Tim Hortons has taken steps to develop relationships with Aboriginal communities, and to create awareness of the diverse Aboriginal people within Canada. A variety of initiatives have been created to develop Aboriginal relations. Their philosophy is based around the idea that their programs are sustainable, have clear benefit, are community based and are supported by Aboriginal communities.
Tim Hortons has created the Horizons initiative to establish long-term, sustainable relationships with Indigenous communities. Tim Hortons has worked with Millbrook First Nation to develop education for the Tim Hortons Family regarding “issues and opportunities facing the Aboriginal community.”
Online training is available for Restaurant Team Members and Corporate Employees. They have two modules, one on cross-cultural Aboriginal awareness and the other on workplace diversity. In 2012, they had “approximately 42,000 Restaurant Team Members complete Aboriginal awareness training and since 2009, over 200,000 Restaurant Team Members have completed this training.”
Empowering Youth is one of their focuses. Aboriginal Youth at Camp is run through the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation, and invites youth who are both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal to attend one of their six camps. Camps are “assisted by elders and community leaders, whereby the youth experience team building, confidence building and interpersonal skills development. Included in the programming is exposure to Aboriginal culture and language, from the community that the youth are from.”
Tim Hortons also supported the 2012 National Aboriginal Day activities at Fort York, Toronto. Activities were geared towards learning about Aboriginal ceremony and “connection to land, the season and the environment.” School children attended this event.
There are a variety of additional initiatives that are available to examine online.