"Learning from Experience ... Aboriginal Programs in the Resource Industries"

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Program Framework for Aboriginal Relations

A key innovation of the Aboriginal Programs Project is the development of a robust program framework.  The intent was to arrive at a transparent, useful and efficient way of classifying programs that would make sense to practitioners in the area.  The project team began by researching program classifications used by other studies, and then developed a unique framework for use in this project.

The framework organizes Aboriginal programs using a standardized format or template into five areas.  There are currently 106 programs in the database which can be accessed through this website.  The framework captures the wide range of programs used by industry, government and other organizations to develop and strengthen relations with Aboriginal communities and increase the participation of Aboriginal businesses and people in the economy.  A schematic of the framework is shown below. 

Program Framework for Aboriginal Relations


The five program areas are organized into a number of program sub-areas that share common objectives, as follows:

Corporate Policy policies, strategies and assessment processes used by companies to define, communicate and measure their commitment to strengthening their relationships with Aboriginal communities, businesses and people.  Sub-areas include:

  • Building commitment (e.g., policies and strategies, principles, workforce diversity, business case)
  • Benchmarking performance in Aboriginal relations (e.g., assessment protocols)

There are 13 Corporate Policy templates, representing 12% of all programs in the Aboriginal project database.

Workforce Development initiatives that assist Aboriginal people in acquiring the skills, training and qualifications necessary for employment and career advancement.  Sub-areas include:

  • Educational opportunities (e.g., stay-in-school programs, scholarships
  • Employment-related training (e.g., pre-employment, apprenticeship)
  • Recruitment, retention and advancement of Aboriginal employees (e.g., targeted measures, mentoring, cross-cultural training)
  • Programs sponsored by government and non-profit agencies.

There are 37 Workforce Development templates, representing 35% of all programs in the Aboriginal project database.

Business Development initiatives that assist Aboriginal communities and businesses in building capacity to successfully compete for contracts to supply goods and services.  Sub-areas include:

  • Providing business opportunities (e.g., procurement contracts, bid criteria and practices, targets)
  • Strengthening business capabilities (e.g., business start-up support, management skills transfer, joint ventures and partnerships)
  • Programs by government and non-profit agencies

There are 28 Business Development templates 26% of all programs in the Aboriginal project database.

Community Relations initiatives that foster the development of positive long-term relationships between industry and Aboriginal communities.  Sub-areas include:

  • Framework agreements and cooperation protocols (e.g., bilateral and multi-party)
  • Support for building and sustaining positive community relationships (e.g., sponsorships, awareness workshops, community development initiatives)

There are 16 Community Relations templates, representing 15% of all programs in the Aboriginal project database. 

Resource Stewardship initiatives that foster collaborative and consultative processes between industry and Aboriginal communities.  Sub-areas include:

  • Strengthening the knowledge base (e.g., traditional use studies, ecological and environmental studies, archaeological investigations)
  • Implementing consultation processes (e.g., early engagement, consultation plans and mechanisms)

There are 12 Resource Stewardship templates - 11% of all programs in the Aboriginal project database.

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