A media and asset solutions company that launched Markham’s first Legacy Space to further reconciliation is among this year’s winners of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures program.
Waterstone Human Capital, a leading cultural talent management firm who founded the national award program, recognized Active International in the Most Admired Corporate Cultures’ growth category.
“At Waterstone we know corporate culture drives performance and that it’s an organization’s greatest asset,” says Waterstone president and CEO Marty Parker, chair of the Canada’s Most Admired program. “The 2022 award recipients demonstrate that putting culture at the centre of strategy drives growth and accelerates performance. This year’s winners are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and their focus on employee engagement and culture measurement is driving extraordinary results.”
In October, Active International opened the Legacy Space in partnership with the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF). “The Legacy Spaces program is an opportunity for all organizations to provide education and awareness about Indigenous history and join the collective journey of reconciliation,” says DWF president and CEO Sarah Midanik.
Downie, the late lead singer and songwriter of The Tragically Hip, challenged Canadians to “do something” to change the state of Indigenous-settler relations for the better. Chanie, misnamed Charlie by his teachers, was an Anishinaabe boy who ran away from his residential school near Kenora at age 12 and subsequently died from hunger and exposure to the harsh weather.
His death in 1966 sparked national attention and the first inquest into the treatment of Indigenous children in Canadian residential schools. The DWF aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
“Creating a physical space in this office reminds us that our ongoing commitment to transformative relationships with Indigenous people is critical,” says Active International Canada president Andrew Bulmer. “Last year, based on feedback from our employees, we pledged a five-year financial commitment to the DWF to further conversations and awareness about the true impact of residential schools.”
Active International describes the Legacy Space as a “safe space to engage employees, clients and community members in discussion around Indigenous culture, the true impact of residential schools and steps towards reconciliation.” The space features educational resources and artwork, including a portrait of Chanie.
Photo of the opening of the Legacy Space courtesy of Active International.