Make Your Voice Heard: Indigenous People Belong in Canada's Big Businesses

Indigenous Peoples are excluded from big business

Indigenous Peoples in Canada have long been excluded from true participation in Canada’s capital markets because of unfair and discriminatory laws and policies. In 2022, Indigenous peoples made up 5% of the Canadian population, and yet held only 17 board positions, or 0.9% of board positions. The statistics for senior managers in 2022 show that only 9 companies had at least one Indigenous senior manager.

There is an opportunity to make businesses share their Indigenous statistics

FMB is responding to a proposal by the securities commissions in Canada (the Canadian Securities Administrators). The securities commissions regulate what businesses have to tell shareholders. The Canadian Securities Administrators have proposed changes to requirements for companies to disclose who is on corporate boards and in senior management. There are two proposals. We support the second proposal called “Form B”. Most importantly, Form B would require companies on the TSX to disclose the number of Indigenous peoples on boards and in senior management. For clarity, disclosure would also be required for other historically underrepresented groups. The other proposal (“Form A”) will not require this disclosure.

Disclosure works to change representation

Similar diversity disclosure requirements for women (introduced in 2014) increased female representation on boards and in senior managements from 11% to 24% from 2011 to 2024. That’s why we think this proposal is so important: the evidence shows it will increase representation. FMB believes Form B will lead to similar results for Indigenous peoples.

More Indigenous representation will lead to real results for our communities

In addition to being drastically underrepresented based on population, companies need Indigenous peoples. More Indigenous decision makers in companies will mean:

  • better relationships with Indigenous communities;
  • better decisions for land, sea, and nature; and
  • more jobs and economic opportunities for Indigenous individuals, companies and communities, including opportunities for procurement and owing equity.

Read Our Full Draft Submission (PDF)

Make your voice heard

We have heard that investors want this kind of disclosure, but only the securities commission in Ontario supports Form B. The securities commissions in B.C., NWT, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba support Form A. The more support behind Form B, the more likely it is that Form B will become the new rules.

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