How to Advance Economic Reconciliation through Business Partnership Agreements

April 10, 2019 / DGW Barristers & Soliciters / Stacey Jessiman de Nanteuil, Senior Counsel

We’re pleased to share some insightful information from Stacey Jessiman de Nanteuil, Senior Counsel for DGW Law. They help Indigenous communities and their business partners negotiate agreements that advance economic reconciliation.

We’re sharing her advice on drafting partnership agreements that help prevent expensive disputes.

What does “economic reconciliation” mean?
Economic reconciliation involves reconnecting Indigenous communities — whose economies colonialism worked to segregate and destroy — with local, provincial and national economies¹. Reconciliation Canada defines economic reconciliation as creating “meaningful partnerships and mutually beneficial opportunities based on a holistic, values-driven approach to attaining community economic prosperity².”

The words “holistic” and “values-driven” are key. Indigenous cultures are holistic in the way they view economy as being interconnected with land, resources, politics, ceremony and spirituality. And, while profits are a priority to any business, the shareholder of an Indigenous corporation is the community itself, not a shareholder that will disappear when it makes sense to cash out. So, the values and goals in an Indigenous partnership involve not only maximizing profits but also economic development that makes communities stronger long-term.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (the “TRC”), in its Final Report, set forth 10 principles to guide reconciliation efforts. Principle 9 is especially relevant to economic reconciliation. It states that reconciliation requires trust building, joint leadership, accountability, transparency and a substantial investment of resources.

How can you honour and incorporate these aspects of Principle 9 into your business partnership agreements?

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