Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples™

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Recent Posts

What You Need To Know About Indigenous Language Revitalization

Guest contributors:

Amanda Pereira & Jillian Morgan, wintranslation


Indigenous languages are struggling to survive. With the number of Indigenous language speakers on the decline, some of these languages are on the verge of completely disappearing. Many of Canada’s Indigenous languages, such as Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca, are estimated to have less than one hundred speakers. But, due to an increasing awareness of Indigenous people and the importance of their culture and language in Canada, Indigenous language revitalization efforts are being made to keep these languages alive.

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Topics: Reconciliation, Indigenous Awareness

Indigenous Economic Development Corporations – The ABCs

Sometimes when the name says it all, the name says it all. This is true in a basic sense with Indigenous Economic Development Corporations. Namely a corporation (or group of corporations) formed to develop the economic activity of a community.


Economic Development Corporations (also known as “EDCs”) in short form are corporations formed under the laws of governmental regulation to manage the economic arm of the Indigenous community. They are becoming more and more commonly used in Canada and, more importantly, are becoming more influential in the overall Canadian corporate environment.

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Topics: Indigenous economic development

Free Prior and Informed Consent and the Nation to Nation Relationship

This article was contributed by Matthew Hutchinson. 

Last year, the first World Conference on Indigenous Peoples adopted a consensus statement reaffirming support for the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples. Perry Bellegarde, then Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and currently the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, spoke at the event, stating afterwards that “it was an opportunity for all states to reaffirm their commitment to working constructively with Indigenous peoples.”[1] Canada, however, was the only United Nations Member State to raise objections over the landmark document, maintaining that it could not commit to upholding provisions in the 2007 Declaration that affirm the right of local communities, particularly Indigenous peoples, to ‘free, prior and informed consent’ (FPIC).

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Lessons in Indigenous Negotiations Part 3

Lesson 3 of 4: Getting to Maybe, or “Why is ‘Yes’ So Hard?”

Perhaps the most common refrain heard from the non-Indigenous party to a negotiation goes something like this: “Our negotiators have agreed to all of the main issues but the Chief seems to be stalling us. He/She is not prepared to sign the agreement, even though everything is agreed. Makes no sense to us, so let’s give them a hard deadline to sign or we will walk.” 


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Topics: Indigenous relations

Lessons in Indigenous Negotiations Part 2

Lesson 2 of 4 Community/Client Engagement, or "You Agreed to What?"

by Dave Kennedy, President, Strategic Aboriginal Consulting Inc.


It is trite to say that we must keep our communities and clients informed. This is patently obvious. But what does keeping them informed mean? 


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Topics: Indigenous relations

Lessons in Indigenous Negotiations

Lessons in Indigenous Negotiations


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Table


 by Dave Kennedy, President of Strategic Aboriginal Consulting Inc

Lesson 1 of 4 Mandate, or “What Do We Want to Accomplish?”

This is one of the most overlooked areas in Indigenous negotiations. Often the mandate is to get as good a deal as possible. But rarely do we dig down to find out what “a good deal” looks like.  If we are talking about an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) does a good deal merely mean lots of money? Does it include: contracting opportunities, environmental protection, community engagement, participation of Elders, project safety and lasting benefits? And beneath each of these have we determined, for example, what are our contracting capacities, where do we need a partner, what contracting will give us a head start to work on other projects? 

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Topics: Indigenous relations

Allison Rippin Armstrong - The Value of Early Aboriginal Engagement

Allison Rippin Armstrong, Director of Lands and Environment, Kaminak Gold Corporation, has nearly 20 years of experience working in permitting, regulatory processes and environmental compliance working for resource companies, Aboriginal organizations and NGOs. She is a strong advocate for early engagement and enduring consultation with Aboriginal communities. Allison kindly spent some time with to talk about why early engagement is so important.

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Topics: Aboriginal Consultation and Engagement

Bryan Bodell - Aboriginal Engagement


Bryan Bodell
Bodell Consulting
Guest Author: Bryan Bodell

For many non-Aboriginal businesspeople looking to explore opportunities with Aboriginal companies, outwardly, it can look like business as usual. However it is not.

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Topics: Aboriginal Relations, Aboriginal Consultation and Engagement

1969 White Paper - Rejected by Liberal Party of Canada

At the Liberal Party of Canada biennial convention in Montreal in February 2014, party members voted on a number of policy resolutions. Of particular interest to me was the resolution to reject the 1969 White Paper on Indian Policy, whose authors included Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

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Topics: Aboriginal Issues

Keith Matthew on structuring negotiations with First Nations

Keith Matthew, founder, Seklep Business Services, is a member of and former chief of the Simpcw First Nation. He served for five years as chief and five years as Councilor up until December 2010. In this interview with Keith shares some valuable insights from his perspective as a negotiator for his community and as a business leader on structuring negotiations with First Nations.

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Topics: Aboriginal Relations