Aboriginal Relations

Tim Hortons has been working toward meaningful and long-term partnerships with Aboriginal communities. Our work is guided by the principles below.
Our initiatives must be:

  • Long-term
  • Have a clear benefit
  • Be community based
  • Supported by the Aboriginal community

To help structure these principles we have also developed a framework comprised of key focus areas for our initiatives: education, youth empowerment, economic development and employment.



Horizons was chosen as the name to represent Tim Hortons relationship with the Aboriginal communities. The name reflects a bright future, new interests and experiences, community achievement and a quest with no limits.

The Horizon logo brings together a number of important elements.

  • Vibrating drum – the Indigenous symbol of communications, ceremony and celebration
  • Bursting sun – within the drum, a bursting sun signifies strength, opportunity and the energy of life
  • Mother Earth – represented by the warm colors of the rich soil
  • Cultural motifs – selected to honour First Nations (Eagle feather), Métis (Infinity symbol) and Inuit (Inukshuk)


Our educational efforts are focused on raising awareness of the issues and opportunities faced by Aboriginals through workplace training.

With the assistance of Millbrook First Nations in Truro, Nova Scotia, our company developed an online training program for Restaurant Team Members. Through a module on workplace diversity cross-cultural Aboriginal awareness is explored through topics including:

  • Aboriginal culture
  • Overcoming prejudice
  • Common myths
  • Aboriginal history
  • Treaties
  • Self-government
  • Residential schools
  • Oral tradition
  • Contemporary culture
  • Recognition of Aboriginal role models

Over 40,000 Restaurant Team Members complete this training each year.

Empowering Youth

In conjunction with our focus on children and youth at Tim Hortons, we support the empowerment of Aboriginal youth in Canada. This includes Aboriginal programming at our Tim Horton Children’s Foundation Camps, and sponsorship of youth-specific events.

Aboriginal Youth at Camp

The Tim Horton Children’s Foundation Camps welcomes youth to attend camps throughout the year for structured learning to experience team building, confidence building and interpersonal skills development.

Since 2012, through partnerships and leadership programming at our camps, we have hosted over 5,000 Aboriginal youth. 

Tim Horton Children’s Foundation Camps partner with a number of other organizations to collaborate and support programming that is aimed at empowering Aboriginal youth. Partners for different initiatives include: Outside Looking In, the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Junior Canadian Rangers. More details on these initiatives can be found below.

Outside Looking In

The Tim Horton Children's Foundation is a founding partner of Outside Looking In (OLI) and Tim Hortons is a key sponsor. This innovative program helps Aboriginal youth develop transferable life skills, confidence and self-esteem through dance. OLI delivers professional dance instruction to youth in communities across Canada. Youth are required to fulfill the academic and attendance requirements of the program in order to have the opportunity to join together with other Indigenous young people from across Canada to perform on stage in Toronto. In addition to the annual sponsorship, the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation also hosts youth from the OLI program each spring at a Tim Horton Children’s Foundation Camp.

Ontario Ministry of Education

The Tim Horton Children’s Foundation partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Education to develop specialized sessions at three Tim Horton Children’s Foundation Camps serving students from both provincially and federally funded schools across the province. The program focuses on cognitive, emotional, social and physical youth development themes and incorporates First Nations, Metis and Inuit cultures, histories and perspectives into the overall Tim Horton Children’s Foundation Camp experience.

Junior Canadian Ranger Program

The Junior Canadian Ranger (JCR) program offers young people in remote and isolated communities across Canada an opportunity to participate in fun and rewarding activities in a formal setting under the umbrella of the Department of National Defense. The JCR program has worked in partnership with the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation to provide a week-long program that focuses on responsible leadership.

Economic Development & Employment

Tim Hortons economic focus area is centered on encouraging Aboriginal restaurant ownership.

Since 2012, we have opened ten Aboriginal-owned Tim Hortons locations on Aboriginal lands. Restaurant locations provide an opportunity for employment, management and economic development opportunities for the Aboriginal community.

We are also working toward broadening our understanding of cross-cultural differences to further remove possible barriers to employment. To this end, we have been working with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB).The CCAB is a national non-profit organization dedicated to increasing employment, fostering positive business relations and creating economic opportunities for Aboriginal people, businesses and communities in Canada.