By Steven Pacifico & Chris Henderson
THE Truth and Reconciliation Commission made a loud and clear call for a new era of people-centered and respect-based relationships between Indigenous Communities and Canada. The Commission and its recommendations was a watershed moment for our country.
Can Canadian society “walk the talk” and embrace Real Reconciliation; especially in resource sectors such as energy, and specifically to advance clean energy development on traditional territory?
We can and we should.
The core challenge is how reconciliation is embodied in new and emerging Indigenous-Business relationships that are respectful, thoughtful, and impactful.
At the GLOBE Conference in Vancouver in March 2016 Indigenous and business leaders delved into the issue, in a collaborative manner with a large, engaged, and connected group of 150 GLOBE delegates. Kudos to discussion leaders:
- Caleb Behn, Lands Director, West Moberly First Nations & Keeper of the Water Society
- Carol Ann Hilton, CEO, Transformation International
- Siegfried Kiefer, President & Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Utilities Ltd.
- Chief Gordon Planes, T’Sou-ke Nation & Board Member of Land Advisory Board
- Max Skudra, Senior Manager Research, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
It was a frank, open, and constructive dialogue. Speaker after speaker spoke passionately about their experience with Indigenous-Business relationships, emphasizing that they were more successful, profitable, and values driven when true engagement and partnership was embedded into clean energy projects.
Through insight and interaction, Seven Key Principles were articulated and affirmed to shape Indigenous-Business relationships for clean energy projects, and other resource sector opportunities.
- Formally recognize treaties and rights.
- Commit to free, prior, and informed consent.
- Develop new protocols of engagement for respecting values.
- Allow for the exploration of new partnership/ownership models.
- Develop new measures of success.
- Dedicate resources to build capacity on both sides.
- Develop a new language and narrative of success.
To read the rest of this article, visit the Energy Exchange website.
Steven Pacifico, Director, Energy Exchange