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Indigenous Advisory Council for CN Resigns

Press Release

December 11, 2023

Council urges CN to acknowledge history with Indigenous Peoples and commit to transformative change

Winnipeg, Manitoba – The resignation of all 12 members of the CN Indigenous Advisory Council (IAC), was submitted to CN’s Board of Directors and is effective December 31, 2023. Through direct and dedicated engagement with Indigenous communities nationwide, the Council strived to help the organization bridge understanding and build connections and was committed to transparently outlining future steps for CN’s reconciliation efforts.

During their time, the IAC commissioned a 51-page 2022 IAC Impact Report that included tangible and meaningful recommendations for CN to improve their relationships with Indigenous Peoples. The report was based on feedback gathered during discussions with Indigenous community members. Despite CN’s collaboration with the IAC on a framework for the work, the company’s ineffective use of the Council’s strategic input has led to the Council’s decision to resign, as outlined in their 2023 IAC Impact Report.

“As we step back from CN, we are earnest in our belief that CN has missed the mark on reconciliation,” says Co-Chairs Roberta Jamieson and the Hon. Murray Sinclair. “To repair their relationships with Indigenous Peoples, CN must acknowledge and embrace their distinct history and legacy, move beyond performative gestures, and commit itself to transformative change led by Indigenous leadership across all lines of business. Regardless of who was in charge, CN played a role in the oppression of Indigenous Peoples and there is no path forward without that acknowledgement.”

The work of the IAC was informed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action 92 for corporate Canada, however, the council maintains that the rail entity’s complicated and dark history puts CN in a vastly different and distinct category from the rest of corporate Canada.

The CN Indigenous Advisory Council was formed in 2021 and is co-chaired by Ms. Roberta Louise Jamieson, OC, Kanyen’kehà:ka and the Hon. Murray Sinclair, C.C., M.S.M., Mizhana Geezhik. The IAC is an independent group of accomplished and respected Indigenous leaders, comprised of representatives from First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities in each province and territory. They work in an advisory capacity with the CN Board and CEO.

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Hon. Murray Sinclair, C.C., M.S.M., Mizhana Geezhik, Co-Chair

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Ms. Roberta Louise Jamieson, OC, Kanyen’kehà:ka, Co-Chair

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Background: About The CN Indigenous Advisory Council

The CN Indigenous Advisory Council consists of 12 prominent, respected and accomplished Indigenous community members whose mandate was: to provide expert advice from Indigenous perspectives and lived experiences in addition to recommending concrete measures to CN on issues that might be referred to the IAC by CN or that might be raised by the IAC on its own volition, to advance CN’s Indigenous vision and build on its actionable commitment to diversity and inclusion by specifying policies and procedures that reflect those goals.

The creation of the IAC in no way relieved CN of its obligation to deal directly with First Nations, Inuit, or Métis leaders who are mandated to represent their people on matters that directly impact their communities.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Symmetry Public Relations

Elizabeth Bunney
elizabeth@symmetry-pr.com
780-236-1008

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