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  • Alex Holman

Spirit: An introduction to Reconciliation Finance

It feels like we’ve witnessed 50 years of news in the last few years. This is true here in Canada when it comes the colonial legacy on which this country is built. From residential schools to Papal visits it also involves that seemingly ambiguous, sometimes empty word known as reconciliation.

With our history exposed and our current state of Indigenous relations unacceptable, what happens next? Indigenous Peoples and their communities have been put through unimaginable emotional turmoil while the rest of the country seems paralyzed. We have yet to come up with a single, actionable idea in the wake of a seemingly endless stream of news exposing mass graves filled with children and a stream of news exposing ongoing racism and inequity.

Let’s pause here and just think about what really happened, why it was done and how we intend to move forward.

One of the biggest problems in moving forward is the disconnect between the average Canadian and First Nations. It’s basically impossible to invest and engage with these communities. This has lead to government and a few corporations shouldering the entire burden of reconciliation.

There is no Indigenous foundational piece to our economy. What we mean by that is that our system of land title is the foundation for real estate wealth, locks out First Nations completely. Our system of commerce runs on the Canadian dollar, payment networks and big banks. This also lacks an Indigenous building block.

Asynchronous. A word meaning not existing at the same time. In business, this means a relationship without direct partnerships. For example, I have a relationship with the Canadian government by paying GST automatically when I buy goods. This is the missing piece in furthering true economic reconciliation.

It shouldn’t be just about natural resource development on reserve land and traditional territory. We need much more than that. It should be part of all commerce from buying a coffee to paying your Netflix subscription.

Enter reconciliation banking, a new category of finance that bridges the gap between Canadians and the Indigenous economy.

This is the mission of Spirit. To build a world class digital banking experience that serves as the missing piece of Canadas financial infrastructure.

With every transaction, your card contributes towards reconciliation while you still earn fantastic cash back and rewards. We partner with great brands that also want to see reconciliation come to life and they create special offers for our community.

Our savings accounts are even more unique. Instead of depositing into a black hole, our accounts provide capital directly to Indigenous business owners and provide funding for projects like clean water infrastructure.

Spirit is making a Canada that we can be proud of. That isn’t afraid to tackle the big issues and to literally, put our money where our mind is.

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