From Reconciliation to Reciprocity: Top Five Ways to Expand Your Knowledge

From Reconciliation to Reciprocity

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations are a foundational piece of our country’s shared history but seven years since its release, what meaningful action has taken place in philanthropy to ensure justice for Indigenous communities? As funding disparities persist and old models of giving perpetuate our past relations, how can we move forward from the rhetoric of reconciliation to true reciprocity? A future that goes beyond equity to sovereignty where Indigenous communities determine their own unique solutions.


What we learned

On June 8, 2022, Together, with a leading group of panelists all belonging to Turtle Island:

K’aayhlt’aa Haanas Valine Brown is an organizer, communications professional, and devoted Haida citizen belonging to the K’aawas Eagle Clan.

Jess H̓áust̓i (Housty) is a Haíɫzaqv (Heiltsuk) parent, writer, and land-based educator living in and working from her unceded ancestral homelands in Bella Bella.

Itoah Scott-Enns is Tłı̨chǫ and was born and raised in Denendeh. She worked for several years as Executive Director of the Arctic Funders Collaborative, where she worked closely with philanthropic funders to build good relationships with Indigenous communities across the Arctic.

Lindsay (Swooping Hawk) Kretschmer is German, and Mohawk and she was born and raised in Toronto. She has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly 20 years. She currently serves as the Executive Director for Aboriginal Legal Services.

We embarked on a discussion on the collective impact that is required in philanthropy to fundamentally shift the narrative of reconciliation to one that is focused on how, we can co-create reciprocity - whether it be by funding the groundbreaking work of Indigenous community groups, individually advocating for change within our communities or focusing on expanding our collective knowledge. Together, we learned that our actions must be meaningful and ongoing. Learn more about how you can take action in your own way today.

Replay this important discussion today.


Top Five Ways to Expand Your Knowledge


1. Know the history and path forward


2. Do additional reading to more deeply understand reciprocity


3. Media to follow and voices to amplify


4. Support Indigenous-led and serving organizations and philanthropy

  • Research organizations helping their communities to thrive, and learn about who leads the organization, who designs and delivers the programming and for whom
  • Listen first then, as relationships develop, consider offering to share knowledge and skills or connections in ways that are agreed to and helpful
  • If you are granting, remember to give with an equity-lens and make multi-year, unrestricted grants based on trust
  • If you are in the sector, consider joining The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada or the Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund


5. Make it a priority to continuously support Indigenous Communities

  • Support equity-driven Indigenous businesses & social enterprises
  • Invest responsibly