How can we think about and further support asset managers’ action towards advancing reconciliation in Canada?
Central to the investment process is the relationship between asset owners, such as Indigenous trusts, and their asset managers. However, oftentimes the firms that assist Indigenous decision-makers in overseeing their invested assets have not explicitly adopted a reconciliation and rights recognition lens to their investment policies or processes.
As research conducted by SHARE and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) in 2019 illustrates, investment organizations are important actors in the Canadian economy at large. Investment organizations play critical roles as employers, shareholders, and capital providers – as well as stewards of Indigenous wealth, for those with Indigenous clients. As such, investment managers are in a unique position to contribute to the broad societal aim of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.
While many investment firms have implicitly endorsed reconciliation in Canada, the degree to which firms’ support for reconciliation is mirrored by their actions and policies as employers, economic actors, shareholders, and capital providers is yet unknown.
Further embedding reconciliation throughout investment firms’ internal policies and practices, relationships with Indigenous clients, and investment and stewardship practices will help protect the value of their collective financial assets; foster Indigenous economic success; and build client confidence that wealth is being effectively stewarded in alignment with communities’ values, traditions, and collective aspirations.
Building upon our previous research and guides , the Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative (RRII) has developed a framework to evaluate the efforts and commitments of major asset management firms in realizing reconciliation in Canada. The framework centres upon internal organizational policies, client relations, and investment and stewardship policies and practices.
Contribute to our research
Today, we are asking investment management firms to complete the following survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RRIIAMA
This survey should take approx. 10 minutes. Please submit your responses by March 12, 2021.
If you are a trustee or other institutional investor, we encourage you to share the above link with your asset manager and ask them to contribute to this important research.
Ultimately, we anticipate that both the aggregated report and any requested firm-specific assessments may support the work of investment firms in furthering action on reconciliation throughout the investment sector.
 SHARE and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. 2019. Moving Capital, Shifting Power: Identifying Opportunities for Investors to Enhance Demand for Indigenous Employment, Advancement and Contracting. Available at https://share.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/SHARE-CCAB-Report-HighQuality.pdf
 Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative. 2019. Advancing Reconciliation in Canada: A Guide for Investors. Available at https://rrii.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/RRII-Guide-FINAL-2.pdf
 Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative. 2020. Investing for Today, Tomorrow, and Future Generations: A Guide for Indigenous Investors. Available at https://rrii.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/RRII-Indigenous-Investor-Guide.pdf