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Resources to support relationship building with Indigenous leaders

July 3, 2019

AUMA continues to hear from members about your interest in enhancing relations with First Nations, Métis Settlements, and Indigenous peoples living within municipal boundaries. Many municipal leaders have requested guidance on learning about Indigenous cultures and protocols when working with Indigenous leaders. Each Indigenous community will have a unique culture and protocols, so it is best for you to reach out directly and learn from those in your region. The following principles may help in the relationship building process:

  • Respect the importance of building genuine relationships. Request to meet in person and take the time to build the relationship before you make a request.
  • Familiarize yourself with the purpose and practice of offering tobacco when seeking advice or knowledge.
  • Compensate Elders and Knowledge Keepers for their time and value of their service.
  • Take the time to learn about the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
  • Be familiar with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
  • Acknowledge the land and that we are all partners in the Treaty agreements.
  • Recognize that cultural practices may differ from what you are used to such as the significance of time, how deaths in the community are treated, responding to written communication, or even differences in how handshakes are viewed.

Resources on working with Indigenous leaders

Resources on the history of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous communities in Alberta

For questions, please contact our Advocacy team.