I am Standing Elk of the Eagle Clan, a proud nehithaw-iskwew (Woodland Cree woman), member of Lac La Ronge First Nation in Saskatchewan, and have lived in beautiful Kjipuktuk/Halifax for the past 21 years.
Since my first day with Deloitte Canada, I have felt valued for who I am. In 2018, very shortly after I presented the idea to our Atlantic leadership, the firm established its first Downie Wenjack Legacy Space, to commemorate those who attended Residential Schools in Canada, raise awareness about this part of our shared history, and foster dialogue about Indigenous issues in general. Since then, the firm has been establishing other such spaces across Canada. As the granddaughter of a residential school survivor, words can hardly express how much this moves me.
When you work for a company that truly values your voice, is open to change, and commits to your growth as a leader, it earns your loyalty and respect.
This spring, despite the disruption of a pandemic, the firm decided to place a priority on reconciliation and on building meaningful relationships with Indigenous peoples. As a result, I now have a dream role, where I help lead our national Indigenous marketplace strategy and am a champion of our newly-released Reconciliation Action Plan, the first of its kind in corporate Canada, as an answer to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #92.
As it turns out, simply being me has delivered the best career move of my life. It doesn’t get much more meaningful than that.