Authentic engagement with Indigenous communities requires ongoing, sustainable relationships built on truth, respect, and responsibility leading to productive and sustainable project outcomes.

This document contains guidelines developed to provide strategies and practices for CSA Group staff to engage and build meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities in the context of project development. While each engagement is unique, common principles are highlighted to guide the engagement process:

  • Cultural awareness and respect
  • Community-centredness
  • Flexibility and patience
  • Timely communication and knowledge
  • Relationship building

These Guidelines are meant to support CSA Group staff who have projects requiring input from Indigenous communities. The process of engagement is complex, and it requires work and preparation. These Guidelines are not a recipe that one can simply apply, but they include recommendations and best practices on how to plan and execute engagement activities and where to find information. The following engagement phases are outlined with explanations:

  1. Pre-engagement education and research
  2. Communication style and vocabulary
  3. Identifying a community and relevant contacts
  4. Preparing for a visit
  5. Introductory visit
  6. Project execution visit
  7. After the project ends

Successful Indigenous community engagement should continue beyond any one project. It is important to learn from each engagement, share information with other CSA Group Standards staff, and nurture the ongoing relationships. These Guidelines are a living and dynamic document that the CSA group will update and expand as new project opportunities emerge in the future.

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