TELUS Becomes The First Tech Company In Canada To Publicly Commit To An Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan

Today, TELUS released its 2021 Reconciliation and Indigenous Connectivity Report, an evolution from the annual connectivity report that shares inspiring stories of the transformative benefits that connectivity brings to newly connected Indigenous communities. This year’s report also includes TELUS’ first-ever Indigenous reconciliation action plan. Guided by Indigenous voices and Indigenous-led frameworks of reconciliation, TELUS has proudly formalized our commitment to reconciliation, becoming the first technology company in Canada to develop and launch a public Indigenous reconciliation action plan. 

In 2021, TELUS connected 48 Indigenous lands to our advanced broadband networks and 382 Indigenous lands to the transformative power of 5G. In support of their continued efforts to connect Indigenous communities to the life-changing power of high speed internet and mobility solutions, TELUS developed its Indigenous reconciliation strategy and Indigenous reconciliation action plan through an inclusive, culturally relevant process. The plan was guided by Indigenous voices and frameworks of reconciliation, and leverages their core competencies with an emphasis on meeting the needs of the diverse Indigenous communities in the areas they serve. TELUS hosted two rounds of engagement over 18 sessions with Indigenous leaders, Elders, subject matter experts, and Indigenous team members from across their serving areas, and they are committed to having this manner of engagement as a cornerstone of TELUS’ actions moving forward. 

TELUS’ Indigenous reconciliation action plan identifies four pillars where they believe they can drive meaningful change and includes measurable targets and timelines for each. Their short-term action plan targets include:

  • Connectivity: Connecting an additional 20 communities to broadband by 2023
  • Enabling social outcomes: Launching the $1 million TELUS Indigenous Communities Fund, which provides grants of up to $50,000 to Indigenous-led organizations focused on mental health and well-being, language and cultural revitalization, access to education, and/or community building 
  • Cultural responsiveness & relationships: Working with Indigenous educators to develop and deliver e-learning material and ensuring learning opportunities and resources are available and accessible to TELUS team members
  • Economic reconciliation: Achieving Bronze Progressive Aboriginal Relations status by demonstrating sustained leadership in their commitment to working with Indigenous businesses and prosperity in Indigenous communities by 2024

In 2022, an Indigenous advisory council consisting of Indigenous leaders, subject matter experts, and Elders within their serving areas will be established to provide ongoing advice and guidance on the implementation of TELUS’ reconciliation actions. To ensure Indigenous ways of knowing are implemented throughout the organization, the advisory council will monitor the progress of TELUS’ Indigenous strategies and provide guidance for effective implementation of TELUS’ commitments and targets outlined in the annual Indigenous reconciliation and connectivity report and internal Indigenous reconciliation action plans. Every year, the Indigenous reconciliation action plan will be evaluated and refreshed in collaboration with the Indigenous advisory council.

To further their commitments, TELUS has embarked on the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’ Progressive Aboriginal Relations certification program, the premier corporate social responsibility program with an emphasis on Indigenous relations. 

In addition to the Indigenous reconciliation action plan, the report shares stories of connectivity from Indigenous communities and the projects and benefits that have been made possible by reliable connectivity. Stories vary from utilizing modern technology to maintaining culture through language classes, to supporting wetland rehabilitation to local, community based job creation and training opportunities. The report also highlights TELUS’ collaborations with communities and Indigenous organizations with an emphasis on supporting, developing, and expanding programs that look beyond connectivity to enable social outcomes for communities for longer-term prosperity and success.

By the numbers:

  • 240 Indigenous communities serviced by TELUS
  • 80,000+ people living in Indigenous communities with access to the TELUS PureFibre network 
  • 91 Indigenous communities and 151 Indigenous Lands connected to TELUS PureFibre/Coax
  • 382 Indigenous lands connected to 5G in 2021
  • 48 Indigenous lands expanded or connected to in 2021 to support social, economic, and education outcomes 

Quotes from community leaders featured in the report: 

To learn more about the commitment by TELUS to reconciliation and to read the 2021 Reconciliation and Indigenous Connectivity Report visit telus.com/reconciliation.

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