Coast Funds Contributes to a New Guide for Indigenous Investors

A new guide by the Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative (RRII) outlines how Indigenous investors can ensure that their investments align with their community’s values and long-term vision. Image courtesy of RRII.

The Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative (RRII) has released a new essential guide for Indigenous investors: “Investing for Today, Tomorrow, and Future Generations: A Guide for Indigenous Investors.” This one-of-a-kind resource outlines how Indigenous trustees and other investors can ensure that their investments align with their community’s values and long-term vision.

As explained by RRII in an email announcement: “Drawing from the expertise of Indigenous trustees, service providers, and case studies from trusts and other investors across North America, this guide identifies steps that Indigenous investors can take to ensure that the assets entrusted to their care are invested in ways that support their communities today, tomorrow, and for future generations.”

The RRII website further explains that, “The recommendations in the guide include encouraging trusts to incorporate a statement of values into their investment policy statement; talking with external agents and advisors about their values, beliefs and knowledge of Indigenous history; and identifying opportunities to invest in the Indigenous economy.”

In 2019, Coast Funds released new responsible investment guidelines that advocate for the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

A case study in the RRII guide highlights how in 2017, Coast Funds embarked on a review of its historical proxy voting guidelines to better understand how its proxies were being voted. This process led to the release of new responsible investment guidelines by Coast funds in 2019 which provided its asset managers with direction on how its voting rights should be executed, particularly on votes relating to the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“In our role as an Indigenous-led charitable foundation that finances First Nations’ efforts to strengthen human well-being and to fulfill their inherent stewardship responsibilities across coast British Columbia, we feel it is essential for Coast Funds to continually assess and evolve our socially responsible investment practices,” said Chris Trumpy, Investment, Finance, and Audit Committee Chair for Coast Funds. “We hope our efforts to recognize the rights of Indigenous Peoples through responsible shareholder advocacy are adopted more broadly by foundations, pension funds, trusts and universities across Canada and eventually, globally.”

The Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative is a partnership between the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association and the Shareholder Association for Research and Education. Download the full guide from the RRII website.