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5 Steps To Meaningful Indigenous Community Engagement

Updated: Aug 2



At CIPS, we know and understand the Indigenous Engagement process. With over 50 years of combined experience in the Indigenous Engagement and Awareness field, our Indigenous led teams implement and use proven engagement strategies to yield the best results.


Today, I am going to outline 5 steps that CIPS incorporates into it's Indigenous Engagement models to elicit high engagement responses. This model represents one of various Indigenous Engagement methods that CIPS uses to improve engagement response rates and ultimately, bottom line results.


Step 1: Inform


The Goal: To provide community members with balanced and objective information that will assist them in making an informed decision.


The Style: "Here's what's happening"


The following techniques can be used to INFORM.

  • Websites

  • Videos

  • Infographics

  • Social media

  • Advertising - paid ads on radio, newspaper, TV, or online

  • Media Coverage - earned media - free media traction via press releases, news conference, etc.,

  • Printed Collateral - newsletters, letters, posters, fact sheets, brochures, reports, etc.,

  • Presentations / Livestreaming

  • Expert panels

  • Displays / Exhibits - set up at community events

  • Public meetings

Step 2: Consult


The Goal: To obtain community member's feedback on analysis, alternatives, and/or decisions.


The Style: "Here are some options, what do you think?"


The following techniques can be used to CONSULT.

  • Polls

  • Voting

  • Surveys

  • Interviews

  • Workshops

  • Focus Groups

  • Online Forums

  • Social Media Listening

  • Virtual Discussion / Town Halls

  • Door-To-Door

Step 3: Involve


The Goal: To work directly with community members throughout the process to ensure that their concerns and ideas are consistently understood.


The Style: "Here's the challenge, what ideas to you have?"


The following techniques can be used to INVOLVE.

  • Community Mapping or Mind Mapping

  • Digital Storytelling - multimedia movies that combine photographs, videos, sounds, music, text, and a narrative voice

  • Visioning

  • Citizens' Panel - a group of people who are representative of the community that are surveyed from time to time

Step 4: Collaborate


The Goal: To work closely with community members in each aspect of the project.


The Style: "Let's work together"


The following techniques can be used to COLLABORATE.

  • Large Group Meetings

  • Document Co-Creation - allow community members to collaborate in real time on a project

  • Open Space Meetings

  • Working Groups / Study Circles

Step 5: Empower


The Goal: Shared leadership of the community-led project with final decision-making at the community level.


The Style: "What are the next steps we can take?"


The following techniques can be used to EMPOWER.

  • Decision-making platform

  • Citizen Committees - community members can share ideas and have a voice in the decision-making process

  • Community Indicator Projects - community members discuss what's important, what's working, and what's not working

  • Asset-based Community Development

5 Steps to Meaningful Community Engagement:

  1. Inform

  2. Consult

  3. Involve

  4. Collaborate

  5. Empower

Does your organization or business need help with Indigenous Engagement and Awareness? CIPS has over 50 years combined experience in the Indigenous Awareness and Engagement field with proven techniques and methods. To find out more, please call us at: (705) 657-1126 or email at spirit@indigenousaware.com To chat directly with our CEO, Mike Jacobs via Zoom, please book an appointment for a consultation at: https://go.oncehub.com/MikeJacobs


Related Articles:

5 principles for effective Indigenous Engagement


Doing business with First Nations: A beginners guide


Indigenous awareness training: A foundation for success


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