Honoring the world’s Indigenous Peoples

August 9, 2021

August 9 is observed annually as International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples (IDWIP), a day to raise awareness of and protect the rights of the over 470 million Indigenous Peoples living in over ninety countries across the world. Indigenous Peoples account for nearly 6.2 percent of the world’s population and have unique cultures, traditions, languages, and knowledge systems, distinct from those of the societies in which they live.

Many Indigenous Peoples unfortunately still come under the authority of a country’s government—often taking away their rights and control over their lands, territories, and resources. This has led Indigenous communities to seek recognition for their identities, way of life, and right to traditional lands. Though progress continues to be made, there is still a long way to go.

In honor of IDWIP, we're taking a look at some of the activities our employees have organized and participated in to celebrate and recognize their local Indigenous communities.

Our Western and Eastern Canada regions hosted multiple guest speaker events for National Indigenous People’s Day (NIPD), celebrated annually on June 21. For employees across Canada, Hatch kicked things off with an open dialogue with Bob Joseph, hosted by Chelsie Klassen, Hatch’s Global Director of Community Engagement, to discuss his most recent book 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act.

During the week of NIPD, employees in Western Canada were invited to two events. One gave employees an introduction to the two-spirit community, highlighting the intersectionality between LGBTQ+ and Indigenous communities. Employees were then treated to an exclusive talk and virtual tour of the Indigenous art featured in the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

In Eastern Canada, employees learned about the Tamatumani program—a word meaning "second start" in Inuktitut—at the Raglan Mine in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, Canada. The program outlines initiatives intended for all employees and contractors, in order to attract and retain the largest possible number of Inuit employees. The region also hosted a talk, shared with employees across Canada, with the CEO of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network—the world’s first national Indigenous broadcaster, creating a window into the remarkably diverse mosaic of Indigenous Peoples.

In Australia, our colleagues celebrated NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) week in early July. NAIDOC is a group that works to grow awareness of the distinct cultural histories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Employees were invited to participate in two events—a panel discussion and Yarning Circle—with special guest speakers.

The presentations discussed this year’s theme of “Heal Country!” which encouraged Australians to ensure greater protection for their lands, waters, sacred sites, and cultural heritage from desecration, exploitation, and destruction. Employees were also given the opportunity participate in a trivia challenge and a coloring competition for their children.

Education and understanding are key to reconciliation efforts with the world's Indigenous Peoples and through activities and events like these we can provide important learning opportunities for our employees.