Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples™

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Why Pre-engagement Research of Indigenous Communities is Important

There are many reasons for researching an Indigenous community but for the purposes of this article we are talking about research in terms of a project proponent and an Indigenous community.

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Topics: Indigenous consultation and engagement

4 Terms to Avoid in Verbal Communications with Indigenous Peoples




Language has the power to respect and honour, or, hurt and offend and that is particularly true when working across cultures. Within that frame of reference, we respectfully recommend that when working with Indigenous Peoples you have an understanding of how the historical context of certain phrases can affect your communication and relationships with Indigenous Peoples.

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Topics: Indigenous relations

What is Indigenous procurement?


Simply put, Indigenous procurement is the act of purchasing goods and/or services from an Indigenous-owned business. For example, my company, Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., is an an Indigenous-owned business that provides training for government, corporations, and individuals on how to work with Indigenous Peoples. So, for those of you who have taken my training, you, or your team lead, have engaged in Indigenous procurement.

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Topics: Indigenous economic development

Reconciliation and Donating to Indigenous Organizations

December is typically a month in which many Canadians look for ways to provide some financial assistance to not-for-profit organizations that help certain groups of people. There is no shortage of these organizations and causes - some are so large and omnipresent, such as United Way, they are household names, others not so much.

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Topics: Indigenous relations

Why Are There Stereotypes About Indigenous Peoples

Following every training session we ask learners if they would kindly take the time to fill in a survey about the training. We find these surveys invaluable as they help us ensure the training fulfills our on-site and public workshop clients’ needs, provides insight to what learners are interested in, and provides ideas for new training modules, blog articles and ebooks. A survey from a recent training session included requests for more information regarding stereotypes about Indigenous Peoples.

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Topics: Aboriginal History, Indigenous relations

What’s the Difference Between Historic and Modern Treaties

We have received requests to provide a description of the difference between historic and modern treaties. This article attempts to answer the question plus provide some additional background.


For terms of reference, historic treaties were made between 1701 and 1923. Historic treaties were marked in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and parts of British Columbia; the first  modern treaty was signed in 1975.

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Topics: Treaties

The Role of the Indigenous Employment Coordinator


…”there is a growing number of IBAs signed between industry and Aboriginal communities that include a clear target for a number of employment opportunities to be reserved for Aboriginal people.” [1]


An Impacts and Benefits Agreement (IBA) is frequently a feature of effective consultation between a project proponent and an Indigenous community. As the majority of resource development projects are on the traditional lands of Indigenous Peoples, a key consideration for community leaders when negotiating an IBA is ensuring there are employment opportunities for community members.

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Topics: Aboriginal Recruitment and Retention

6 Tips on Meeting With Indigenous Leaders

If you are planning to schedule a meeting with Indigenous leaders of the community you want to work with, here are some suggestions you should keep in mind. These tips are in addition to what you learn in your due diligence on whether or not to shake hands, make and hold eye contact, how to dress and other respectful cultural considerations.

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Topics: Indigenous relations

14 Facts You May Not Know About Contributions of Indigenous Veterans

Did you know November 8 is National Aboriginal Veterans Day? If you are new to the knowledge of the significant contributions of Indigenous veterans during the First and Second World Wars, and the Korean War, here are some facts to pique your interest and build your knowledge.

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Topics: Aboriginal History

A look at First Nations Prohibition of alcohol 

The Indian Act Prohibited the sale of alcohol to First Nations (1884 - 1985)


“Every one who by himself, his clerk, servant or agent, and every one who in the employment or on the premises of another directly or indirectly on any pretense or by any device,

(a) sells, barters, supplies or gives to any Indian or non-treaty Indian, or to any person male or female who is reputed to belong to a particular band, or who follows the Indian mode of life, or any child of such person any intoxicant, or causes or procures the same to be done or attempts the same or connives thereat…..

….shall, on summary conviction before any judge, police magistrate, stipendiary magistrate, or two justices of the peace or Indian agent, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months and not less than one month, with or without hard labour, or to a penalty not exceeding three hundred dollars and not less than fifty dollars with costs of prosecution, or to both penalty and imprisonment in the discretion of the convicting judge, magistrate, justices of the peace or Indian agent.” [1]

Note on terminology: in this article we use the term "Indian" as it is the term used in the Indian Act. 

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Topics: Indian Act