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Indigenous Awareness Training - Questions To Ask

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

The following 6 questions were created as a part of an Indigenous Awareness Training workshop that CIPS developed for a client interested in working with a First Nation Community. These questions were designed to help the client (and organization) assess what they need (and offer) for a potentially successful partnership.

It is very important to understand that before communicating with an Indigenous Community that your organization knows what it is they are expecting and what they are offering. Knowing this will help improve communication and expectations for a potentially beneficial partnership with a First Nations community or organization. Need help? Click here to contact us for a consultation.

Question 1: What Do We Have To Offer In A Relationship?
  • Data

  • Willingness to share our research

  • Certain expertise

  • Mapping

  • Certain knowledge

  • Capacity

  • Partnerships

  • Work towards common goal

  • Open to learning new things

  • Diverse talents

  • Diversity

  • Knowledge in key areas

  • Different resources

  • Expertise

  • Sharing resources

  • Sensitivity

  • Respect

Question 2: What Are We Seeking in a Partner?
  • Shared interests and goals

  • Mutual respect

  • Communication

  • Sharing knowledge

  • Monitoring (sharing SAR knowledge)

  • Better understanding of concerns

  • Stability

  • Trust

  • Honesty

  • Knowledge

  • Continuation of sharing of data

  • Communication

  • Honesty/trust

  • Indigenous support (doing the right thing)

  • Excitement/belief in what you’re doing

  • Expertise

  • Knowledge of the community

  • Co-operation

  • Flexibility

  • Openness

Question 3: What Are Our Relationship Limits?
  • Different backgrounds

  • Different cultures

  • Government

  • Stereotypes

  • Funding

  • Prior engagements

  • Commitment

  • Limits out of our control

  • Conflicting interests

  • Communication

  • Money (budget)

  • Knowledge

Question 4: What Baggage Do We Bring To The Relationship?
  • Stereotypes

  • People don’t want to work with us because they think we are government

  • Looks like we are trying too hard

  • Inherit frustration of expectations of CA by First Nation (ie you’re CA fix this)

  • Lack of internal knowledge between departments

  • Personal baggage based in life experiences/history

  • Lack of knowledge on both sides

  • Preconceived notions

  • Lack of support from Community -“government organizations”

  • Far away-geographical

  • Lack of understanding

  • Pre conceived ideas/stereotypes

  • Past experiences

Question 5: What Is Your Desired Objective Of The Relationship?
  • Positive working relationship

  • Desired commitment to the environment

  • Free flowing communication

  • Similar vision and execution of projects to ensure projects get completed

  • Become better teachers/communicators

  • Improve health of watershed

  • Certain leaders for certain subjects

  • Learn

  • Improve knowledge

  • Mutual respect and benefits

  • Long-term open relationships

  • Open communication

  • Honesty

  • Good understanding of each others goals

  • Success

  • Continued relationship building

  • Mutually beneficial

  • Understanding of both sides

Question 6: Call To Action Of Your Prospective Partner?
  • Reciprocal feedback and open communication

  • Positive contributions

  • Expectation that the First Nation will work with us (don’t want one-way relationship)

  • Open lines of communication

  • Informal engagement

  • Maintain the relationship

  • Room for improvement

  • Reach out

  • Mutually beneficial goals reached

  • Start a relationship

  • Decide what you want from relationship

  • Commitment

To gain more awareness insight, see Indigenous Awareness Training Parts 1 / Indigenous Awareness Training Part 2 and Indigenous Awareness Training Parts 3 for the more valuable First Nations awareness training.

To find out how we can help you with your Indigenous Awareness and Engagement activities, please see our web page Indigenous Engagement Training or contact us at: (705) 657-1126 (Email):

To set up a short 15 minute consultation with our CEO, Mike Jacobs, please see this page here. Chi Miigwetch (thank you) and good luck!

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