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Love connecting Indigenous people throughout Canada
Engaging with Indigenous communities
VIA Rail connects Indigenous communities across Canada and proudly maintains strong relationships with various Indigenous non-profits and organizations to assist in local events. Travelling by train helps ensure the wellbeing of future generations.VIA Rail’s Indigenous Relations Policy VIA Rail’s Leadership Statement
Supporting economic development
By partnering with organizations such as the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), VIA Rail has committed to cultivating lasting relationships with Indigenous companies, while prioritizing their growth through economic activities made possible by the train.
Promoting an inclusive and diverse workplace
VIA Rail is dedicated to increasing the representation of Indigenous people in its workforce and providing an environment that’s progressive, stimulating and welcoming. VIA is also launching several large-scale projects, such as the introduction of a new, more eco-friendly fleet.
Such forward-thinking initiatives have spurred demand for skilled individuals on board, in stations, at maintenance centres, as well as within VIA’s teams of professionals and executives.
Instructions and conditions for booking
- Step 1
- Discount can be applied to bookings made online at viarail.ca, through the VIA Rail customer centre at 1 888 VIA-RAIL (1 888 842-7245) or 1 800 268-9503 (for the hearing impaired), or at a VIA Rail station.
- Step 2
- When booking online, enter your trip criteria on the Search page, select “Discount code” , and enter the code “13299”.
- Step 3
Once on board, passengers must present one of the following pieces of ID.
Secure Certificate of Indian Status (SCIS)
Métis National Council (and its regional organizations) :
Métis Nation of Ontario, Manitoba Métis Federation, Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, Métis Nation of Alberta, Métis Nation British Columbia
Inuit Land Claim Beneficiary Cards :
Nunavut, Nunatsiavut, Inuvialuit Region, Nunavik
No ID is required for children 15 or under if they are accompanied by an adult with the appropriate documentation.
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) and affliates
- The 33% discount applies to Economy Plus, Business Plus, Sleeper Plus Regular and Touring Regular fares.
- The discount does not apply to Escape, Economy, Business, Sleeper Plus and Touring Discounted fares nor Prestige.
- Cannot be combined with any other discount.
- Discount is only applicable to the base fare for travel. Does not apply to other optional products such as baggage fees, seat selection fees (except for lower berth seat selection fee), or any other products.
- Cannot be applied to the purchase of a travel pass nor to reservations made with a travel pass.
- Cannot be applied to products available in station such as VIA Boutique items nor on the purchase of food items on board.
- Not applicable to transborder trips.
- Minimum fares after discount apply.
VIA Rail Indigenous Relations Policy
Ever since its establishment in 1977, VIA Rail has been proud to engage with Canadians, connecting citizens from urban and rural regions alike, and strengthening cultural and economic interconnectedness. As such, we are proud to serve Indigenous communities from coast to coast as well as provide them with an Indigenous People discount that provides them a 33% discount on regular VIA Rail fares. Beyond physical services, it is the spirit of collaboration and reconciliation that drives us in establishing lasting economic partnerships through targeted recruitment policies and procurement initiatives. Looking ahead, VIA Rail is committed to working hand in hand with the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Businesses to attain the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) certification.
Relationship building – VIA Rail commits to maintaining and enhancing relationships with Indigenous communities. This engagement includes information sharing regarding proposed projects and future plans, collaboration on community ventures and celebrations, and strengthening efforts to share opportunities that facilitate prosperity and growth.
Business development and partnerships – We are committed to developing strategies in key areas including employment, business development, and community support with Indigenous businesses and the communities along the routes we serve. We will work to enhance our employees’ understanding of Indigenous culture, and the role that Indigenous people and communities play in the rail industry.
Community investment – VIA Rail will continue to identify and work in partnership with Indigenous communities to support local initiatives, through the investment of time and the provision of transportation resources. VIA Rail will build respectful and lasting relationships by leveraging existing and future rail services to assist in the organization, development, and delivery of grassroots community activities, as well as facilitate intercommunity relations by providing a means of transportation for people and necessary goods/resources.
Indigenous employment – VIA Rail will work to build strong partnerships and business relationships with local Indigenous groups and communities while enhancing our employees and managers’ understanding of the culture and reality of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Through our strong partnerships, we will identify opportunities and define strategies to recruit and engage Indigenous employees.
As VIA Rail strengthens ties with Indigenous communities, we will continue to:
- Recognize and appreciate the unique culture and values of Indigenous peoples in Canada;
- Collaborate with Indigenous leadership and communities to develop more respectful, inclusive, and representative business practices;
- Encourage Indigenous recruitment and engagement in order to increase Indigenous representation and participation in VIA Rail operations;
- Provide a safe, reliable, and accessible service, in alignment with our mandate, serving a number of Indigenous communities throughout our network;
- Respect and acknowledge the diverse perspectives of Indigenous peoples in Canada through meaningful relations and open dialogue.
October 2, 2018
Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
2 Berkeley Street, Suite 202
Dear President and CEO Jean Paul Gladu,
It is with humility and respect that VIA Rail Canada submits the following Indigenous Relations leadership statement, as a part of our Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) Committed Criteria Phase One Submission.
VIA Rail operates Canada’s national passenger rail service on behalf of the Government of Canada since 1977. After its creation, VIA Rail pursued the legacy of passenger rail service which was once provided by the Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) railways. Today, VIA Rail still operates its passengers trains on tracks which belong to these freight railways. Over 97% of VIA Rail’s national network is on shared infrastructure with freight rail lines such as CN and CP.
VIA Rail aims to reflect Canadians’ values and to improve the mobility, health, environment, and quality of life of Canadians. Recognizing the need to renew our relationship with Indigenous peoples, VIA Rail understands that it has an important role to play on this path toward reconciliation.
Our vision is to make cities and communities more accessible, connected and sustainable. A safe and integrated transportation system, which responds to the needs of passengers, can only be realized by meaningfully engaging and partnering with the communities we serve. To this end, VIA Rail is building relationships with Indigenous groups, communities, and businesses. We are focused on working with these groups in a transparent, respectful, and mutually beneficial way.
As part of its sustainable mobility strategy and its desire to build on its initial offering of a 33% Indigenous peoples discount on train fares, VIA Rail is seeking to build and strengthen its relations with Indigenous communities by prioritizing inclusive growth and economic reconciliation strategies. Through newly established partnerships with organizations such as the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), VIA Rail is committed to supporting economic development in communities by ensuring Indigenous businesses can participate in the economic activities generated by our train operations. Additionally, VIA Rail remains dedicated to facilitating the increased representation of Indigenous people in our workforce. We are committed to maintaining and enhancing relationships with Indigenous communities. This engagement includes information sharing regarding proposed projects and future plans, collaboration on community ventures and celebrations, and strengthening efforts to share opportunities that facilitate prosperity and growth.
We take this work seriously and humbly embark on this journey.
President and Chief Executive Officer
VIA Rail Canada inc.