Since late 2018, there has been consistent effort with our Lower Vancouver Island First Nations Communities towards developing better labour market relationships with regional Industry HR representatives. Strong leadership and vision from the Tsawout and Songhees Nations have enabled these efforts to triumph and succeed. Some reflections on these burgeoning relationships:
- During our conversations, we chat about a lot of different topics. We’ve really wanted to capture the spirit of these conversations so that others could hear and learn from these stories. To do this a podcast called Northern Conversations (https://www.northernconversations.com & Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/northernconversations.com) has been created. Here is a typical response from Industry – “Thank you for sharing this John. This was helpful information and I have learned something from this. I appreciate Lyle’s openness and willingness to share. I look forward to the next one.” This kind of digital story-telling helps our communities better understand and learn from each other.
- There are so many intersection points in this developing relationship, some of which I will review in upcoming articles. Of particular interest and inter-community relevance is the pre-meeting greeting that acknowledges historical local First Nations land rights and ownership. But this greeting is changing and evolving. There is now an expectation that we speak from the heart and reflect on the developing relationship from a personal perspective, with considerations towards the past, present and especially the future. A huge thank you to Adam Olsen, Saanich & the Islands MLA, Mavis Underwood from the Tsawout Nation and Lyle Henry from the Songhees Nation for helping Industry to better understand what we are saying and feeling.