Express Scripts Canada: Committed to Canada’s Indigenous Peoples
For more than 20 years, Express Scripts Canada (ESC) has proudly committed to supporting Indigenous communities and businesses. More recently, ESC has more vocally proclaimed its unwavering commitment to support Indigenous communities across Canada. With National Indigenous Peoples Day around the corner, we thought it a good time to provide an update on our progress.
ESC has embraced its efforts to improve their relationships with Canada’s Indigenous communities through:
Recruitment, training, career development and retention of Indigenous employees;
Engagement and partnership with Indigenous businesses;
Promotion of Indigenous history and culture within the organization; and
Financial support of Indigenous charities.
We’ve been hard at work since last Fall, and here’s a little taste of what we’ve been up to:
Health Information and Claims Processing Services (HICPS) contract – We’ve renewed our commitment to serve the health needs of Indigenous communities through our successful bid to continue to manage pharmacy, dental, vision, mental health and medical supplies and equipment claims through Health Canada’s HICPS contract. Since the start, we have made a number of major enhancements to how we deliver healthcare to our Indigenous clients.
Indigenous Recruitment and Retention Strategy – Our employee-driven Indigenous Networking Group has led proactive outreach to Indigenous communities through job fairs and other events, to promote ESC career opportunities within those communities. We’ve also established an Indigenous internship program and an HR initiative to support Indigenous employees who demonstrate leadership potential. So far, the strategy has led to the development of two internships and two promotions of Indigenous team members.
Downie-Wenjack Legacy Space – Earlier in 2019, ESC set aside space in its head office for the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund Legacy Space, dedicated to educating ESC staff and the public about Indigenous history and issues. The space is open to anyone, staff or otherwise, Indigenous or non-Indigenous, who wants to explore Indigenous culture. The space features Indigenous art and reading material. This is a five-year commitment that includes financial support for the fund.
National Indigenous Peoples Day BBQ and celebration– To celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, we gave our annual company BBQ a distinctly Indigenous flavour this year, inviting local Indigenous caterer, Hiawatha’s Catering, to prepare lunch. We were also thrilled to welcome Carmen Thomas from the Iroquois Lacrosse Program, to educate us on the history, values and significance of lacrosse in Indigenous culture. The event was capped off with teachings about Pow Wows, regalia and the hand big drums. ESC employees also treated to watching some dance demonstrations and were welcomed to participate in a Round Dance.
Supporting Indigenous Business – We’ve expanded our roster of service providers to include a number of Indigenous businesses that supply key services to ESC, including graphic design, videography and catering.
The Ojibwe People use what they call “The Gifts of the Seven Grandfathers” to guide them in living their best possible lives. These “gifts” are values that are fundamental to the Ojibwe way of life, but that all Canadians can aspire to. They are:
- Minwaadendamowin – Respect
- Zaagidiwin – Love
- Debwewin – Truth
- Aakodewewin – Bravery
- Nibwaakawin – Wisdom
- Miigwe’aadiziwin – Generosity
- Dibaadendiziwin – Humility
On this National Indigenous Peoples Day, we embrace these gifts, and we encourage all Canadians to learn more about Indigenous communities and their extraordinary contributions to making Canada what it is today.