A successful venture on Indigenous traditional territory will have a number of common elements. These may depend on the “spectrum of consultation”.
- Good Relationships — Mutual respect and an ongoing relationship with Indigenous communities is a must for any sized project or venture.
- Understanding — Knowing the Indigenous community you’re dealing with including their protocols, culture and language, the breadth of their traditional territory as well as their goals and aspirations, interests and claims.
- Meaningful Dialogue — This includes ongoing, sustained dialogue before, during and after your project or venture. Agreement on a forum for discussions, providing project information, soliciting feedback, determining impacts, addressing concerns, and mitigating adverse impacts are all a part of meaningful dialogue.
- Collaboration — Any project or venture may want to consider a meaningful and substantive role for Indigenous communities. Rather than dealing with each other on opposing teams, considering bringing Indigenous partners onto your team or better yet, consider collaboration as a part of their team.
- Agreements & Protocols — When concerns and impacts are significant or cannot be addressed to the satisfaction of Indigenous communities, a project agreement or Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) may be necessary to find consensus on your project or venture.
- Partnerships — Some relationships move beyond meaningful dialogue and the agreement stage. True partnership means sharing in the decisions, risk and benefits of a given project or venture. This is always the goal of many Indigenous communities.