Commitment to Reconciliation

CES Commitment to Advancing Reconciliation and Indigenous Sovereignty

May 2024

In 2016, in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, CES publicly committed to incorporating reconciliation in its values, principles and practices. (See the May 2016 Statement of Commitment.)

CES strives to be an inclusive organization, and recognizes that we have an obligation to continually reflect on our role as an organization, and as evaluators, in advancing reconciliation in our Society and in the profession.

The TRC’s first guiding principle of truth and reconciliation states that, “The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is the framework for reconciliation at all levels and across all sectors of Canadian society.” CES recognizes and upholds the rights of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada to sovereignty and self-determination, and commits to addressing colonial and systemic oppression and resulting inequities.

We recognize that historically, our work as evaluators has been informed by colonial ideologies and practices, and that the evaluation profession has caused harm by imposing non-Indigenous values and approaches on First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples, communities, and organizations. CES is committed to addressing historic inequities by challenging systemic racism within our own organization, our profession, and the broader Canadian society.

We will strive to achieve transformative reconciliation – going beyond making amendments for historic wrongs, and, centring Indigenous self-determination and justice for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada in a manner consistent with the principles of UNDRIP.

We will seek to build trusting relationships with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis members, communities and organizations in a spirit of respect and reciprocity, and we will approach this work with humility. CES will strive to create culturally safe and respectful spaces in all meetings sponsored or hosted by CES and its Chapters.

We recognize that as an organization and as individual members of the evaluation profession, we are responsible for our own process of reconciliation. CES will work in collaboration with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis colleagues to ensure that CES Board, Chapters, and members have access to opportunities for education, reflection, and respectful engagement to enable us to learn about the history of colonization in Canada, and to explore changes to our evaluation practice, with humility and open minds.

Recognizing that upholding Indigenous rights and well-being are inextricably linked to connection to land, CES will promote environmental sustainability and ecological justice as critical components of all evaluations, recognizing that we all have an obligation to protect nature and uphold principles of environmental justice.

In doing this work, we will strive to ensure that all our work reflects our organization’s Core Professional Values, which include our commitment to:

  • Recognize Indigenous sovereignty and the protocols and governance of distinct rightsholders; address colonial and systemic oppression and resulting inequities, according to recommendations from Indigenous Peoples including: UNDRIP principles, TRC Calls to Action, and MMIWG Calls to Justice; and
  • Protect all of nature by promoting ecological justice and addressing factors underlying environmental racism, biodiversity loss, and climate change. 

CES is committed to holding ourselves accountable for continuing this journey to advance reconciliation and combat systemic racism within our organization and our profession, and to this end, we will develop a monitoring and reporting framework.

We encourage you to read the UNDRIP Working Group Report to the CES National Board - May 2024. As a result of this report, the above Statement of Commitment was adopted by formal motion, and work planning for 2024-2025 will address recommendations to support and dialogue with Indigenous evaluation networks, and advance Truth and Reconciliation through National Board activity and decision processes.