The NWMO receives international recognition for communications about its Reconciliation journey

Group of people holding hands

The NWMO has been recognized with an international award for its work in communicating about its collective journey toward Reconciliation.

The NWMO has achieved a new milestone in our collective journey toward Reconciliation - we were recognized by the International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) 2020 Gold Quill Awards for our work on this important Canadian subject. The award will be presented in June. The organization also gained recognition from the IABC Toronto Chapter’s 2020 OVATION Awards.

Since our inception we have been working to advance relationships and understanding with Indigenous people and communities and have taken meaningful action to respond to the ‘calls to action’ found in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report, which called on the corporate sector to build respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples. Actions have included the adoption of an Indigenous Knowledge Policy, releasing a Reconciliation Statement outlining the organization’s commitment to Reconciliation, and most recently, the formalization of a Reconciliation Policy.

“We recognize the importance of receiving this premier award from IABC–but accepting this international recognition does not mean an end to our work,” said Bob Watts, Vice-President Indigenous Relations. “If anything, it reinforces the approach our organization has taken on Reconciliation and renews our commitment to co-creating a better future, built on rights, equity and well-being for everyone.”

“I’m honoured our team’s work was recognized among many worthy initiatives – we know we have more to do to advance Reconciliation both in the corporate sector and more broadly in Canada. Receiving this award recognition will help further the conversation and hopefully inspire other organizations to follow suit,” said Lisa Frizzell, Vice-President Stakeholder Relations.

For more than 40 years, IABC’s Gold Quill Awards have recognized and awarded excellence in strategic communication worldwide. Gold Quill is the only awards program that honours the dedication, innovation and passion of communicators on a global scale. The IABC OVATION Awards celebrates and promotes excellence in communications across the Greater Toronto Area.

For its awards submission, the NWMO highlighted the collaborative approach between its Indigenous Relations and Stakeholder Relations teams to launch its two organizational milestones – its Reconciliation Statement in July 2018 and subsequent Reconciliation Policy in October 2019, which commits to an implementation strategy that will be measured annually and publicly reported.

The NWMO also featured its Voices of Reconciliation video series, which features interviews with Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals creating an ongoing conversation highlighting the importance of reconciliation and the NWMO’s advocacy for co-creating a better future.

“As the NWMO assesses its Reconciliation strategy for 2020 and beyond, we will continue to communicate and emphasize that through Reconciliation we can co-create a better future by addressing the challenges of today,” said Bob Watts.

The NWMO is responsible for implementing, collaboratively with Canadians and Indigenous people, Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of used nuclear fuel, in a manner that protects both people and the environment. The plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, including both municipalities and Indigenous communities working in partnership to implement it. The NWMO expects to identify a single, preferred location for the deep geological repository for used nuclear fuel in 2023.