The path to advancing Reconciliation at the CER

Reconciliation Strategic Priority

We aim to transform the way we work with the Indigenous peoples of Canada, with a commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, by enhancing their involvement in how we discharge our mandate recognizing their unique cultures, knowledge and histories; building renewed relationships based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership; improving the cultural competency of the CERFootnote 1 and its staff; and driving meaningful change in the CER’s requirements and expectations of regulated industry.

The journey

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Graphic of CER’s path to advancing Reconciliation.

The CER's Reconciliation Strategic Priority Statement provides a set of objectives and commitments that ground the CER’s approach to advancing Reconciliation within our mandate. Three key objectives, identified here, outline the key elements of the Reconciliation Strategic Priority Implementation Plan and provide a clear action plan for how the CER will move forward towards advancing Reconciliation.

CER Approach to Advancing Reconciliation: Guiding Principles and Values

The CER recognizes that Reconciliation is a journey. Underpinning the CER Reconciliation Strategic Priority are a series of Guiding Principles and Values that have been developed to serve as guideposts for the CER as we continue this important journey.  These Guiding Principles and Values are intended to frame the implementation of the CER’s Reconciliation Strategic Priority; foster a shared understanding of the role the CER can play in advancing Reconciliation, and drive CER behaviours as this work is advanced.

The Guiding Principles reflect what the CER understands will be required to move forward on our path to advancing Reconciliation. They give life to the key objectives set out in the Reconciliation Strategic Priority and will serve as benchmarks for action as the Reconciliation Strategic Priority Implementation Plan is advanced.

The Guiding Values help to frame the behavioural markers that will inform how the CER approaches our Reconciliation work. Much in the same way that the values enumerated in the Values and Ethics Code for the Public SectorFootnote 2 and the CER Code of Conduct guide the CER in all activities related to our professional duties, the Guiding Values set out below are meant to provide specific guidance to CER employees, the Commission, the Board of Directors, and the Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) as we approach Reconciliation in the context of our work. A commitment to these specific values is essential as the CER carries out the important work of advancing Reconciliation.

These Guiding Principles and Values have been developed based on the advice and work of the IAC (including a consideration of the guiding principles the IAC and the CER Board of Directors jointly identified in the IAC Terms of Reference), as well as members of the CER Indigenous Employees Circle. They have also been informed by a number of framing documents, including the commitments enumerated in the preamble to the CER Act, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the principles enumerated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report and the Report’s accompanying Calls to Action and the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls including the Calls for Justice, and the Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.

The CER has developed a set of guiding principles and values for its Reconciliation work that is informed by, but not identical to, the various iterations of principles found in the many framing documents referenced above.  Each of the various sets of principles in these documents have their own unique purpose and focus, and while helpful and instructive, do not necessarily provide the CER what it needs to both summarize and communicate the organization’s desired approach to advance Reconciliation.

The advantage of developing our own Reconciliation Statement is the focus it provides for our strategic priority, and the clarity such a set of principles and values provides to CER staff, partners and the public about how to approach our work.

Guiding Principles:

  • The CER recognizes the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for advancing Reconciliation within our mandate: We understand that implementing the UN Declaration and delivering on our obligations are key to advancing Reconciliation at the CER.
  • The CER recognizes that Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination, realized through their own governance, laws and practices:  The CER will seek to understand the Indigenous laws, practices and ceremonies specific to Indigenous peoples and their territories and how these apply to decision making and operations.
  • Reconciliation requires transformative change; it is about doing things differently, and about doing different things: We will work to move beyond transactional exchanges with Indigenous peoples to forming mutually respectful and collaborative relationships established in the spirit of partnership. We will listen deeply and commit to be creative, innovative, and inclusive of worldviews.
  • Reconciliation requires acknowledging past harms that continue today are barriers to positive and respectful relationships: We will work to identify barriers such as systemic discrimination within the CER and the limitations of colonial structures, and work to address these barriers head on, in a manner that respects the human dignity and rights of Indigenous peoples.
  • Renewing relationships is at the core of Reconciliation: We will invest in long-term relationships with First Nations, Métis Nation, and Inuit partners, in an effort to build knowledge, better understand each other, and find common solutions.  The work and advice of the Indigenous Advisory Committee, and the strong relationships built, will help to advance Reconciliation.   
  • Responsibility for advancing Reconciliation within the CER belongs not only to the CER as an organization, but also to its people: We are committed to implementing systemic changes within the organization, as well as supporting the individual Reconciliation journey of each person at the CER. 
  • Reconciliation is an ongoing process and journey and requires flexibility: We recognize that as relationships evolve and grow, so will our understanding of Reconciliation and we will remain open to this evolution and growth.
  • Advancing Reconciliation is an objective that must be incorporated into every aspect of the CER’s work: We will work to implement a cultural shift in the organization and ensure that Reconciliation is considered at all levels of decision-making and operations.
  • The CER must ensure an outcome-based approach to Reconciliation: We will seek out practical and tangible tools and measures to advance Reconciliation in our work and will report on progress. We recognize that accountability and demonstrable progress are key to building trust.

Guiding Values:








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