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


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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 www.workingeffectivelywithaboriginalpeoples.com.

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

  1. 1. Gordon MohsEBA Engineering, A Tetra Tech CompanyApril 2013
  2. 2. From Title and Rights Heritage Advisorto Consulting ScientistPerspectives From Both Sides of the Fence:
  3. 3. IntroductionPersonal HistoryUpper NicolaGovernment ArchaeologistFirst Nations Heritage Resources Advisor Economic Development & Aboriginal Title and RightsAboriginal Relations, EBA Engineering4
  4. 4. 5
  5. 5. 6
  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. 7. 9
  8. 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. 9. 11
  10. 10. Constitutional & Legal Rights Impact of Legal Successeso Referrals12
  11. 11. 13
  12. 12. 14
  13. 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. 14. 16
  15. 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. 16. 18
  17. 17. Human Resources• Limitations: local human resources: education,expertise, capacity generally• Outside consultants• Lawyers• Everyone wears many hats, especially Chief19
  18. 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. 19. Capacity, capacity, capacity• First NationoEngagement with ConsultantsoEngagement with GovernmentoEngagement with Proponents22
  20. 20. 23
  21. 21. 24
  22. 22. SummaryIt’s Complex and Demanding25
  23. 23. Transition: Other side of the Fence First Nations Governance Consultation for Engineering Firm  changing relations26
  24. 24. 27 Mining Energy Infrastructure Transportation Environment WaterEBA, A Tetra Tech Company, is a LeadingEngineering Company in Various Business Sectors
  25. 25. 28EBA Office Locations
  26. 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. 27. Aboriginal Relations• Legal implications:o Every project requires Aboriginal componento Industry of Consultants Created30
  28. 28. What’s in a Name?• Aboriginal Relations…………………….?• We used to be called by different nameso Heritage Consultanto Heritage Advisor31
  29. 29. 32
  30. 30. Consulting Works Many Ways EXAMPLE:• Non Aboriginal consulting for First Nation• First Nation Consultant consulting for MiningCompany33
  31. 31. Know your consultant34
  32. 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. 33. 36RiskThere is always Risk inRelationships
  34. 34. 37Mining EngineeringEKATI Diamond Mine
  35. 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. 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. 37. 40
  38. 38. Government Regulatory Processes• Issues of Concern for First Nationso Consultation logs41
  39. 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. 40. Geotechnical Engineering43
  41. 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. 42. 45
  43. 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. 44. 47
  45. 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. 46. Working Together49
  47. 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. 48. 51Training and Capacity DevelopmentEBA works closely with First Nations in various types oftraining and mentoring programs
  49. 49. Adams Lake Indian Band ESA Training52EBA/ALIB Environmental SiteAssessment for Sunny PointCampground
  50. 50. 53Partnerships: Katzie First NationEBA & Katzie Dev. Corp Gateway ProjectEnvironmental Monitoring andHabitat ReconstructionKATZIEDEVELOPMENTCORPORATIONLIMITED
  51. 51. 54
  52. 52. Communications• Establish communication protocols that incorporate andreflect community values• Routine, established communications are needed toaddress issues.55
  53. 53. 56
  54. 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. 55. 58
  56. 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. 57. 61
  58. 58. Fairness• Example: MOU review: Ontarioo American Foreign Corrupt Practices Act62
  59. 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. 60. In the end, it’s all about Relationships andbuilding better communities64