Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples®

Learning Centre

Some Resources to help you with Indigenous Protocol

On October 1, 2017 as I listened to Jagmeet Singh make his acceptance speech as the newly crowned leader of the National Democratic Party I was struck by how far Canada has come. He was the first visible minority to lead a national party, and pretty much the first words of his acceptance were to acknowledge “that we are on the traditional land of the Haudenosaunee, Wendat, Anishinaabe and the territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit.” Wow.

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Topics: Indigenous protocol

Including Indigenous Caterers In Your Procurement Strategy

When developing your Indigenous Procurement Strategy one of the services you might consider including are the services of an Indigenous caterer. Or, for that next meeting with your shareholders, consider having it catered by an Indigenous chef - you will make a statement that supporting Indigenous culture is part of your corporate culture.

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Topics: Indigenous procurement

Two Examples of Indigenous Education Programs

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) Report and calls to action in 2015 brought some hard facts about residential schools to the surface and into the conscious of millions of Canadians. Among many other positive outcomes, the TRC report motivated many school districts to look at how education had been used as a tool of assimilation and the impact of that usage on Indigenous students today. School districts also started to look at their curriculum - at the way in which the relationship between the government and Indigenous Peoples was portrayed and that information about the residential school system was not included in the curriculum - had it been, there would not have been such a shock wave in society when the TRC report came out. As Commissioner Murray Sinclair of the TRC said “We have to start addressing the way that we teach our children about Indigenous people.”

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Topics: Indigenous education

Some Indigenous Protocol Examples

Updated: January, 2017

We are at an interesting juncture in Canada in terms of Indigenous relations. On the one hand there is an awakening and awareness on the part of mainstream Canadians, the media, and governments that is contributing to a landscape of reconciliation. This awareness and awakening is causing many to accept and reconcile, rather than hide from, uncomfortable truths about the history of Canada and how Indigenous Peoples have been treated. It is also generating calls by Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians for the removal of tributes to historical figures who were particularly ruthless in their treatment of Indigenous Peoples. On the other hand, there are some Canadians who struggle to make a name for themselves by clinging to and broadcasting their colonial ideals and beliefs. I don’t want to give any airtime to the latter - they simply don’t warrant any attention.

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Topics: Reconciliation, Indigenous relations

The Importance of Indigenous Radio

by Olivia Marie Golosky

When we think of the radio landscape in Canada, especially in the mainstream context, the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) is at the forefront of everyone's mind. While having new programming that is dedicated to Indigenous issues/content (Rosanna Deerchild’s Unreserved, Candy Palmater’s The Candy Show and Jarrett Martineau's Reclaimed), there is an obvious gap and lack of Indigenous representation within our nation’s largest radio broadcaster. Delving a bit deeper into radioland, we find the Campus & Community Radio stations. One would think these are more indie less mainstream therefore surely they have more diverse representation in their boards, staff and membership etc. Unfortunately that is not the case, especially when it comes to Indigenous content and Indigenous people being the content creators.

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Topics: Aboriginal Arts and Culture

7 Tips on Building Relationships with Indigenous Peoples

The quality of your relationship with an Indigenous community will be measured by the effort invested and the integrity of your team. You have to realize why it is critical that a respectful relationship is fundamental to the success of any pending business partnership. If you hold onto the concept that it’s a business-to-community relationship you are developing as opposed to a business-to-business relationship, then you will be off to a good start.


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Topics: Indigenous relations

What does Indigenous connectivity mean?

The woldview of many Indigenous Peoples includes the principle of connectivity - that everything in the universe is connected. The spirit world is connected to the mortal world, the sea is connected to the land, and the sky is connected to the ground. Connectivity explains the connection people have to their communities, their traditional territories, the ecosystem on those lands.  

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Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Awareness

Can a proponent refuse to take on procedural aspects of the duty to consult?

True or false?  A proponent can refuse to take on the procedural aspects of consultation.

It’s true, it’s been done, but it can be a questionable move. A proponent that decides to rely on the Crown to fulfil its duty to consult risks placing itself in a vulnerable position on a very critical component of project development.

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Topics: Indigenous consultation and engagement

Tips for purchasing Authentic Indigenous Art

In Why Buying Authentic Indigenous Art is Important I talked about the cultural and economic impact knock off art has on Indigenous artists and communities. In this article I share an example of a non-Indigenous retailer profiting from “inspired’ works of a small Indigenous community, and include some tips for buying authentic Indigenous art at the end of the article.

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Topics: Aboriginal Arts and Culture

Why Buying Authentic Indigenous Art is Important

A newsletter reader sent us a message asking if we would write something about appropriated art. The topic of cultural appropriation is increasingly making headlines, and 2017 so far has been rife with controversies. In one aspect, the fact that there is such a concentrated discussion in mainstream and social media is, I think, the silver lining to this particular cloud. The other view of the cloud is how troubling it is that this affront to Indigenous culture is ongoing despite the coverage in mainstream media.

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Topics: Aboriginal Arts and Culture