The CIPS Approach To
Indigenous Awareness And Engagement
Indigenous engagement is often viewed as an us versus them initiative. This statement implies that there are sides or teams when engagement is initiated. Our position on Indigenous engagement differs from this significantly. Our approach to Indigenous engagement is as follows:
a. We believe that there are no sides; only one project/program.
b. We believe that the best projects result when the most information has been gathered, processed, evaluated and included in all decisions or plans.
c. We believe Information is equal, as are all stakeholders and Rightsholders, and that Indigenous information holds the same value as non-Indigenous information and vice versa.
d. We believe that gathering information from different stakeholder and Rightsholder groups will require more effort and less traditional approaches than others.
Based on the above belief system, we feel that information from the Indigenous community is a valuable asset to successfully receive feedback from the Indigenous people and provide advice to the proponent. We also believe that gathering Indigenous specific information requires a special expertise.
There is no blanket or prescriptive approach to Indigenous engagement and outreach. Each Nation and community are distinct and consequently needs to be engaged differently. Our team understands that Indigenous leadership in the design of engagement methodology and implementation is frequently a critical factor in successful Indigenous engagements.
For that reason, CIPS will work collaboratively as part of the team to ensure that Indigenous knowledge and perspectives are continually at the forefront of the engagement and project/program completion efforts.
The CIPS team are experienced and have been very successful in this role. From developing the national engagement plan for the development of an Indigenous Wildland Fire Working Group to developing a national Indigenous engagement strategy gathering input into the federal government’s National Risk Profile, our team has the ability and understanding to develop a strategy that is trusted, accepted and supported by the Indigenous community.