As with reconciliation, the topic of Indigenous relations is also complex. It can be challenging and time-consuming for non-Indigenous governments, corporations, and NGO’s to navigate the complexities of Indigenous cultural protocols and community politics. For example, Canada has over 600 First Nations communities, which all have unique histories, cultural practices, languages, and connections to the land. For this reason, working closely with Indigenous organizations, businesses and corporations can assist governments, corporations, and NGO’s by providing perspective and strategic planning. Working with Indigenous companies and organizations also supports the Indigenous economy and empowers Indigenous peoples to act as leaders and contribute to progressive change.
Our consortium of international Indigenous advisors have compiled a list for governments, corporations and NGO’s that will provide insights into effective Indigenous relations strategies. This list is by no means exhaustive; however, it will provide ‘food for thought’ for creating Indigenous relations strategies and policy.
Ten Steps to Effective Indigenous Relations
Learn the history of the Original Peoples of the land where you live and work.
Work with Indigenous peoples when trying to solve social, economic and environmental problems in their communities.
Integrate the principles of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into corporate, NGO and government policy.
Create a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
Learn about cultural protocols, history and culture before visiting Indigenous communities (every Indigenous community is unique).
If you are non-Indigenous, empower Indigenous peoples, organizations and businesses to carry out capacity development work for your project(s).
Avoid appropriation of Indigenous culture; be proud of your own culture and roots.
Respect is a universal concept.
Keep an open mind; every individual has a different perspective that we can learn from.
Follow the 4 R’s – Respect, Reciprocity, Relevance, and Responsibility.
Have questions or would you like to work with our team to create an Indigenous relations strategy that is unique to your government, organization, or business? Contact Us.