Important engagement and consultation conference takes place Feb. 20-21 in Edmonton

by John Copley

(ANNews) – The Canadian Institute’s 11th Annual Western Indigenous Consultation & Engagement (WICE) conference gets underway next week at The Sutton Place Hotel in downtown Edmonton and it’s the one conference you don’t want to miss this year. The Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 20-21 conference has been expanded this year to give participants more opportunity for interactive learning, improved networking opportunities and tools with which to build stronger relationships. On Thursday Feb. 22, a series of three Post-Conference Workshops will take place at the hotel and will include the topics: Duty to Consult Breakdown; Building Concrete Impact Benefit Agreements and Other Contracts and Dispute Resolution: Appreciating the Relational Heart of Indigenous Practice.

The consultation landscape in Western Canada has been evolving with revamped policy from the Alberta Government, promises from the Federal Government and slow progress on the implementation of the United Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Conference Producer Desiree Finhert said the Institute’s 11th annual event is particularly important this year because though 2018 marks “the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Canada is still trying to figure out how to adopt it, how to make this document part of the legal framework in Canada. It’s not an easy task, but this conference presents an ideal opportunity to participate in the conversation and thoroughly understand what’s going on.

“This conference will provide participants with a non-partisan platform for making meaningful connections and getting conversations started. Make this event part of your consultation strategy by learning government process from government representatives. Hear from industry experts how major projects are affecting the natural resource sector, and engage with Indigenous leaders to forge or reignite relationships.”

Sponsored by The USAND Group and supported by Aboriginal Business Quarterly, ADR Institute of Canada, Alberta Native News and the Canadian Mining Industry, WICE will include interesting panels, dismantled talking table, keynote speakers, a world cafe and an impressive line-up of experts that will include the President of the Indigenous Bar Association and Chair of the Law Society of Alberta’s Indigenous Initiatives Liaison, Koren Lightning-Earle; Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Treaties and Aboriginal Government for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Joe Wild;  Alberta’s Assistant Deputy Minister of Indigenous Relations, Stan Rutwind Q.C. and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) Manager of Aboriginal Policing, Brian McGuigan.

“Indigenous consultation is a controversial topic that has a way of stirring peoples’ emotions,” noted Finhert, “but it is always encouraging when people come together to talk about why consultation isn’t working, and how they want to change the system. Attend this conference and listen to an important Keynote Address from Alberta’s Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan. Other important highlights include equally important messages from Alberta ADM Stan Rutwind, who will talk about the changes to Alberta’s consultation policy and INAC’s Joe Wild who will address the gathering in a conversation that embraces Nation-to-Nation partnerships.”

When you attend this important conference you will, among many other things, hear how the review will affect your operations and getting answers from the province; find the most significant takeaways from precedent-setting Indigenous legal cases of the year; calculate the cost effectiveness and Return-on-Investment of engaging early and learn how to obtain regulatory certainty by ensuring that consultation is sufficient.

Topics will include a keynote address by Joe Wild: Building Nation-to-Nation Partnerships in Alberta; Boosting Your Company’s Indigenous Relations Profile by Siksika Resource Nation General Manager, Shane Breaker; Emergency Preparedness for Protecting the Resource Sector by Dana Woodworth, Vice-President of NOR-EX Engineering;  Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Studies by Darryl Sowan, the Consultation Unit Manager for the Swan River First Nation and many others.

Attend this conference and you have the opportunity to meet Chiefs and Councillors from the Indigenous communities; municipal, provincial and federal government leaders; policy analysts, environmental planners and many other stakeholders including key personnel from the oil and gas, agriculture and forestry and mining and exploration sectors. When you attend the WICE conference you’ll hear how federal, provincial and community consultation policies interact and learn how to build concrete Impact Benefit Agreements. You will also be able to discuss consultation, engagement and building lasting relationships in an intimate group format. Ask the experts everything you want to know about the resource sector in an interactive setting.

The Canadian Institute (CI) is the founding company of the global C5 Group. Canadian owned and operated, CI is responsible for the creation of over 1,700 conferences since its inception in 1985.

Based in Toronto, the organization is both a conduit and stimulus to cutting edge thinking and market trend development. CI acts as a barometer for Canada’s ever-evolving industrial and professional landscape, serving a vast array of sectors including Oil/Gas, Pharma/Healthcare, IT, Public Sector, Legal and Financial Services. CI has forged close ties with industry specialists, lawyers and other professionals within each community. 

“Over the past three decades,” notes the Canadian Institute’s website, “we have been guided by our core philosophy: growth and success occurs when the power of people and the power of information come together. We have developed new ways for our communities to engage, network and problem solve. And, crucially, we also listen. We seek out feedback and dialogue. We listen to the market and we evolve our formats, topics, speakers, and interactions based on delegates’ needs.”

Click here to  download a comprehensive brochure and learn more about the 11th Annual Western Indigenous Consultation & Engagement conference.




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