Businesses advised to get First Nations cultural training
Sudbury Chamber of Commerce speaker says companies need to understand First Nations culture first
Posted: Jan 23, 2013 12:37 PM ET
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2013 9:52 AM ET
Sudbury business people gathered Tuesday to hear how they can better work with First Nations.
As Idle No More continues to make headlines, there was talk of how that movement may change the way business is conducted.
Members of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce heard from Stan Wesley, who is originally from the Moose Factory First Nation and offers cultural training to mining companies and others that work in Aboriginal communities.
Wesley spoke about how poverty among First Nations was a sign resources from the land were not being shared properly with them.
"We all have a responsibility … to ensure that the original promise — which is that we're all going to share — is fulfilled,” he said.
'Start communicating more'
Wesley added companies need to do more to understand First Nations culture before working in their territory.
One of his clients is Detour Gold, which has mining operations in northern Ontario.
A vice-president with the company said companies try to provide jobs on reserves, but cultural differences can get in the way. Workers sometimes need time off to hunt to feed their communities.
Rachel Pineault acknowledged that, to her, the Idle No More movement is about listening.
"That movement is actually an opportunity for people to start communicating more,” she said.
Working through their cultural differences may help businesses who need to hire local aboriginal people — particularly in light of the current shortage of skilled trade workers.
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