Consultation and communication between the Resource Extraction Industry and First Nations communities has its challenges. Many of the projects take place in remote communities on indigenous lands, resulting in social and environmental impacts. So how can we build more sustainable relationships between communities and industry?
The Resource Extraction Industry is receiving increased pressure to provide support to the communities they work with. Projects that support cultural preservation, economic development and capacity building programs are priorities for most Resource Extraction Companies. If a community is moving forward in working with industry it only makes sense that an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) includes preservation of culture along with responsible and sustainable socioeconomic development. These partnerships can be win-win and work towards creating symbiotic relationships between industry and communities while putting First Nation’s culture and values first!
CES’s mandate has always been to support local community development initiatives that ensure preservation of culture through responsible socioeconomic development and empowerment. Over the past few years we’ve created an interactive mobile platform that allows communities to celebrate the spirit and identity of their people through digital storytelling, known as the My Community App. The My Community App provides a platform for community members to share their voice and enables them to support their goals and celebrate their story and culture.
|West Moberly Storyscapes App|
For many communities, funding has always been a roadblock in bringing these types of projects to life, so we thought we would share some success stories from the communities that we’ve worked with to get these projects off the ground.
Teck Resources Ltd. and West Moberly First Nation teamed up to create the Storyscapes Project. Teck inc. committed to working with West Moberly to bridge their communication gap through a digital storytelling project that shares the spirit and identity of West Moberly First Nation on an interactive App. This mobile App provides an understanding of the community’s culture, their modern way of living, and what’s important to them. The App can be found at http://westmostoryscapes.com.
In Kitselas First Nation, Chevron provided funding support to assist them in moving forward with their digital storytelling project. It was Web Bennet, the Coordinator for the Kitselas Canyon Historic Site’s dream to see this project come to life and Chevron provided them an opportunity to move forward with this initiative in order to help preserve their culture and share their history with the world. This project is still currently in development.
|Web and Audrey Bennet from Kitselas First Nation|
There are also other Resource Extraction Companies across Canada that are providing support to move projects such as these forward such as Noront Resources and De Beers Canada. It is up to the communities to take the initiative and collaborate with industry to bring their projects to life. By working together with CES, communities and industry can benefit greatly. CES has the tools and resources to help both industry and communities to work together in preserving and building meaningful relationships. As part of our own corporate social responsibility, CES also provides ongoing support for proposal writing, filling out funding applications, and programs that offer in-kind contributions to move community initiatives forward.