TELUS now connects 84,000 Indigenous people to its lightening-fast PureFibre network across 240 Indigenous communities
TELUS is the first technology company in Canada to launch a public Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan
VANCOUVER, Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories, Nov. 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, TELUS released its fourth annual Indigenous Reconciliation & Connectivity Report, detailing how the company embeds Reconciliation within its business, and sharing inspiring stories of connectivity and modern technology enabling transformative outcomes for Indigenous businesses and communities. Last year, TELUS was the first technology company in Canada to launch a public Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan, and remains committed to Indigenous engagement as a cornerstone of its actions moving into 2023 and beyond.
“Connecting Indigenous communities is so much more than building cell towers and laying fibre-optic cables, it also means developing meaningful relationships built on openness, trust and reciprocity, and harnessing the limitless possibilities enabled by our world-leading networks to create better health, education, economic and cultural outcomes,” said Tony Geheran, Executive Vice-president and Chief Operations Officer for TELUS. “Indigenous-led solutions with lasting impacts, such as those highlighted throughout this report, are key to our Reconciliation efforts at TELUS, and we are privileged to collaborate with Indigenous leaders, organizations and governments as we work towards a future where all Indigenous communities are connected.”
TELUS’ Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan is underpinned by four pillars with measurable targets and timelines. Key milestones for 2022 include:
- Connectivity: In partnership with Indigenous governments, TELUS connected 12 more Indigenous lands to broadband Internet in 2022. Now, more than 83% of homes, small businesses, and governing bands on Indigenous land can access high-speed internet and participate in digital tools.
- Enabling social outcomes: The Indigenous Communities Fund provided $100,000 in grants to five Indigenous-led organizations, focused on mental health and well-being; language and cultural revitalization; access to education; and community building. Another $100,00 will be allocated to additional projects by the end of 2022.
- Cultural responsiveness & relationships: In partnership with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and Indigenous artist Carey Newman (Hayalthkin’geme), TELUS committed $1 million to launch the digital Witness Blanket project to further amplify truth-telling from Indigenous voices and Survivors about the residential school system.
- Economic Reconciliation: The TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good invested $6 million in Indigenous-owned for-profit companies.
“Partnerships between network providers and government at all levels are essential for removing the barriers Indigenous communities face to digital connection and unlocking our increased economic potential,” said Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chair of Tŝilhqot’in Nation and Chief for Tl’etinqox Government. “Our nation continues to partner with TELUS to seek funds from the federal government to ensure our people and visitors alike can stay safe and connected.”
To ensure Indigenous ways of knowing are represented in TELUS’ Reconciliation Action Plan, TELUS established an Indigenous Advisory Council consisting of Indigenous leaders, subject matter experts and Elders, to provide ongoing guidance on the implementation of the company’s commitments and targets. The Indigenous Advisory Council is guided by Luc Lainé of the Huron-Wendat Nation, Shani Gwin of Métis Nation Alberta, Carol Anne Hilton of Hesquiaht Nation, and Dr. Kim van der Woerd of ‘Namgis First Nation. In addition to these members, the council will be adding up to six new members in 2023.
“Our team brings our lived experience as Indigenous People, our knowledge and understanding to help guide and develop respectful, honest and kind approaches,” said Shani Gwin, Founder and Managing Partner of pipikwan pêhtâkwan. “I come to this advisory council in the same way, ready to listen, understand, make thoughtful recommendations and also ensure Indigenous ways of knowing and doing are not forgotten throughout the process.”
Last year, TELUS provided relief to Indigenous communities affected by the fires, floods and mudslides across B.C. Its network team worked around the clock to maintain and repair service to keep customers connected, donated hundreds of mobile devices, and delivered more than 8,650 pounds of food and essential goods including PPE by boat, car and helicopter to residents in need.
“Chawathil qas te TELUS Lexw síyó:les, in our Halq’eméylem language, means Chawathil and TELUS working as one,” said Chetlámetleqw (Norman Florence), Chief of Chawathil First Nation. “TELUS asked what we needed and supplied us with the resources to support our members and to those who we welcomed who were displaced. We are grateful to TELUS’ swift action and meaningful approach in prioritizing the needs of our community members. Létsemōt, ‘one heart, one mind’, does come to mind on the gratitude and efforts they have provided our Nation.”
To learn more about TELUS’ commitment to Reconciliation and to read the 2022 Indigenous Reconciliation and Connectivity Report, visit telus.com/reconciliation.
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications technology company with $17 billion in annual revenue and 17 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security. Our social purpose is to leverage our global-leading technology and compassion to drive social change and enable remarkable human outcomes. Our longstanding commitment to putting our customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. The numerous, sustained accolades TELUS has earned over the years from independent, industry-leading network insight firms showcase the strength and speed of TELUS’ global-leading networks, reinforcing our commitment to provide Canadians with access to superior technology that connects us to the people, resources and information that make our lives better.
Operating in 28 countries around the world, TELUS International (TSX and NYSE: TIXT) is a leading digital customer experience innovator that designs, builds, and delivers next-generation solutions, including AI and content moderation, for global and disruptive brands across high-growth industry verticals, including tech and games, communications and media and eCommerce and fintech.
TELUS Health is a global healthcare company, which provides employee and family preventative healthcare and wellness solutions. Our TELUS team, along with our 100,000 health professionals, are leveraging the combination of TELUS’ strong digital and data analytics capabilities with our unsurpassed client service to dramatically improve remedial, preventative and mental health outcomes for over 50 million people, and growing, around the world. As the largest provider of digital solutions and digital insights of its kind, TELUS Agriculture & Consumer Goods enables efficient and sustainable production from seed to store, helping improve the safety and quality of food and other goods in a way that is traceable to end consumers.
Driven by our determination and vision to connect all citizens for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired TELUS, our team members and retirees to contribute more than $900 million, in cash, in-kind contributions, time and programs, and 1.8 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world. Together, let’s make the future friendly.
For more information, please contact:
TELUS Public Relations
A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/d6d7ddcb-e698-4952-a41c-3429bec279e3