At First Peoples Group, we approach every aspect of our work with Reconciliation at the forefront. In recent years, Reconciliation has taken its rightful place as a priority in many organizations, schools, and governments, and may take on different meanings depending on the context. At First Peoples Group, Reconciliation is about a commitment to relationship; with us, with others, and with the land.
We must commit to deepening our relationships with ourselves. When reflecting on ourselves, we must commit to unlearning, relearning and learning about the histories of the land we are on, and what our role might be in the journey of Reconciliation. This may require difficult and challenging conversations, coming to terms with misinformation we had learned in our adolescence, and a reframing of what it means to live on these lands.
We must also commit to our relationships with others. To re-write our relationship with one another, we can turn to principles such as the Seven Grandfather teachings from the Anishinaabe: honesty, bravery, respect, love, wisdom, humility and truth. We may also look to original agreements made on these lands such as Kaswentha, or the Two Row Wampum Belt, which teach us about the importance of peace, friendship, and permanence of meaningful relationships.
We must commit to our relationships with the lands we live on, work on, and play on. There are lessons that live within the grasses, within the marshes, and within the waters. Our Mother Earth has plenty to say, and it is our responsibility to listen and ensure our actions are in harmony with her wishes.
Lastly, at First Peoples Group, Reconciliation is about ensuring the centring of maternal thought and energies. Traditionally, many Indigenous communities were governed by women. Women were the decision makers. Women were the drivers. The health and wellbeing of entire villages depended on the women.
That is why our firm is led by a network of Indigenous women. For us, moving forward in our Reconciliation journey means centring the voices of Indigenous women. Progress doesn’t always mean find a new process or a new way of doing things but can mean a return to the way we have carried ourselves; a return to our traditional ways of knowing, being and doing.