Recognizing National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – more than a social media post

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Showing support for and making public commitments to underrepresented groups is an important aspect of living diversity and inclusion. It is common for organizations to recognize a wide range of awareness and diversity days on social media – from Pride to Black History Month – on their corporate channels throughout the year.

As an organization proudly owned by the English River First Nation, we look particularly close at the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30. With the uncovering of unmarked graves of Indigenous children at former residential schools, and a growing awareness of the true history of Indigenous peoples in Canada, social media managers and corporate communications leaders need to ask themselves: Is posting an orange shirt image alone still meaningful? Does it represent who we are as an organization? Are we making a difference?

Should your organization recognize National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on social media?

Think of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a sacred space. Any company looking to enter this space should do so humbly and in a culturally appropriate and meaningful way. Here are some key questions to ask before hitting the “Post” button:  

  • Does your post have a clear call to action for yourself and others?
  • Are you giving credit to the Indigenous artists and designers whose visuals you might use?
  • Do you know which terminology to use and to avoid when referring to Indigenous people?
  • Are you mindful of biased language and Indigenous spelling?

And since doing the work internally should always take priority over what you’re sharing externally, you might also use September 30 as a time to ask some bigger questions:

  • Is your company actively investing in learning about Indigenous Peoples and Nations?
  • Does your company actively pursue Indigenous procurement and employment?
  • Does your company have a Reconciliation Action Plan and is fulfilling your commitments?

Let’s connect.

Whether you’re a business leader ready to show your organization’s commitment to Call to Action #92, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations for Corporate Canada, or a communications professional looking for guidance on building stronger relationships with  Indigenous talent, communities and businesses, we would love to hear from you.