The factors at play in any relationship with Aboriginal communities are complex and challenging. Working with Aboriginal people and their communities has become a critical component of corporate operational planning, especially if you are working on the land or under it.
Getting onto the land is now a national issue impacting practically ever industry from coast to coast. Major court decisions support the claims that Aboriginal communities have a legal right to the use of natural resources and protections of the environment. Why is it that industries find this concept so unbelievable and often simply unacceptable?
This has been the case for many decades now. Put simply, the rules of engagement between Industry and Aboriginal communities have changed the “doing business” landscape forever. Many provincial governments have been of the same mindset and now find themselves dismayed, confused and giving out some really bad advice.
Aboriginal awareness training is only the beginning of what should become a long-term, committed relationship. You and your companies need to identify the business case and develop Aboriginal relations programs to ensure certainty, consent, Aboriginal participation, and access to land and resources.
Sometimes, this process is not successful and it’s never simple. There is no quick fix, one-size-fits-all solution.
Strategies, objectives, action matrix, assigning resources, ensuring clarity and senior executive support eventually evolve into your own corporate Aboriginal Relations Program.
Learning how to be good neighbours and business partners ￼￼￼with Aboriginal peoples is essential if we wish to operate effectively and efficiently in a constantly changing regulatory environment.