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
- Engaging with Elders: A Co-created Story by the Native Counselling Services of Alberta
- City of Calgary’s Indigenous Policy Framework
- University of Alberta’s Elder Protocol and Guidelines
- Pathways to Reconciliation by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities
- Canadian Association of University Teachers’ Guide to Acknowledging First Peoples and Traditional Territory
Resources on the history of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous communities in Alberta
- Indigenous Canada course – Offered by the University of Alberta, this free online video-based course teaches the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada from an Indigenous perspective.
- Host a KAIROS blanket exercise – learn about the history of Indigenous peoples through an experiential exercise.
- Reports by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada on the history and legacy of Canada’s residential schools.
- Map of First Nations, Métis Settlements and Métis Nation of Alberta Association Regions.
For questions, please contact our Advocacy team.