National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: moving from truth-telling to action
As the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation nears—a day that is sorely overdue for Canadians—the Common Approach team is reflecting on the nature of its work and sharpening the lived values that we must hold ourselves accountable to if we are to leverage impact measurement as an enabling tool for reciprocal relationships.
A central premise of the Common Approach’s work is that impact measurement should be community-driven. This is underpinned by two guiding principles. The second of these principles includes a commitment to:
“Building impact measurement standards that place power with operating charities and social-purpose business and those they serve, rather than focusing primarily on the impact measurement needs of foundations, grantmakers and impact investors.”
Here, the Common Approach recognizes:
“The colonial histories present within impact measurement and many contemporary data practices and that they can promote universalist and colonialist worldviews, and clientelism rather than self-determination…”
As part of reconciliation, the Common Approach understands that it has a responsibility to ensure its standards are not only inclusive of but actively champion First Nations, Inuit and Métis methodologies that are grounded in community-identified priorities. It is with this understanding in mind that we are sharing some preliminary findings from an ongoing literature review on Indigenous approaches to impact measurement.
We hear clearly from these scholars and leaders that there is a need for decolonizing impact measurement tools that are directly actionable, common and widely adoptable. Under the direction of Indigenous leaders and Elders, our work is to truly begin the hard work of reconciliation—to move from truth-telling to action, and from theory to practice.