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Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples™

Let this blog be your guide

Developing Your Indigenous Procurement Strategy

A procurement strategy is the plan as to how your organization will procure (acquire) the cost-effective goods and services required to successfully operate. An Indigenous procurement strategy (IPS) is just as it sounds - a strategy to procure cost-effective goods and services from Indigenous firms, and are typically part of an Impact and Benefit Agreement between an organization and an Indigenous community.

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Topics: Indigenous relations, Indigenous economic development

Building Indigenous community capacity and the duty to consult

 

While the duty to consult is a hard fought for, constitutionally recognized component of resource project development, in reality it can be an onerous burden for an Indigenous community. In Duty to Consult’ a Cruel Joke If First Nations Can’t Handle the Load, Alex Power, a Regulatory and Research Specialist with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, defines the impact the duty to consult places on an Indigenous community in terms of processing the associated tsunami of paperwork. Here’s his description of what’s involved in terms of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for a major project:

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Topics: Indigenous relations

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

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

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

11 Attributes of an Effective Indigenous Relations Practitioner

The ideal Indigenous Relations Practitioner (IRP) has the ability required to fulfill the mandate of the organization while developing a positive working relationship with Indigenous leaders, communities, and organizations. They will have the skills to build within the Indigenous leaders and communities an understanding of the organization’s business and values and to build within the organization an understanding of the challenges and interests of Indigenous Peoples and communities.

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Topics: Indigenous relations

Why should you learn to pronounce Indigenous names

 

It’s becoming more commonplace for formal meetings to begin with an acknowledgement of the traditional or treaty territory on which the meeting is being held. It’s good to see this really positive development on the increase because by doing so signals that you recognize that community’s deep, historical and constitutionally protected connection to the territory.

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Topics: Reconciliation, Indigenous relations

Value of Engaging with Indigenous Communities Via Social Media


Early, respectful, transparent and consistent communication with Indigenous communities is the foundation of any good engagement strategy. In order for your project to be fully analysed and considered by an Indigenous community you need to engage with the entire community and that means those who live there as well as those who live elsewhere. Absence from their home community for school or work or other reasons does not mean that absent members are not connected with their home community or don’t have opinions and concerns about development.

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Topics: Indigenous relations

Protecting Indigenous Traditional Knowledge plus an Agreement example

Indigenous Traditional Knowledge (TK) is now a common component of environmental impact assessments and resource management policies. This was not always the case and now that TK is a requirement it poses a significant problem for Indigenous communities – the very real need to protect and preserve the information.  Communities are increasingly inundated with requests for TK studies which put preservation of their TK at risk. Access to Indigenous Traditional Knowledge is a gift, not a right.

Gary Pritchard, an Environmental and Ecological Coordinator with Neegan Burnside Ltd., writes TK agreements for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous clients. He shares some of his insight here and has also provided a generic TK consent and confidentiality agreement that can be downloaded and adapted.

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Topics: Indigenous relations