Tags: Aboriginal Engagement
Author: Northern Gateway
Dated: 27 February 2012
More and more Aboriginal groups are seeking information from industry to better their communities and offer opportunities for their people. Northern Gateway has held two Business Summits and both have been successful in bringing together people intent upon connecting Aboriginal people and the energy sector. The latest Business Summit, held in Edmonton in November of 2011, attracted an overflow crowd as representatives of some 35 Aboriginal communities across B.C. and Alberta came together to see how business connections could be made.
Alfred Goodswimmer, Director of Operations for Sturgeon Lake First Nation, made the trip to learn opportunities in industrial support jobs such as trucking and construction but also in energy industry operations.
“As community leaders, we don’t go out and make demands on industry. We establish relationships, have dialogue, and come to agreement on how we are going to work together because it’s the people we want to make sure benefit from these projects,” said Goodswimmer.
“People are seeing opportunity. We can no longer live in a world of shame and blame. It’s about how we collaborate, set targets for our communities and then achieve those targets together ,” said Kelly Lendsay, President and CEO of the Aboriginal Human Resource Council, who also stressed the importance of inclusion of Aboriginal people in the new economy – not just for the sake of good jobs today but for vibrant communities into the future.
“Success for me is measured in two ways. Success is measured by attendance and it’s measured by buzz,” said Morgan Yates, Enbridge Northern Gateway Vice President of Aboriginal and Stakeholder Relations.
“From the get-go at this event, it’s just been tremendous momentum and positive buzz.”