Towards sustainable partnerships: Canada’s Aboriginal communities and the resources sector fall symposium

Monday, December 9, 2013

phil fontaine and paul martin shaking handsThe School of Environment Enterprise and Development hosted its annual fall profile event in Toronto. The symposium, “Towards Sustainable Partnerships: Canada’s Aboriginal Communities and the Resources Sector,” brought together leaders from Canada’s resource economy, aboriginal groups, former Prime Minister Paul Martin and Phil Fontaine, President of Ishkonigan, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

The goal of the symposium was to identify initiatives that can be engaged to build a more mutually beneficial relationship between Canada’s aboriginal communities and resource-based companies.

According to event moderator, professor Blair Feltmate, among the many important issues covered, one in particular stood out:

In my view, one key point emerged from the Towards Sustainable Partnerships symposium as a prerequisite to building a more mutually beneficial relationship between Aboriginal peoples and resource based companies in Canada. 

Specifically, the Federal government must provide substantially greater funding to ensure that the elementary and secondary educational opportunity afforded Aboriginal Canadians is on par with non-Aboriginals. 

In the absence of funding to create educational parity – and recognizing that grade 12 is a prerequisite for employment – Aboriginals will remain largely unemployable to the mining, forestry, petroleum and utilities sectors. 

In the absence of employment, Aboriginals may not support – and in many cases they may actively oppose – resource development.  Without resource development, industry, government and Aboriginals will suffer. Thus, it is abundantly clear that by providing equitable funding for Aboriginal education, the Federal government could create a “bigger resource development pie” that would serve the interests of all Canadians.

Speakers, guests, journalists and the environmental community were keen on continuing the important conversation on social media. 



Kirstie Slaney (@Kslaney) Listening to UW President and waiting for panel discussion on Aboriginal Communities and the Resources Sector with former PM Paul Martin
Kirstie Slaney (@Kslaney) Phil Fontaine speaking about aboriginal challenges @SEEDWaterloo
David McLaughlin (@DavidMcLa) Listening to fmr AFN chief Phil Fontaine with fmr PM Paul Martin on deck. @envwaterloo
David McLaughlin (@DavidMcLa) Speaking shortly on Aboriginal issues and environment and resources extraction in Canada via @envwaterloo and @SEEDWaterloo.
John Preece (@jcpreece) In downtown #Toronto at a panel discussion on Aboriginal communities and the resource sector in #Canada, hosted by @SEEDWaterloo.
UWaterloo News (@UWaterloo News) Great turn out to hear former PM Paul Martin and Phil Fontaine speak about partnerships for aboriginals and resources sector. @SEEDWaterloo
UWaterloo News (@UWaterloo News) Details of the @SEEDWaterloo event are here:
David McLaughlin (@DavidMcLa) Paul Martin up now talking "effective engagement" with Aboriginal communities on resource
Kirstie Slaney (@Kslaney) Paul Martin speaking @SEEDWaterloo
Jason Thistletwaite (@jasonthistle) We do not understand the deep connection between Aboriginal Communities and the land - Paul Martin @envwaterloo #sustainablepartnerships
Waterloo Environment (@envwaterloo) RT @KSlaney: Phil Fontaine speaking about aboriginal challenges @SEEDWaterlooevent
UWaterloo News (@UWaterloo News) Former PM Paul Martin: aboriginal school system is "grossly underfunded”. 60% of children on reservations do not graduate.#seedUW
Jason Thistletwaite (@jasonthistle) Aboriginal education is underfunded 30-40% compared to provincial spending - Paul Martin
David McLaughlin (@DavidMcLa) Paul Martin saying no new federal money coming to Aboriginal schools until reform undertaken. Not acceptable." @SEEDWaterloo event.
Travis Allan (@SivartNalla) Underfunding of elementary and highschool ed. on reserves biggest dagger at the heart of First Nations in Canada- Rt Hon P. Martin #SEED
UWaterloo News (@UWaterloo News) Phil Fontaine: every high school, college and university in Canada should teach a mandatory native history class. #seedUW
Kirstie Slaney (@Kslaney) #seeduw Phil Fontaine:"Phil and Paul are apostles, spreading the word". @SEEDWaterloo
Travis Allan (@SivartNalla) Underfunding of edu then impacts accessibility of ec dev jobs and training, which often requires high school- Rt Hon P. Martin #SEED
David McLaughlin (@DavidMcLa) Phil Fontaine suggests that Canada should have declaration recognizing original languages of First Nations. Here @SEEDWaterloo event.
Ilona Dougherty (@ilona_aisb) Challenge to audience members to get to know aboriginal youth in your communities and listen to them / get involved. #seedUW
University of Waterloo (@UWaterloo) Follow @SEEDWaterloo for updates on today's symposium on sustainable partnerships with Canada's Aboriginal Communities. #seedUW
Travis Allan (@SivartNalla) In the old days we talked about jobs. Now FN are talking about equity. -P. Fontaine#seeduw
Travis Allan (@SivartNalla) P. Fontaine: We are also evolving away from IBAs, which are about extinguishment. FN are talking about land rights. #seeduw
David McLaughlin (@DavidMcLa) Fmr AFN Chief Phil Fontaine says Aboriginal communities not anti-development. Want responsible development. Via @SEEDWaterloo event.
UWaterloo News (@UWaterloo News) Former PM Paul Martin: government plan to continue to underfund elementary & high schools is “economically dumb as a bag of hammers” #seedUW
David McLaughlin (@DavidMcLa) Fmr PM Paul Martin says federal underfunding of First Nations schools immoral and economically dumb as bag of hammers. Via @SEEDWaterloo.
Stratos Inc. (@stratos_sts) Enjoying the outcome-focused @SEEDWaterloo 's Fall Symposium on#sustainable #aboriginal partnerships w/ Paul Martin and Phil Fontaine
David McLaughlin (@DavidMcLa) Moving from Impact Benefits Agreements to Aboriginal land rights. Should not be feared. Says Phil Fontaine. At @SEEDWaterlooevent.
Brian Banks (@BrianBanks) Imp. meet-up/idea exchange re resource develop/ aboriginal relations w/ Paul Martin, Phil Fontaine, corporate Cda happening now.#seeduw
Olaf Weber (@olaf_weber) Excellent event @SEEDWaterloo Chris Henderson: We need to rewrite history. Relations with our first peoples hasn't been good enough #seedUW"
Kirstie Slaney (@Kslaney) Chief Denise Restoule discussing hydro damming on the Dokis First Nations reserve.#seeduw
Jason Thistletwaite (@jasonthistle) Great to see @HuffPostCanada's @SunnyFreeman here covering @envwaterloo discussion on Aboriginal relations w/ resources sector.
Sunny Freeman (@SunnyFreeman) @jasonthistle @HuffPostCanada @envwaterlooa great panel discussion w big players. Side note: points for above par free pens #littlethings
Canadian Electricity (CDNelectricity) CEA's CEO Jim Burpee at Nov 20#sustainablepartnerships symposium hosted by @envwaterloo.…
Stratos Inc. (@stratos_sts) Jim Burpee of @CDNelectricity speaking on equity particip'n driving capacity building + involve'nt "Why do it any other way?" @SEEDWaterloo
Olaf Weber (@olaf_weber) Death of social license in Canada john McLaughlin @SEEDWaterloo event today
Jason Thistletwaite (@jasonthistle) "We are witnessing the denial of social license" for economic development in Canada - @DavidMcLA@envwaterloo
Stratos Inc. (@stratos_sts) Gord Lambert of @suncor Collaboration is the joint effort to achieve common goals - we should have a duty to collaborate! @SEEDWaterloo
Kirstie Slaney (@Kslaney) 52 indigenous languages are disappearing, private enterprise can help by committing $ for indigenous language fund. #seedUW@SEEDWaterloo
Stratos Inc. (@stratos_sts) Paul Martin's passion is clear -- Why do we spend less per student for #Aboriginaleduc'n than other CDNs? This has to change. @SEEDWaterloo
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