Navigating Indigenous Employee Benefits and Reclaiming Treaty Rights in Health
In 2015 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) released a report with 94 Calls to Action.
It was emphasized that the responsibility of reconciliation with Indigenous communities is a responsibility shared by everyone, including corporations doing business within Canada.
With our headquarters located in the heart of Treaty 4, it has been said that we live with the most residential school survivors, per capita, in all of Canada. We know that disparities exist in health as a result of the harms of colonialism, past and present.
Our goal is ambitious, but simple: decolonize employee health benefits.
In keeping with TRC Call to Action #92, we know our role and commit to doing our part.
It is true that economic reconciliation requires a multifaceted approach, however, there are tangible steps an employer can take to decolonize an employee benefits plan. This is true no matter the company size and demographic.
These steps recognize, value and enhance respect for the distinct needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit workers and improve equitable outcomes in health, wellness and safety.
Treaty rights matter, yet they are often forgotten. In the context of employee benefits, this offload shifts burden onto the plan premium and away from the treaty obligation.
TRC calls to action in healthcare include acknowledging that the current, inequitable state of Indigenous health in Canada is a direct result of previous government policies, including residential schools.
A decolonized employee health benefits plan can help to address:
A decolonized approach to an employee health benefits plan also assists and enhances employer efforts to validate the status of self-declared status plan members.
Failing to address employee benefits through an equitable lens is costly. The risks of inaction are health, financial and reputational in nature.
When it comes to offering employee benefits in keeping with a decolonized approach, there are always unique considerations to address.
Our value proposition is unique.
Knowledge is power. If you are beginning the journey of decolonizing your business approach, some of these resources may help inform your strategic plans on reconciliation.
We invite you to explore these topics and listen to the needs and perspectives of each distinct community.
For insurance and coverage specific questions, please contact us directly to speak to a fully licensed and qualified advisor.