Why Partnerships Matter

Leadership Voices and Testimonials

“Increasing the partnership competencies and performance for both corporate Canada and Indigenous companies and communities could double the socio-economic outputs.  There are roles and shared accountability of governments, private and indigenous sectors to create new innovative approaches to partnership development.”

Ms. Patricia Baxter, Co-Chair Indigenous Works

“The Whitecap Dakota First Nation has improved the quality of life for community members including a reduction in the unemployment rate form over 70% to 6%. Much of this has been accomplished through partnerships.”

Chief Darcy Bear, Whitecap Development Corporation

“Many Canadian businesses have deep and productive relationships with Indigenous communities as investors, partners and employers.  However, our members know – and this report demonstrates – that businesses need to do  more to make these relationships normal, not exceptional.  The Canadian Chamber has worked for several years to examine the relationships between businesses and Indigenous communities and how to make them more productive for both.  Improving Indigenous peoples’ engagement in our economy is in every Canadian’s interest.  While we have focused mostly on public policy levers, companies that have worked hard to establish  – and now enjoy - strong relationships with Indigenous communities are the most vocal on the benefits of doing so and in urging other companies to invest the time and effort. We need to encourage more companies to follow their example, including by providing new tools to assist them in engaging successfully. ”

Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“The concept of working together is not new to the Dene, we want to be the drivers, owners and take the lead in infrastructure and resource development corridors in true partnership to generate own source revenue. When we work together, it is beneficial for Indigenous people, Industry and Governments, the time for action is now, we cannot wait another 150 years!”

Darrell Beaulieu, CEO, Denendeh Investment Corporation

"It’s evident by the data gathered in this report, that increasing engagement and partnerships with First Nation businesses and organizations is the next logical move. As Canada embarks on acts of reconciliation and acknowledgment, I look forward to the day when First Nation rights are realized and the socio-economic gap is closed. One important priority is to address the ‘partnership gap’ identified in the current Indigenous Works Report that studied the gap between corporate and Indigenous relations. Closing the socio-economic gap is not only the right thing to do, it’s good for everyone. By working together we will all enjoy a just and prosperous future."

National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Assembly of First Nations

“As a large multi-national organization, KBR recognizes the importance of active community engagement as key to the success of any project. In Canada KBR wholly supports Indigenous engagement at every level of its business and is embarking on its partnership strategies to walk the talk when it comes to meaningful employment, procurement and community development opportunities for Indigenous Peoples.”

Robin Bonk – Vice President – KBR Canada.

"Mutually beneficial partnerships with a variety of stakeholders including the one with Indigenous Works, has and will continue to increase First Nation self-reliance and contribute to ongoing improvements to the overall well-being of First Nation citizens, families and communities in Northwestern Ontario"

John DeGiacomo, Executive Director, Anishinabek Employment and Training Services

"Thank you INDIGENOUS WORKS for taking the lead on a timely report on Corporate Canada's scorecard on their relationship with Indigenous Peoples!  As a practitioner in this field of work in Aboriginal Relations for the past twenty (plus) years, and the many organizations I have worked for, I can say with passion that what you've reported is important for all Canadians to take notice.  The Indigenous people of Canada have been studied for too long with reports that continue to gather dust on shelves . . . it is time for action as stated in the Truth and Reconciliation Report.  Bridging Circles Inc. is a company that advises organizations on how to work collaboratively with Aboriginal communities.  Wouldn't it be great if we all looked in the mirror and asked 'what can I do today to make a positive contribution to Aboriginal people in or near where I work?' and actually acted on it."

Francis Erasmus, Founder/President, Bridging Circles Inc.

"Canfor's footprint on the landscape brings it into contact with more Indigenous communities than any other licensee in British Columbia.  To ensure that we are representative of the communities in which we operate and help close socio-economic gaps, we understand that it is important to create partnerships and utilize our business activities to promote solutions for economic reconciliation and provide Indigenous peoples with employment and business opportunities."

Don Kayne, CEO, Canfor Corporation and Canfor Pulp

"The partnership imperative is pretty clear – more can be done to close the Indigenous socio-economic gaps thru partnerships and engagements. While progress has been made in the resource sectors, this study underscores the important of creating new strategies and tactics to work with the disengaged sectors of the economy."

Stephen Lindley, Vice-President Aboriginal and Northern Affairs,  SNC Lavalin

"Today our small Osoyoos First Nation community of just over 500 people in the Okanagan Valley in southern BC employs over 1000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in a range of business and organizations. How did we do it?  It was 'Partnerships' that helped us achieve our economic, employment and social success."

Chief Clarence Louie, Osoyoos First Nation and Economic Development

"I’m pleased to see the truth bombs in this research report. Outside of the well-known and well-publicized success stories, the reality on the ground can be quite different. We are making a concerted effort to help close the partnership gap."

Andrea McLandress, Executive Director, Mining Association of Manitoba

"Closing the partnership gap will result in exciting and meaningful partnerships between private and public corporate sector companies and Indigenous peoples’ enterprise that will generate meaningful economic and societal outcomes in communities across Canada.  As a CEO who has discovered the potential of Indigenous partnerships and inclusion, I know corporate Canada can build stronger economic, employment and social connections that will serve as a pathway towards reconciliation today and for future generations.” 

                                                 Glenn O’Farrell, President and CEO, Groupe Média TFO

"The report takes the anecdotal out of the conversation and creates a call to action for all parties to highlight their roles and responsibilities to advance economic growth.  The partnership index score gives our Indigenous member communities a new place to start to make their voice and collective commitment to partnerships heard."

Michelle Simpson, Director of Economic Development, Atlantic Policy Congress

"Indigenous partnerships with corporations throughout Canada are an integral part of the development, employment and youth engagement of our people and our communities.  Until a satisfactory level of understanding and participation is reached, we will continue to see limited movement towards sustainable growth, gainful employment and appreciation of what Indigenous owned and operated businesses and employees can contribute to the national economy.  There are many mutual benefits to all parties that will be found through partnership.  Once that is fully realized and put into practice, our Communities and our Country will become stronger."

Chief Phyllis Williams, Curve Lake

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