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Working-Group-on-Natural-Resource-Development-Report-small

Working-Group-on-Natural-Resource-Development-Report-small

AdvancingPositive,

AdvancingPositive, ImpactfulChangecould be applied by First Nations to resource development in their territories to forman important, needed and currently lacking revenue base. Industry participants agreedthat a systematic national revenue strategy for First Nations would bring greatercertainty to natural resource development in Canada.Resource revenue sharing options and issues need to be explored nationally with theinvolvement of First Nations, appropriate levels of government, and technical experts.Some believe that First Nations and companies alike should not have to produceFirst Nations’ “fair share” of resource revenue sharing in Canada through limitedand investment-hampering resource revenue sharing agreements. But this discussionneeds to happen now, especially with the recent Tsilhqot’in Nation decision whichrecognized Aboriginal title to Tsilhqot’in lands that were regularly used, as well asAboriginal rights beyond regular use areas in their now-established wider territory. 13Striking a new fiscal relationship could achieve an added benefit by creating a forumfor ongoing consultation, discussion and dialogue about related financial issues andprovide a recognized and accepted model for resource development.RecommendationSenior business leadershipshould promote the value,benefits and businessadvantages of partnering andconducting business with FirstNations.Industry LeadershipIndustry CEOs and other business leaders, who have experience working alongsideFirst Nations governments, enterprises and peoples, are uniquely placed to championfor increased First Nations participation in natural resource development and relatedbusiness opportunities. We understand that even First Nations businesses that arecommercially successful often face barriers of perceived risk and a general lackof understanding, which can make forming joint ventures or securing financingimpossible. However, senior business leaders can help bridge this gap, especially bybroadening the understanding, among their peers, governments, and all Canadians,of the benefits and business advantages of partnering and doing business with FirstNations and Aboriginal enterprises.Page 27

AdvancingPositive, ImpactfulChangeRecommendationEmployers, unions, industryand professional associations,training and educationinstitutions should work withFirst Nations, with the supportof governments, to put in placestructures, policies, proceduresand incentives to enhanceemployment of First Nationscitizens.Employment StrategiesThe participation of First Nations citizens in the labour force has been limited by anumber of factors. For some, it may be a lack of basic education or an inability toaccess technical or advanced education, while others cannot find apprenticeships,confront discriminatory hiring practices, or struggle with employment policies that donot support long-term employment and advancement. The barriers are many. At thesame time, we are told that there are growing labour shortages in the skilled tradesthat could be addressed through national and regional First Nation employmentstrategies. First Nations are home to the youngest and fastest growing population inCanada and are often located in relatively close proximity to natural resource projects,but face a number of challenges such as educational outcomes and other socialdifficulties. There is a need to increase career opportunities for First Nations as partof natural resource development projects. This includes both meaningful long-termcareers in the trades and management positions.Employers, whether large resource companies or construction site contractors orsubcontractors, can better access this unique and underutilized human resource throughthe development of targeted and responsive policies, practices and incentives forhiring, career advancement, mentoring, and retention, including use of exit interviewsto gain information on Aboriginal-specific retention issues that need to be addressed.In addition, professional associations and unions can play a greater role in facilitatingcareer opportunities for First Nations, including the supply of members and access torelated training and certification requirements. Corporate social responsibility principlescould also feature capacity-building approaches in impact and benefit agreements andjoint ventures and more broadly to the transfer of business knowledge. This was viewedas particularly beneficial for shorter-term projects, such as pipeline construction.Specifically, industry, associations and unions can contribute to the goal of greater FirstNations participation in the human resource needs of major resource projects by:• developing long-term employment opportunities that provide for meaningfulcareers, rather than short-term (‘surplus’) labour;• adapting certification and qualifications requirements that can present barriers toFirst Nations recruitment, advancement and retention;• providing more mentorship and role-model programs that value and promotegreater First Nations participation; working with adults in First Nationscommunities who are open to changing careers or who have delayed their careerdevelopment;• recognizing the fast-growing, off-reserve First Nations labour pool andconsidering strategies for urban employment where companies have offices;Page 28

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