Engaging with Canada’s Indigenous communities requires a thoughtful approach that respects rights, culture and tradition.
Counsel has led major facilitation projects involving sensitive political issues on behalf of governments, government agencies, and industry under the leadership of principal John Beaucage, one of Canada’s most respected Indigenous leaders. We provide culturally sensitive and respectful engagement with Indigenous communities that supports positive outcomes for all involved.
We begin with an in-depth onboarding session with the core project team from all involved organizations to understand the objectives and interests, and ensure we have the information we need to make the process inclusive and culturally sensitive.
Working together, we craft the core materials needed to run each session successfully and ensure that the identified requirements are met. These materials can include a facilitation brief, agenda, presentations, and any other communications needed for success.
As facilitators, we moderate discussions and challenge participants to think boldly, question any preconceptions, and guide a respectful process encouraging participants to explore creative, new directions and/or opportunities while ensuring everyone’s views are heard.
It is critical that everyone knows their voice is being heard and that the process is transparent. Successful and meaningful engagement requires sharing a summary with all participants of what we heard. Once participants confirm that their perspectives are reflected, the summaries can feed into the development of subsequent supporting materials for future meetings and/or inform a final report.
Nibwaakaawin: Respectful Engagement with Indigenous Communities
Nibwaakaawin – meaning wisdom in Ojibwe – is a client-focused training program that builds understanding of First Nations and Indigenous rights, the evolving responsibilities of non-governmental entities to address these, and practical approaches to mitigate risk and build positive relationships with Indigenous peoples and communities. Tailored training sessions are provided by our cross-country team of associates.
Ontario Energy Board
Counsel completed a two-year project for the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) in relation to the Minister’s direction to the OEB to engage with Ontario’s First Nations and Métis communities on the proposed Energy East Pipeline.