A step toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples

Entrepreneurs can take the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation course free of charge to learn more about the history of Canada’s Indigenous peoples

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Last year, I participated in a training course called the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation that explores Canada’s historical relationship with Indigeneous peoples and the painful realities brought to light by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

The course opened my eyes to many sobering truths and I was deeply touched and enriched by the experience. Along with my colleagues at BDC, I was inspired to do more to increase our collective knowledge about Indigenous peoples and encourage reconciliation across our country.

As a first step, we made the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation course a permanent part of our training for all BDC employees. Now, we have partnered with the First Nations University of Canada and Reconciliation Canada to offer the training to Canadian entrepreneurs free of charge.

This unique course provides foundational knowledge about Canada’s Indigenous peoples and our shared history. I’m confident it will help entrepreneurs not only build bridges with Indigenous people and communities, but also create deeper relationships with Indigenous employees, suppliers and customers, based on respect.

Why take the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation course?

Leo Hurtubise is a member of the Nipissing First Nation and an entrepreneur. He believes all Canadian entrepreneurs can benefit from taking the course. It will help them increase their understanding of Indigenous people and communities and encourage the open discussion of issues.

“There’s a lot of learning to be done,” says Hurtubise, co-founder and Vice-President of Business Development at LaFlesche, a BDC-supported company based on the Kahnawake reserve, near Montreal. “When you know more, then you feel more confident to ask questions.”

Hurtubise co-founded LaFlesche with Thawennontie Tomas. The business designs and manufactures high-quality health care products made from plastic. It is named after Dr. Susan Picotte La Flesche, the U.S.’s first Indigenous doctor and a passionate advocate for underserved people.

He says the training will help entrepreneurs to “open up to other cultures, to recognize the differences and to recognize that everybody has a different perspective.”

“It’s part of the healing. It’s important that we don’t hide it; that we talk about it.”

Another step toward reconciliation

4 Seasons of Reconciliation is a three-hour, multimedia course you can take at your own pace. As you follow the 10 interactive modules you will learn about the history and culture of Indigenous communities in Canada as well as the history of residential schools and treaties across the country. Upon completion of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion.

I believe participating in the course is a step we can all take as part of our journey toward true reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples. For entrepreneurs, it’s an opportunity not only for personal growth but to make your business stronger.

You can easily start the course by clicking here.

I thank you in advance for taking the time to try this course and hope you will find it rewarding.

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