Contribute to Success in Aboriginal Programs?
is important to keep in mind that
there is no
single best approach. Success arises from the interaction of many
works in one situation may not necessarily transfer to success in
other circumstances. Companies must determine what types of programs
are appropriate in their situation and take a flexible approach to
the design and implementation of their own Aboriginal programs and
Nevertheless there are some overall factors that contribute to
success. They include:
Relationships are critical.
Long-term relationships with Aboriginal communities are the key
to developing trust and understanding.
The level of corporate commitment to Aboriginal
relations and how this commitment is communicated throughout the
organization. A respectful culture is more likely to develop the
relationships necessary for constructive engagement and
communication. Senior management must lead Aboriginal corporate
policy, and staff at every level must understand what is
expected of them in creating a welcoming environment for
Aboriginal employees and businesses.
Early engagement and consultation.
is very important to engage the Aboriginal community at an early
stage. This is necessary to build trust and lay the foundation
for a solid relationship. Early engagement also allows
opportunity to explore the expectations of the Aboriginal
community and to clarify what opportunities the relationship can
and cannot deliver.
The capacity and willingness of the Aboriginal
Programs and practices that work with one Aboriginal community
may not be transferable to others because of differences in
culture, capacity to engage and political direction. At the very
least, the community must be receptive to engagement. Successful
workforce and business development initiatives also depend on
level of education, pre-employment skills and the overall
wellness of a community.
time and flexibility.
Successful Aboriginal relationships don’t happen overnight. It
is important to build in enough time to make a relationship
work, and enough flexibility so that programs can be easily
modified as experience is gained and conditions change.
success in Aboriginal programs is incremental. Programs cannot be
evaluated on a strict success/failure measure. Companies must start
with small, manageable projects that help build community capacity
and develop a relationship of trust from the outset. The quality of
the relationship is key. Everything builds upon that base.
ACR project also identified a number of additional factors that
contribute to the success of Aboriginal programs but are more
specific to each of the five program framework areas. They can be
used by companies as a checklist and are described below.
policy success factors
Success in Aboriginal relations requires a clear commitment in
corporate policies reinforced by senior management and driven by
explicit goals, targets and timetables.
Make the business case for building Aboriginal relationships.
Success in Aboriginal programs needs to be measured as
incremental gains rather than success or failure.
Understand the long-term ramifications and complexities of
signing agreements and acceding to demands that result from a
lack of upfront consultation or relationship building.
Seek out and develop either internal or external expertise
related to Aboriginal engagement.
Companies need to find ways to improve the continuity of
Aboriginal relations staff in dealing with Aboriginal
development success factors
recruiting Aboriginal candidates for training and employment
opportunities, broaden the recruiting pool rather than relax
Integrate training and employment opportunities.
Implement Aboriginal awareness and diversity training sessions
at all levels – senior management to front-line staff.
Establish formal mentoring programs for Aboriginal people
wanting to advance their careers or participate in on-the-job
Encourage networks of Aboriginal employees to meet and share
experience and mutual support.
recruiting Aboriginal employees for work away from home, ensure
there are other members on the crew from the same Aboriginal
Aboriginal communities, in particular the elders, a role in
recruitment of Aboriginal employees and involvement in the
creation and monitoring of programs for Aboriginal employees.
out to Aboriginal students while they are still in school giving
them the time and information necessary to make informed choices
about their education and career directions.
development success factors
strengthening the business capacity of the Aboriginal community.
Aboriginal business participation by matching business
opportunities with Aboriginal business capabilities.
that the Aboriginal or Aboriginal/corporate venture has adequate
management capacity in place.
procurement as a tool to provide opportunities for Aboriginal
structuring business arrangements with Aboriginal communities,
corporate governance needs to follow clear principles which are
defined at the outset.
relations success factors
Relationships are critical. Don’t show up only when you
Maintain relationships through the ‘peaks and valleys’ of
Assess where a community is at today before developing a
Develop community profiles because no two communities are
alike and each requires a customized approach to involvement.
agreements or cooperation protocols may help strengthen
relationships with Aboriginal communities and provide industry
with a measure of stability and continuity in its operations.
the more successful Aboriginal programs work in partnership with
other businesses, educational institutions, governments and
non-government organizations that have an interest in Aboriginal
stewardship success factors
Early engagement, even before a decision is made on whether a
project will proceed, is important to building trust,
communication and a solid relationship with the Aboriginal
Develop an effective consultation process with Aboriginal
communities as a means to mitigate risk and maximize
opportunities for mutual benefit.
Encourage Aboriginal communities to take a leadership role in
initiating traditional use studies.
involvement of Aboriginal communities as partners in integrated
resource management processes, and ecological, and fish and
wildlife management studies.
that priorities for both Aboriginal communities and industry are
identified and addressed through meaningful consultation
consultation must be carried out in a culturally appropriate
ACR Aboriginal Programs Project
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