The Indigenous Scholars' Circle

The Indigenous Scholars' Circle, comprises up to 15 members from various First Nations and Indigenous communities across Canada, whose goal is to capture the insights of knowledge keepers and domain experts as they pertain to key issues in community health and the Indigenous economy.

  • Susan Chiblow (Chair), University of Guelph
  • Caroline Recollet, Laurentian University
  • Aimée Craft, University of Ottawa
  • Rachel Arseanult, York University
  • Shayenna Nolan, University of Windsor
  • Lorilee McGregor, Northern Ontario School of Medicine
  • Jayce Chiblow, Indigenous Climate Action
  • Leora Gansworth, York University
  • Deborah McGregor, York University
  • Sheri Longboat, University of Guelph
  • Sherry Copenace, University of Manitoba
  • Sherry Pictou, Dalhousie University

The Indigenous Scholars’ Circle will meet quarterly with the intent of developing the following outcomes:

Respecting, promoting, and integrating UNDRIP, TRC, SDGs, ESG, in economic activities demands that public and private sectors develop and implement effective approaches to the unique challenges that different communities and industries/sectors face. At the same time, a growing body of legislation and the changing expectations of stakeholders mean that there is more interest in guiding actions for carrying out effective due diligence.

> Due diligence to assess, tackle, address, and report transparently on actual potential risks pertaining to the implementation of those values.  By sharpening our focus on due diligence, we can strategically meet our aim of scaling positive impact across incredibly diverse geographies and knowledge systems using a clear and comprehensive approach

> Due diligence for water-health problem-solving & innovation (including product and service development and operation life cycle)

Outcomes include:

● Guideposts for Ethical and Equitable Innovation (exercising design thinking, creativity, curiosity)

● Guideposts for Fusion Teams [cross-organizational/cross-sector/cross Knowledge System] awareness, education & training

● Guidepost for Performance Metrics and Culturally Responsive Evaluation

● Guidepost for Incentives, Governance Structures, and Policies

Ultimately, the Indigenous Scholars' Circle will generate new guideposts for innovators in industry, academia, NGOs and communities related to service and product development that advance SDGs. It will also provide guidance on i) due diligence to assess, tackle, address, and report transparently on actual and potential risks pertaining to the implementation of those values; and ii) due diligence for water-health problem-solving & innovation (including product and service development and operation life cycle). By sharpening our focus on due diligence, we can strategically meet our aim of scaling positive impact across incredibly diverse geographies and knowledge systems using a clear and comprehensive approach.

The Circle, will develop a framework for organizing sustainability metrics and a methodology for assessing the sustainability posture of third-party entities, including partners and suppliers. These metrics will be organized around three categories:  

● Environmental (Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Resource Usage, Circularity, Operation)

●  Social (EDI [Equity, Diversity, Inclusion], Human Rights, Employee Relations, Workplace Health and Safety, Talent Management, Community Engagement)

●  Governance (Goals and ambitions, Reporting, Public Policy and Regulations, Ethics, Sourcing and Procurement, Product and Services)

The Circle will bring Indigenous scholars, rights-holders and stakeholders together across various sectors of international, regional, local and Indigenous communities, enabling them to:

●   Scout the scientific, technological and policy breakthroughs already happening in Canada and throughout the world (a careful balance needs to be established between avoiding missed opportunities and creating existential risks);

●   Map the possible advances and breakthroughs in the area of water-health within a 3-, 5- and 10-year horizon;

●   Tackle challenging development problems and establish shared responsibility based on a global and intercultural dialogue, where conversations about these trends and their impact can happen without implying endorsement;

●   Focus on the articulation of values and principles and their practical realization;

●   Strongly emphasize equity, diversity and inclusion and the impact on the environment and ecosystem; and,

●   Lead the process of identifying collective pathways for action.

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