Winnipeg, MB, June 21, 2021. . . To raise awareness of the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day and honour the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of this land, Canada Life has erected a 22-foot tipi on the front grounds of its Winnipeg campus for a fourth consecutive year.
With the Winnipeg office situated on Treaty 1 Territory, the tipi was chosen for its significance to the Plains Indigenous Peoples. Respectful of the distinct ceremonies and spiritual meaning of the tipi to the many Nations of the Plains, Canada Life worked alongside AMIK Inc. (a leader in Indigenous workforce engagement and training), employing the traditional teachings of the Knowledge Keepers to raise the tipi. Their assistance and insight ensured Canada Life recognized this important day with a ceremonial raising that properly reflects the traditions and spiritual meaning of the tipi across the many Indigenous communities.
“As an inaugural member of the Winnipeg Indigenous Accord in 2017, we pledged to work towards Truth and Reconciliation,” says Paul Mahon, President and Chief Executive Officer for Canada Life and Great-West Lifeco. “The raising of the tipi is one of a number of meaningful actions we are taking every day to support Truth and Reconciliation through education.”
With the global pandemic, Canada Life’s Indigenous Peoples Employee Resource Group embraced the online world to continue learning through KAIROS blanket exercises, Circles of Reconciliation and an event with Indigenous engagement leader and women’s advocate, Mary Jane Brownscombe. In addition, over 7,000 Canada Life employees across Canada gathered online on June 10 to learn from Dr. James Makokis, a proud Cree, Two-Spirit doctor from Saddle Lake First Nation in Northern Alberta.
“Canada Life is dedicated to continuing our path towards greater understanding, healing and actions that support all Indigenous Peoples,” says Jeff Macoun, President and Chief Operating Officer for Canada, Canada Life. “And we call on all members of our company and communities to be inspired to seek opportunities to listen, learn, and be allies to influence meaningful change as we work towards Truth and Reconciliation.”
Both Mahon and Macoun recognize while much more work must be done, Canada Life’s employees are demonstrating a passion and commitment to doing the hard work and championing greater awareness, sensitivity and inclusion in workplaces and communities across Canada.
To learn more about the cultural significance of the tipi, visit the following resources (primarily available in English only):
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Canada Life is a leading insurance, wealth management and benefits provider focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. For more than 170 years, individuals, families and business owners across Canada have trusted us to provide sound guidance and deliver on the promises we’ve made.
As of January 1, 2020, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life became one company – Canada Life, and today, we proudly serve more than 13 million customer relationships from coast to coast to coast.
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