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ABPA Advocates for Indigenous Perspectives in Proposed Canadian Sustainability Disclosure Standards

Press Release

June 10, 2024

The Anishnawbe Business Professional Association (ABPA) today released a comprehensive response to the proposed Canadian Sustainability Disclosure Standards (CSDS), offering a unique First Nations’ perspective on the future of sustainability reporting in Canada.

In a letter addressed to Lisa French, the ABPA outlined its 18 recommendations for ensuring that the Canadian Sustainability Standards Board (CSSB) aligns with the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) principles. The association emphasized the importance of integrating Indigenous knowledge into the standards-setting process, particularly as it relates to risk management and avoiding ‘red washing.’

The ABPA’s submission coincides with National Indigenous Peoples Month and includes a groundbreaking primer titled “Pathways to Prosperity, Indigenous Engagement and Impacts: Transitioning the Economy Beyond Green for a Sustainable Future.” This document serves as a guide for the CSSB, providing an Indigenous lens on the evolving field of Indigenous relations and reconciliation in Canada.

With Indigenous peoples being the inherent rights holders to 80% of the planet’s remaining biodiversity, the ABPA stresses that the inclusion of First Nations’ leadership is vital for driving sustainable change. The association calls for better coverage of Indigenous rights and reconciliation by Canadian securities regulators and suggests that the CSSB is well-positioned to become a global leader from an Indigenous standpoint but there must be stronger linkages with First Nations principles and laws.

Collaboration with organizations like the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and territorial bodies such as Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) is essential due to their key interests in sustainable development. The ABPA’s Board of Directors, led by President Jason Rasevych, is committed to presenting their findings and working collaboratively with other Indigenous organizations and the CSSB to ensure that the transition to mandatory sustainability standards reflects the principles and rights of Indigenous peoples.


“We recognize that this endeavor cannot be accomplished by the accounting profession and regulators alone. It necessitates deeper efforts, inter-operability, comparability, and alignment with First Nations’ principles and laws. As we move beyond green in painting the forth bridge, we must yield value beyond the compliance of the duty to consult into one of consent of Indigenous peoples. The ABPA’s recommendations for the Canadian Sustainability Standards are a testament to the power of Indigenous knowledge in shaping a sustainable future for all Canadians.” – Jason Rasevych, President, ABPA.

“Indigenous engagement is not just a checkbox—it’s a pathway to prosperity and a more inclusive economy. By integrating First Nations’ perspectives into sustainability standards, we honor the interconnectedness of our ecosystems and the stewardship provided by Indigenous peoples with the capital markets and economic reconciliation.” – Excerpt from Justin Jimmy co-author from ABPA’s “Pathways to Prosperity” primer.

Read the ABPA Documents

  1. Click here to read the ABPA response letter to the Canadian Sustainability Standards Board.
  2. Click here to read the ABPA primer – Pathways to Prosperity, Indigenous Engagement and Impacts: Transitioning the Economy Beyond Green for a Sustainable Future



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