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Chapter 1

INDG 265 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Constructive Engagement, Workforce Development

Indigenous Studies
Course Code
INDG 265
Beatty Bonita

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Success Factors
What Factors Contribute to Success in Aboriginal Programs?
It is important to keep in mind that there is no single best approach. Success arises from the interaction of
many factors. What works in one situation may not necessarily transfer to success in other circumstances.
Companies must determine what types of programs are appropriate in their situation and take a flexible
approach to the design and implementation of their own Aboriginal programs and practices.
Nevertheless there are some overall factors that contribute to success. They include: 
Relationships are critical. Long-term relationships with Aboriginal communities are the key to
developing trust and understanding.
The level of corporate commitment to Aboriginal relations and how this commitment is
communicated throughout the organization. A respectful culture is more likely to develop the
relationships necessary for constructive engagement and communication. Senior management must
lead Aboriginal corporate policy, and staff at every level must understand what is expected of them in
creating a welcoming environment for Aboriginal employees and businesses.
Early engagement and consultation. It is very important to engage the Aboriginal community at an
early stage. This is necessary to build trust and lay the foundation for a solid relationship. Early
engagement also allows opportunity to explore the expectations of the Aboriginal community and to
clarify what opportunities the relationship can and cannot deliver.
The capacity and willingness of the Aboriginal community. Programs and practices that work with
one Aboriginal community may not be transferable to others because of differences in culture, capacity
to engage and political direction. At the very least, the community must be receptive to engagement.
Successful workforce and business development initiatives also depend on level of education, pre-
employment skills and the overall wellness of a community.
Sufficient time and flexibility. Successful Aboriginal relationships don’t happen overnight. It is
important to build in enough time to make a relationship work, and enough flexibility so that programs
can be easily modified as experience is gained and conditions change.
Ultimately, success in Aboriginal programs is incremental. Programs cannot be evaluated on a strict
success/failure measure. Companies must start with small, manageable projects that help build community
capacity and develop a relationship of trust from the outset. The quality of the relationship is key.
Everything builds upon that base.
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