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Northern and Aboriginal Policy

Northern and Aboriginal Policy is a knowledge area within the Public Policy division of the Conference Board of Canada.

The success of Canada’s Northern and Aboriginal communities is widely recognized as critical to Canada’s economic growth and social cohesion. The issues are complex and sometimes conflicted. The Conference Board of Canada aims to fill the knowledge gaps in policy development and analysis within key issues such as: community resilience; labour market needs; capacity building; land use planning; infrastructure and natural resource development; and health and wellness.

The Conference Board’s Northern and Aboriginal-related networks and research services are ideally suited to help you understand these issues and address them within the context of your organization.

Executive Networks allow you to engage with peers and stakeholders and to participate in facilitated closed-door discussions. It is here that you will network and exchange ideas with the country’s senior corporate, Aboriginal, and public sector leaders in this area. You will also benefit from the Conference Board’s unparalleled access to a broad range of expert speakers.

The Conference Board of Canada offers a wide range of research services with access to in-depth studies and independent reports on hot-topics. It also offers custom research/services from small, short-term research projects to large-scale research investigations.


Upcoming Summit

Our Land, Our Future: National Summit on Indigenous Youth and Natural Resource Development

Date: November 21–22, 2017
Location: Calgary, AB (Grey Eagle Resort and Casino)

About the Summit
Relationships between industry, government, and Indigenous peoples lie at the heart of Canada’s natural resource sector. Each holds a powerful position with unique rights and responsibilities. Yet, all parties rely on the others to fully achieve their long-term aspirations and objectives. Canada’s future prosperity depends on these groups building respectful, collaborative, and mutually-beneficial relationships so that each can become a stronger, more supportive partner for the others. A collaborative, mutually-beneficial approach is also critical to ensuring sustainable, environmentally responsible development.


Northern and Aboriginal Policy Blog

Finding the “Win-Win” in Major Project Agreements

by
| Mar 08, 2017
Christopher Duschenes
Director
Northern and Aboriginal Policy,
Centre for the North

Lessons From Indigenous Groups and Industry Proponents

Over the past 30 years, major project agreements (MPAs) between Indigenous communities and natural resources companies have become the cornerstone of successful development projects in Canada. It is increasingly clear that without MPAs, the likelihood of major projects proceeding is significantly reduced and that partnerships between Indigenous communities and industry are now the norm, not the exception. Corporate and Indigenous community leaders emphasize the need of having MPAs to build trust, improve certainty, and establish joint economic development opportunities. MPAs can now be found from coast to coast to coast across the traditional territories of Indigenous peoples. In the mining sector alone, more than 400 agreements have been concluded between Indigenous groups and project proponents since 1995.

Given the growing importance of MPAs, The Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for the North (CFN) initiated research to gain a better understanding of the context and elements that form the basis of successful agreements. On March 6, 2017, our report on this issue was released, and it can be downloaded free of charge.

The report documents critical success factors, common obstacles, and challenges that Indigenous groups and proponents need to be mindful of at different phases of major project agreement-making—from early-stage negotiations to long-term implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. For Indigenous groups, the report provides insight into how to navigate potential and expected developments. It also suggests ways that Indigenous governments and businesses can work together to leverage the opportunities presented by major projects, transforming time-limited financial benefits from exhaustible resource development into long-term legacies for their communities.

For industry proponents, the report demonstrates how a corporate focus on building and maintaining healthy relationships with Indigenous groups will enhance the likelihood that the major project will reach the operational stage. Through successful negotiation and implementation of an MPA’s terms and conditions, proponents can establish and maintain the social licence required to effectively develop their project.

The balance of power around natural resource development is shifting and Indigenous communities are increasingly becoming key players in major economic development projects across Canada. An equitable sharing of the natural resources wealth of the country is a meaningful and significant element of reconciliation. Encouraging this trend is a “win-win” for everyone.

Please distribute the report widely, and we encourage you to provide us with your feed-back. All Centre for the North reports are available free of charge.

Learn about becoming a member of the Centre for the North.

Related Webinar

Major Project Agreements and Indigenous Communities: Finding the Win-Win
The Conference Board of Canada, February 28, 2017


Three photos showing a summer mountain scene, a mother and toddler, and a polar bear


Contact Us

For inquiries about NAP executive networks, please contact:

Stefan Fournier
Associate Director, Northern and Aboriginal Policy
613-526-3090x449
Email imagestefan.fournier@conferenceboard.ca

For inquiries about NAP custom research, please contact:

Adam Fiser
Principal Research Associate
613-526-3090x391
Email imagefiser@conferenceboard.ca