‘Everything around connectivity is about relationship building.’

Through world-leading network technology, underpinned by their team’s long-standing passion for creating stronger, healthier communities, TELUS is committed to supporting Indigenous Peoples in the ways they want to be supported.  Their reconciliation strategy is developed and implemented in collaboration with Indigenous communities, governments, and leaders. “It’s not our story to tell. It’s asking communities about what they would like to share with us as a partner and how we co-design steps forward,” shares Christy Morgan, Manager of Reconciliation Strategy at TELUS.

TELUS works to cultivate a deeper understanding of shared narratives, fostering relationships grounded in Indigenous Ways of Knowing, and supporting Indigenous Youth and communities in their unique aspirations. As the first technology company in Canada to commit to a public reconciliation action plan in 2021, TELUS aims to inspire other businesses to develop their own reconciliation strategies by sharing outcome stories directly from Indigenous communities along with TELUS’ own learnings and progress updates in their annual Indigenous Reconciliation and Connectivity Report.

Through partnerships with Indigenous-led organizations, such as the ANTCO Pathways to Technology project, TELUS has enabled advanced broadband connectivity to Indigenous communities 197 (608 Indigenous reserves and treaty lands), with a steadfast goal to enable 20 more.

“Connectivity is the foundation of our reconciliation strategy. We know that reliable access to technology supports Indigenous Peoples’ access to education, career opportunities, healthcare, and social support. TELUS is committed to bringing connectivity to more Indigenous communities working closely with Indigenous governments and organizations, along with provincial and federal governments,” shares Marissa Nobauer, Director of Reconciliation, Community Engagement and External Relations.

Collaborating extensively with Indigenous-led organizations, like Toronto Native Child and Family Services, TELUS expanded its Mobility for Good for Indigenous Women at Risk program, providing vital support to Indigenous women at risk of or surviving violence.

Simultaneously, TELUS is striving to invest 7.5% in Indigenous-owned for-profit companies through the Pollinator Fund by 2026, exemplifying their commitment to driving financial and social change. Through the development of an Indigenous procurement policy to further bolster its mission, TELUS committed to boosting spending by 10% with Indigenous-owned businesses by 2023. Having achieved this target, TELUS has further committed to continuing the momentum by hosting quarterly information sessions designed for Indigenous suppliers.

TELUS also inaugurated the Indigenous Communities Fund (ICF) in 2022, demonstrating their support by providing $200K in grants to Indigenous-led social, health, and community programs.  In addition, TELUS commits to supporting Indigenous organizations and communities through service with an explicit target to allocate a minimum of 5% of their TELUS Days of Giving volunteer opportunities by 2026.

Additionally, they aim for a remarkable 7% or more of TELUS-funded Local Content productions to be Indigenous-led and a provision of $1M funding to Indigenous content creators across Alberta and B.C. by 2024. In 2023, the TELUS Local Content dedicated $1.2M to fund Indigenous content creators.

In alignment with its broader vision, TELUS aspires to create culturally responsive corporate spaces and company culture by implementing Indigenous perspectives, acknowledging Indigenous territories and lands, and supporting Indigenous creators.  The TELUS Eagles, a Resource Group for Indigenous team members, launched the Pathways mentorship program in 2023. Ensuring that their employment offerings are inclusive, TELUS introduced the Indigenous Wellness Benefit for Indigenous team members and their families providing $1,000 for traditional healing practices and care.

Morgan elaborates on the pathway, emphasizing the paramount importance placed on advancing connectivity partnerships and relationality. Highlighting this facet, she shares, “Our primary focus, resonating not only from a business standpoint but also underscored within our connectivity report, centers around forging partnerships to propel connectivity. By augmenting access to connectivity, we can significantly advance economic reconciliation.” This is Indigenomics in action.

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