Relationship Building with Indigenous Needs More Than Cookie Cutter Approach

February 16, 2018

An in depth piece encouraging mining proponents and operators to consider their strategy around building relationships with Indigenous peoples has received verbatim coverage in a key mining industry magazine.

The Canadian Mining Magazine  ran the Torys Quarterly piece “Relationship Building with Indigenous Peoples – A Beneficial Strategy for Project Proponents and Operators” discusses the imperative issue of relationship building with Indigenous peoples and how that can affect the project. The article was authored by The Hon. Frank Iacobucci, Michael Fortier, Valerie Helbronner and John Terry

An excerpt from the article is below.

While a project may benefit from any relationship building with Indigenous Peoples, this article focuses on developing and maintaining a particular type of relationship that we have seen repeatedly benefit large energy, infrastructure and mining projects. More specifically, these relationships generally have the following key attributes:

  1. The relationships are based on mutual respect and trust, the importance of which cannot be overstated. Mutual respect and trust built on positive, ongoing and mutual conduct.
  2. Each party understands the other’s interests over the short, medium and long term and is willing to accommodate, at least, some of the other party’s interests.
  3. The parties are committed to a long-term relationship (as opposed to a transactional or short-term approach). Part of this commitment is often due to aligning long-term interests, including financial ones.

In our experience, there is no “cookie cutter” process that leads to a strong, mutually-beneficial relationship with Indigenous Peoples. However, the attributes described above are key indicia of such a relationship.

This article formed a key part of the Q1 edition of the Torys Quarterly.

You can read the original version of the article here.

You can learn more about Torys’ Indigenous work by heading to the practice page.


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