In Summer 2021, the Cathexis team read Bob Joseph’s 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act. We learned about the coordinated, systemic oppression and cultural genocide faced by Indigenous people in Canada in the name of assimilation: how government representatives had moved First Nations to small parcels of land where it was impossible to sustain themselves through their traditional hunting, gathering, or farming; how traditional languages, regalia and Ceremony were banned; and how children were pulled away from their families so they could be “educated” in colonial ways, experiencing abuse and increased mortality in an effort to “kill the Indian in the child”.
Since then, we’ve come to understand there has been a systemic colonial effort to keep us from learning about our shared history. We’re also becoming more aware of the many ways that our privilege has kept us from questioning what we’d learned before.
We’ve pursued opportunities to deepen our understanding of the truth of our colonial history. Our team has also solidified our commitment to doing what we can, as an evaluation firm, to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
Last year, we created our first Reconciliation Action Plan. We’re now sharing it with the hope it will inspire others. It’s also a statement of our commitment to reconciliation.
We know it can be hard to follow through on good intentions when things get busy in a fast-paced consulting firm. This plan will hold us accountable for slowing down and doing the important work that needs to happen as part of reconciliation.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan is a living document, and we welcome community input. Thus far, we’ve been humbled to have the contributions of the entire Cathexis team, plus our friends at Reciprocal Consulting who provided generous feedback.
We’d love for you to learn more about our journey to creating this action plan! If you’re attending the Canadian Evaluation Society’s annual conference this June in Quebec City, add us to your must-see list. Melissa and Liz from Cathexis and Kim and Sofia from Reciprocal Consulting are on the conference program with a 15-minute presentation to share our process for developing this action plan (catch us Tuesday at 11:00AM).
Bonus! We’ve created a resource to guide you through creating your own personal Reconciliation Action Plan. Let us know if you find it helpful!