Advancing Reconciliation through Responsible Investment
Coast Funds is working to align our investment strategies with our values, including recent work to conduct a proxy voting audit. Responsible investment has emerged as one of the many paths organizations can take to advance reconciliation.
Since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its 94 Calls to Action in 2015, governments, businesses, and individuals are examining how they can improve and change their processes and assumptions to advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
One recent undertaking is to align our investment policies and guidelines with our values and the TRC’s calls to action. We recently underwent a proxy voting audit, with the help of the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE), that helped us develop our own proxy voting guidelines to include Indigenous Rights, climate change, and other environmental and social concerns.
Institutional investors in Canada are responsible for investing one of the largest pools of capital in the country.
Reconciliation through responsible investment has emerged as one of the many paths organizations can and should take. A recent guidebook, released by the Reconciliation & Responsible Investment Initiative (RRII), notes that “institutional investors in Canada are responsible for investing one of the largest pools of capital in the country,” and invest in all sectors of the economy.
Investors have a responsibility then to embed reconciliation and the rights of Indigenous Peoples into their investments. The guide lays out key steps for investors to follow including investing in the Indigenous economy; advancing awareness about Indigenous Rights, history, and culture; recognizing those rights; building respectful relationships; and embedding Indigenous Rights into investment policies and practices.
The guidebook was released shortly after a forum organized by SHARE and the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association (NATOA) that focused on Reconciliation and the Indigenous Economy. The forum aimed to “establish a clear focus on the leadership needed to increase investments in the Indigenous economy.
“Building on the premise that Indigenous people have been systematically excluded from the economic table of this country over time, the forum generated thoughtful insights into the role of the investor in economic reconciliation today. It offered the space to connect with Indigenous leaders, businesses, philanthropists and asset managers to facilitate new opportunities for investment in the Indigenous economy.”
At Coast Funds, we are proud to be setting a new standard for philanthropy in Canada with the support of organizations like SHARE and The Circle. There are a growing number of organizations and resources dedicated to advancing reconciliation through responsible investment, a few of which are listed below: