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Aboriginal Relations, Perspectives from both sides of the fence with Gordon Mohs
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Aboriginal Relations, Perspectives from both sides of the fence with Gordon Mohs


Gordon Mohs presents on Aboriginal Relations and provides perspective from both sides of the fence as he has worked for both First Nations side and the corporate sector. This presentation was …

Gordon Mohs presents on Aboriginal Relations and provides perspective from both sides of the fence as he has worked for both First Nations side and the corporate sector. This presentation was delivered at the Expanding Our Knowledge Conference held in Vancouver, BC on April 15, 2013 and was powered by Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. and hosted by

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  • 1. Gordon MohsEBA Engineering, A Tetra Tech CompanyApril 2013
  • 2. From Title and Rights Heritage Advisorto Consulting ScientistPerspectives From Both Sides of the Fence:
  • 3. IntroductionPersonal HistoryUpper NicolaGovernment ArchaeologistFirst Nations Heritage Resources Advisor Economic Development & Aboriginal Title and RightsAboriginal Relations, EBA Engineering4
  • 4. 5
  • 5. 6
  • 6. FIRST NATIONS Understanding Aboriginal Communities is importanto Cultural sensitivity Cultural Diversityo 620 Aboriginal groups in Canada not counting the Métis 50+ languages7
  • 7. 9
  • 8. First Nations ARE Governments Inter-government Relations Health Services Housing Education Lands Water Fisheries Forestry Aboriginal Title & Rights Human Resources Natural Resources Administration Infrastructure Public Works Capital Works Tourism Economic Development IT/Communications Everything Else:Sports  Membership  Drug &Alcohol Abuse YouthUnemployment Residential Schools Elders  Cultural Traditions Death  Spiritual Practices10Managing ALL Portfolios of Provincial & Federal Governmentswith limited staff, Council & resources
  • 9. 11
  • 10. Constitutional & Legal Rights Impact of Legal Successeso Referrals12
  • 11. 13
  • 12. 14
  • 13. Impact of Political Successes• Negotiation of Impact Benefit Agreements with Proponents• Meaningful engagement & input in Environmental Assessment Process• BC First Nations Revenue Sharingo Tahltan (Forest Kerr), Akisqnuk & Ktunaxa (Elk Valley), WilliamsLake Indian Band and Xatśūll First Nation (Mt Poly)o Link: Google: BC Revenue Sharing, First Nations• Forest Consultation Revenue Sharing Agreements• Development & Recognition of Land Management Plans• Land Transfer Agreements• Cooperation Agreements• Lands & Resources Management Agreements15
  • 14. 16
  • 15. Treaty vs. Non-Treaty First Nations• Capacity Funding for Treaty Negotiations• Preferred status of Treaty First Nations(e.g. AANDC funding re: Contaminated Sitescleanup)17
  • 16. 18
  • 17. Human Resources• Limitations: local human resources: education,expertise, capacity generally• Outside consultants• Lawyers• Everyone wears many hats, especially Chief19
  • 18. Roleso Treaty/Non-TreatyStrength of Claimo Negotiations withgovernment andindustryo Strength of Claimo Traditional Knowledgeo Expert Witnesso ReferralsManagement/Tracking Sustainable systemso Heritage ResourcesManagemento Community heritageresourceso Environmento Natural ResourcesManagemento Policy developmento Project managemento Economic Development21In Aboriginal Title & Rights
  • 19. Capacity, capacity, capacity• First NationoEngagement with ConsultantsoEngagement with GovernmentoEngagement with Proponents22
  • 20. 23
  • 21. 24
  • 22. SummaryIt’s Complex and Demanding25
  • 23. Transition: Other side of the Fence First Nations Governance Consultation for Engineering Firm  changing relations26
  • 24. 27 Mining Energy Infrastructure Transportation Environment WaterEBA, A Tetra Tech Company, is a LeadingEngineering Company in Various Business Sectors
  • 25. 28EBA Office Locations
  • 26. 29Tetra Tech, EBA’s Parent Company World class engineering firm 14,000 scientists in 20 countries 50 offices across Canada, 330 offices world-wide Partner Canadian Companies: WEI, BPR, BNG & Fransen Engineering,Parkland Pipeline and Tetra Tech Canada Construction
  • 27. Aboriginal Relations• Legal implications:o Every project requires Aboriginal componento Industry of Consultants Created30
  • 28. What’s in a Name?• Aboriginal Relations…………………….?• We used to be called by different nameso Heritage Consultanto Heritage Advisor31
  • 29. 32
  • 30. Consulting Works Many Ways EXAMPLE:• Non Aboriginal consulting for First Nation• First Nation Consultant consulting for MiningCompany33
  • 31. Know your consultant34
  • 32. Consultant Perspective• Capacity, capacity, capacityo Every project requires Aboriginal component Engagement with First Nations Engagement with Proponents Engagement with Governmento Compounded with size of Company EBA Yukon Office– 40 employees & completed over 5,000 projects EBA All Offices (14)– 700 employees, 100,000+ projects35
  • 33. 36RiskThere is always Risk inRelationships
  • 34. 37Mining EngineeringEKATI Diamond Mine
  • 35. Jargon• PA (Preliminary Assessment: Technical Memo)• PEA (Preliminary Economic Assessment)• PDR (Project Description Report)• BD (Baseline Data)• PFS (Pre-Feasibility Study)• EIS (Environmental Impact Statement)• NI-43-10138
  • 36. Issues for Engineering Firms• Best Practices while trying to maintain Highest QualityWork at Lowest Bid• Relationships vs. Profitability/Billable Timeo In the end, same thing39
  • 37. 40
  • 38. Government Regulatory Processes• Issues of Concern for First Nationso Consultation logs41
  • 39. Differing Values• Client expectations Quality work, as cheap as possible Next• First Nation expectations Quality work, Band rates Comprehensive• Consultant Rates High Rate = Quality Product, Minimal Time42
  • 40. Geotechnical Engineering43
  • 41. Best Practices• Good relationships are mandatoryo Recognize the significance of cultural traditions andcultural practices of the Aboriginal communitiesaffected by the Project, keeping in mind that eachcommunity is different.o Act with honour, openness, transparency and respect.44
  • 42. 45
  • 43. Core Values• Listen• Honesty• Don’t promise what you can’t deliver• Respect cultural differences• Be sensitive to different cultural and spiritual values46
  • 44. 47
  • 45. Nature of Relationships Relationship between the Proponent and the AboriginalCommunity is different from Relationship between the Consultant and the AboriginalCommunity, which is different from Relationship between the Contractor and AboriginalCommunity.The nature of relations and commitments to the Aboriginalcommunity has to be understood both internally andexternally.48
  • 46. Working Together49
  • 47. Opportunities• Identify REAL opportunities at each stage of Project,based on technical and economic fundamentals.• Recognize that meaningful Training Programs areimportant and that Education is #1o Focus on regional resources for skills developmento Comprehensive skills development at every level(trades  professional)o Recognize Human Resources investment in decades,not weeks, months, or years.50
  • 48. 51Training and Capacity DevelopmentEBA works closely with First Nations in various types oftraining and mentoring programs
  • 49. Adams Lake Indian Band ESA Training52EBA/ALIB Environmental SiteAssessment for Sunny PointCampground
  • 50. 53Partnerships: Katzie First NationEBA & Katzie Dev. Corp Gateway ProjectEnvironmental Monitoring andHabitat ReconstructionKATZIEDEVELOPMENTCORPORATIONLIMITED
  • 51. 54
  • 52. Communications• Establish communication protocols that incorporate andreflect community values• Routine, established communications are needed toaddress issues.55
  • 53. 56
  • 54. Legal Matters• Legislation & Constitutional Realitieso Aboriginal Case Law: Understanding Aboriginal Rights• Staff Knowledge re: First Nationso assuming that everyone in your company is asknowledgeable about First Nations57
  • 55. 58
  • 56. AANDC• Know that fellow professionals (e.g. engineers) may notunderstand how things work with Aboriginal Projects(e.g. what is meant by March 31stfinal invoice noticeon AANDC projects)60
  • 57. 61
  • 58. Fairness• Example: MOU review: Ontarioo American Foreign Corrupt Practices Act62
  • 59. Community Recognition & Sponsorships EBA Tetra Tech is sponsorof several National andRegional First NationsCharities including:o Canadian Council forAboriginal Businesso Mining Matters CharityAboriginal YouthOutreach Program. Support for communityprograms.63March 2012, EBA presents bursaries toSts’Ailes Community School as anincentive for keeping kids in school.
  • 60. In the end, it’s all about Relationships andbuilding better communities64