First Nations Engagement Lessons Learned

Canadian law requires resource development companies to consult with First Nations about projects in their territories but conducting meaningful consultation and building subsequent partnerships can be challenging.

There is no set engagement process. Every First Nation has different needs, desires and opinions about development and specific projects happening in their area. Each Nation has a different organizational structure, a number of houses which may need to be consulted, and a variety of communications methods. Issues of capacity, governance mechanism, the legacy of the Indian Act and many more factors specific to each nation also have an effect.
This challenge has long been recognized. Extensive information is available on how to consult with First Nations 'the right way'. Nevertheless, many corporations – and First Nations - still struggle to find common ground, and build long-term partnerships.

SNCIRE proposes to create a booklet detailing case studies and 'lessons learned' that could help parties understand what went right, what went wrong, and how things could have been done differently to get a better result. The booklet would be based on interviews with both project proponents and First Nations who have been both successful and unsuccessful in moving development projects forward via meaningful engagement.