KPMG in Canada Implements Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan
- Multi-year strategy involves all parts of the firm and commits to creating positive and sustainable economic and social benefits for Indigenous Peoples
- Plan was developed in consultation with Indigenous stakeholders
- “A wide-ranging strategy that seeks to raise awareness of the truth about the shared history of our country, build allyship and help create a more inclusive culture.”
KPMG in Canada is answering the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action with its Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan, a comprehensive multi-year strategy that seeks to advance reconciliation by fostering strong relationships with Indigenous communities and businesses. The plan dedicates significant resources and investments to create long-term, sustainable economic and social benefits for Indigenous Peoples.
The plan is closely aligned to the TRC’s call to action #92 (“Business and Reconciliation”) and consists of numerous action items, each of which have key performance indicators (KPI) to measure progress. KPMG’s Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan is a living, breathing document that will evolve over time. Stakeholders from across the firm will be responsible for implementing action items, as well as tracking and reporting on progress. KPMG will publish annual progress reports beginning one year after the plan’s implementation.
“This is a wide-ranging strategy that seeks to raise awareness of the truth about the shared history of our country, build allyship and help create a more inclusive culture by breaking down barriers for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. Everyone at KPMG in Canada will have a stake in the success of the Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan, and it touches all parts of the firm,” says Elio Luongo, CEO and senior partner of KPMG in Canada and Co-Chair of the firm’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (ID&E) Council.
“This isn’t just about investing dollars, it’s about working together to invest time, passion and energy of our people into helping reverse the systemic injustices that still exist today. As one of Canada’s largest professional services firm, we are fortunate to be in a position to help advance reconciliation within the business community, and we hope to inspire other organizations to take action as well,” he adds.
The plan was developed in consultation with various internal and external groups, including KPMG’s National Indigenous Peoples Network (NIPN), Indigenous clients and communities and Acosys, an Indigenous-owned, Indigenous-led consulting firm, which worked with KPMG to align the plan to Indigenous frameworks of reconciliation, the TRC and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
“In developing our action plan, we took the time to engage Indigenous stakeholders and include diverse voices and perspectives to help this plan move forward in a genuinely respectful way,” says Tammy Brown, deputy chair of the board of directors at KPMG in Canada, partner sponsor of the firm’s National Indigenous People’s Network and a member of the Shawanaga First Nation. “As a woman of Ojibway, English and Irish heritage, I am extremely proud to see this plan come to fruition, but our work is just beginning.”
KPMG in Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan has three main pillars, each of which have a subset of defined goals:
Advancing an equitable and inclusive culture where bias and barriers are removed and Indigenous Peoples are supported, can thrive, and achieve their professional goals. This includes:
- Increasing recruitment and hiring of Indigenous Peoples through various mechanisms, including the implementation of a post-secondary recruitment and support strategy for Indigenous post-secondary students. KPMG’s current goal is to more than double representation of Indigenous Peoples firm-wide by October 2025.
- Engaging Indigenous groups and human resources leaders to support the recruitment and advancement of Indigenous Peoples. This will build on the work of KPMG’s specialized recruitment strategist, who works with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
- Enhancing support of educational programs that assist Indigenous Peoples. This will complement and expand on KPMG’s Indigenous Student Internship Program and KPMG’s Indigenous Student Awards, which has provided 114 scholarships to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students since 2012.
See related article: KPMG publishes ESG-focused ‘U.S. Impact Plan’
Image by Tracey Metallic. Source: KPMG.
Building Allyship with Indigenous Peoples by raising awareness about the truth of our shared history internally, with clients, and in corporate Canada to inspire their actions towards reconciliation. This includes:
- Establishing a team and governance structure as well as an Indigenous Advisory Council to support KPMG’s Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan and ensure implementation and accountability within the first year of publication. This includes tracking internal key performance indicators (KPIs) and publishing an annual report on the plan’s progress.
- Committing to the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’s (CCAB) Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) framework to guide the implementation of the plan and becoming PAR Committed within the first year of implementation.
- Creating targeted training for teams and senior leadership to advance understanding of Indigenous cultures and reconciliation, and enhancing Indigenous history and awareness education and training opportunities for KPMG in Canada employees.
Being a trusted and active contributor to Indigenous development and empowerment by continuously engaging and collaborating with Indigenous communities and organizations to create sustainable economic and social benefits for Indigenous Peoples. This includes:
- Broadening cooperation, support and sponsorship efforts for national and local Indigenous-led initiatives and activities.
- Supporting and collaborating with organizations that provide skills-based training, mentorship, capability building and development to Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses.
- Committing annual reoccurring funding to support Indigenous organizations and providing Indigenous and Canadian Tax Guides to post-secondary schools and First Nations Finance Offices at no cost.
“Every opportunity that helps Indigenous Peoples, communities and businesses thrive economically and socially is a step forward for Canada’s reconciliation journey. While we’re not the first major Canadian organization to implement a Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan, we certainly hope – and in fact we are confident – that we won’t be the last either,” says Rob Davis, Chair of the Board of directors and chief inclusion, diversity and equity officer at KPMG in Canada.
On September 30, KPMG in Canada closed its offices to observe National Day for Truth and Reconciliation for the second year in a row. With the help of educational resources suggested by KPMG, employees were encouraged to learn about the ongoing legacy of residential schools, and the victims, survivors, families and communities impacted by them, and reflect on what they can do to advance reconciliation.
“We must all work together to facilitate truth, reconciliation and healing by listening and learning and being the ally others need us to be,” says Mr. Luongo.
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