awarded to Indigenous students in British Columbia and Alberta with demonstrated financial need to attend post-secondary institutions. Each dollar that we invest will be matched by the federal government, extending the support that these students will receive. This impactful program also facilitates access to mentors and other resources to champion student success during their post-secondary years. Local Initiatives In addition to the newly established partnerships, Mercer is also focusing on strengthening relationships at the local level – supporting Indigenous organizations in their work to foster truth, healing, and reconciliation. Our local efforts in Alberta and British Columbia have included team member attendance and sponsorship of local commemoration, awareness, and healing events and ceremonies, as well as supports for: Indigenous women’s empowerment programming; educational resources for local schools; Indigenous community outreach and youth programming; and land-based learning and healing programs. We look forward to working with and learning from these groups, both locally and nationally, to support strong, enduring relationships with Indigenous peoples to create meaningful and lasting positive impacts to ensure healthy, vibrant communities for us all.