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MEC’s journey towards Truth and Reconciliation

September 23, 2022

Found in Community news

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a deeply important day to recognize and commemorate the legacy of Residential Schools in Canada. The significance of the date, September 30, stems from Orange Shirt Day.

We encourage you to learn more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada calls to action, including the responsibilities of organizations, in the Calls to Action report.

Our continued journey

MEC is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, specifically Call to Action 92. In our commitment to reconciliation, we agree to adopt and fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). UNDRIP is a key instrument that sets out minimum standards for the wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples. MEC will apply its principles, norms, and standards to our corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous Peoples and their lands and resources.

Here are the latest steps we’re taking on our continued journey towards Truth and Reconciliation.

The organization

  • We’re working with Archipel Research, an Indigenous-owned and women-led organization, to renew our commitments and further our own journey towards Truth and Reconciliation.
  • We’ve worked alongside Indigenous leaders to expand our internal education, creating an evolving educational hub to connect staff with relevant events and learning opportunities.
  • We have Land Acknowledgement installations in all existing and future MEC stores and we give this acknowledgment at the start of all large gatherings. This is to recognize and respect Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories.
  • We have implemented guidelines for our merchandise and design teams to avoid cultural appropriation when sourcing and designing new products.
  • While September 30 is not a nation-wide statutory holiday, MEC recognizes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a paid day of reflection and action, or a day of paid work.

The outdoors

  • We’re committed to increasing equitable access to the outdoors through community programming, funding and gear donations.
  • We hold all our partners and collaborators accountable to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Truth and Reconciliation commitments.
  • We’re committed to honoring and upholding Indigenous stewardship.
  • We’re committed to increasing awareness around safety in the outdoors and outdoor activities and denouncing violence against Indigenous Peoples.
  • We’re committed to elevating the voices of diverse athletes and community leaders through our MEC Ambassador program.

Economic reconciliation

  • We continue to support partnerships and organizations focused on reconciliation in the outdoors and explore opportunities to deliver product directly to Indigenous communities in need. Recently, we donated $40,000 of gear and technical outdoor clothing to four communities across the country. This gear will support land- and water-based programming.
  • We are long-term partners with Spirit North, a national organization that uses sport and land-based activities to improve the health and well-being of Indigenous youth, empowering them to become unstoppable in sport, school and life. MEC is proud to supply Spirit North with gear and funding for their sport for development programs.
  • We are committed to supporting Indigenous storytellers and will be launching a new grant in spring 2023 to further elevate voices within the community.

MEC's journey towards Truth and Reconciliation continues. We’re proud of the work that's already been done and will continue to take action in addressing reconciliation across the business through partnerships, programs, staffer education and training, to name a few. We’re dedicated to creating change that supports a more equitable and inclusive future.

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