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Why Is Indigenous Community Engagement Important?

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

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Good afternoon, my name is Sara Jane Souliere. I am the director of Energy and Climate Change for CIPS (Cambium Indigenous Professional Services).

I am fairly new to CIPS and the reason that I have joined CIPS is to move back into the energy field.

Energy and infrastructure is the type of background that I have (and come from) and as part of energy and infrastructure, engaging with Indigenous Communities is something that I (highly) value.

The history we have as Indigenous People and not being involved in discussions in the economy and any type of development in infrastructure builds. There is a duty to consult and the UN declaration (which needs to be ratified) to ensure that Indigenous People are heard (and engaged) on these types of projects.

Duty to consult is a legal concept in which Canada now has to engage (Indigenous People). There is no longer (the old way of thinking) where Canada can come in (and corporations) and do what they want (in terms of development) without the input and advice from Indigenous People.

Engagement is very important and this is something that CIPS can help with the engagement process to ensure that we (Indigenous People) are at the table with the companies, Canada and the Province so that are voices are heard.

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