BC’s Largest Credit Union is Founding Partner of Reconciliation Canada

Values-Based Banking – Impacting the Community through Co-op Values

We love Vancity! We’ve been working with this financial co-operative for over 30 years. Our President, Susan Braverman, says her first memory of Vancity was at the age of eight. “I remember getting my first pay cheque for working at The Flag Shop, which was owned by my mother,” she recalls, “I walked five blocks to the Vancity on Broadway and Waterloo and opened an account all by myself!” No one could have known, all these years later, how special Vancity would continue to be to us.

Image Source: Vancity

Since its founding in 1946, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union has been building healthy and sustainable communities. Serving more than 523,000 member-owners in the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw territories, home to Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest, as well as 59 branches spanning Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Squamish, Victoria, and Alert Bay, Vancity is a values-driven financial co-operative. It’s guided by co-op values and principles, and exists for the benefit of its members and their communities.

Michael Berry (Mayor of the Village of Alert Bay), Tamara Vrooman (President and CEO of Vancity Credit Union) and Debra Hanuse, (Chief Councillor of the ‘Namgis First Nation) signing a memorandum of understanding on February 26th 2015 in Alert Bay, BC. Image Source: ‘Namgis First Nations.

Vancity is a leader in meeting the financial needs of its members and is known for being the first among Canadian financial institutions to offer mortgages to women without requiring a male co-signer, the first to become carbon neutral, and the first to offer a socially responsible mutual fund. Providing financial services for people of all walks of life, Vancity is owned and democratically controlled by its members, on the basis of one member, one vote.

Since the early 1980s, The Flag Shop has been supplying Vancity with items ranging from Canadian and provincial flags to corporate logo flags, Pride flags, and even the Canadian Native Flag. Based on the numerous projects we’ve worked on with them, we know whenever something is happening that helps our community, Vancity is right there in the thick of it.

Modeling the co-op principle of “Concern for Community”, Vancity is the founding partner of Reconciliation Canada. Reconciliation Canada promotes important and much-needed change by strengthening relationships among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. The legacy of 150,000 Indigenous children who were separated from their families at very young ages, many of whom suffered emotional, physical and sexual abuse at Indian Residential Schools, tarnishes Canada’s history. The goal of Reconciliation Canada is to help Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians to reconcile, heal and forgive. That way, Canadians will redefine the future by building resilient communities together.

2013 Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver. Image Source: Vancity

As part of its efforts, in 2013 Reconciliation Canada brought together Canadians in BC from all walks of life for the very first Walk for Reconciliation. 70,000 people took a united stand for social justice, inclusion, and a brighter future. Leading up to the first walk, we were so thrilled for the opportunity to work with one of our other long-time favourite customers, the City of Vancouver, to promote what would become an annual event.

More than 70,000 people participated in the 2013 Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver. Image Source: The Canadian Press

2013 Walk for Reconciliation street banners, made by The Flag Shop

This year, on September 24, 2017, the Walk for Reconciliation once again brought people of all backgrounds and cultures together to walk for healing, understanding and compassion. We invite you to join the Vancouver community and support the spirit of “’Namwayut – We are all one.” For more information please visit: reconciliationcanada.ca

2017 Walk for Reconciliation in Vancouver. Photo credit: Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press

As we get closer to Co-op Week 2017, which runs from October 15 – 21, and continue our co-op blog series, we want to pay tribute to Vancity for its ongoing commitment to leading positive change, and for being an outstanding model of co-operation in business.

The Flag Shop is proud to be the source for official Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada and ICA Co-op Marque branded products! To see our new co-op product line, please visit: thecoopstore.ca

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