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WEBINAR: Learn, Respect, Cultivate Relationships: Indigenous Relations 101


March 10, 2021

Written by Intengine in partnership with ECO Canada

ECO Canada’s training program, Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources (BEAHR), aims to increase the participation of Indigenous talent in the environmental sector by developing meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities that are founded on respect.

Presented by Brad Spence, member of the Saddle Lake First Nation and an Indigenous Relations Specialist at ECO Canada, this webinar on Indigenous relations in Canada, covers the basics of what you need to know on the topic.

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Webinar: Indigenous Relations 101
Hosted by: ECO Canada

EP Member: Price: Free

Non-Member Price: Free

Webinar Length: 60 mins

Career Stage: Mid-Career, Senior


Coming to know Indigenous cultures takes time, especially as the various Indigenous cultures are non-homogenous in their traditions and values. Those within Indigenous cultures learn through the lifelong process of experience and the passing down of traditions orally. In Canada, Indigenous peoples comprise the fastest-growing demographic, with more than 70 Indigenous languages being kept alive.

Brad goes over the history of commonly confusing terminology used to refer to Indigenous peoples, explaining those which are outdated and those which are preferred. The concept of Elders is also clarified, including their duties and what is required to be considered an Elder.  

If you’re doing business in Canada, you’re doing business with the Indigenous. Brad outlines core Indigenous business values, stressing the importance of finding a way to normalize them in our world today.

Learn how to attend Indigenous ceremonies and meetings respectfully with the appropriate attire and protocol.

Talking Points

There are different groups of Indigenous peoples in Canada, including Métis, Inuit, and First Nations. Métis peoples are of European and Cree ancestry, with the largest Métis population residing in Alberta.

Some challenges faced by Métis individuals include unclear determination of land claims, loss of culture, and inequality. The Inuit reside in Northern Canada and are comprised of 8 primary groups.

Some of the challenges faced by the Inuit include transportation on difficult terrain and food acquisition. For the Inuit, water is considered extremely sacred. First Nations are the largest group with over 635 bands across the country. Being a First Nations individual, Brad begins speaking on his culture by reviewing primary aspects of First Nation knowledge and tradition.

Some challenges faced by First Nations include loss of culture, poverty, and the Indian Act, among many. Racism against the Indigenous peoples in Canada has affected the lives of many. The Indian Act, which only pertained to First Nations, placed laws against speaking their own language and gathering in groups larger than 3.

The negative effects of the Residential School System and the “60’s Scoop”, both of which were implemented with the intention of assimilation, are still felt to this day. In 1982, significant legal protection of Indigenous peoples was confirmed through section 35 of the Constitution Act.

Watch On-Demand 

Today, the focus is on truth and reconciliation. This Indigenous Awareness training aims to educating us all on the histories, traditions and beliefs of Indigenous communities in Canada.

Through webinars such as these, staff and management are called on to learn about Indigenous culture, including residential schools' history and rights infringement. The crown now protects treaty rights, which include a requirement of consultation prior to government action, respect of traditions such as fishing and hunting, and land rights.

ECO Canada intends to enhance and cultivate relationships with Indigenous peoples and wishes to inspire you to do the same. Through education, information, and a foundation of respect, ECO Canada believes that long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous peoples are possible.

This webinar is meant for non-indigenous people


ECO Canada is the steward for the Canadian environmental workforce across all industries.

From job creation and wage funding, to training and labour market research – we champion the end-to-end career of an environmental professional.

Our aim is to promote and drive responsible, sustainable economic growth while also ensuring that environmental care and best practice is a priority



ECO Canada:

EP (Environmental Professional) Membership:

Access this Webinar

About: Expert: Frances Edmonds, HP Canada – Head of Sustainable Impact and Expert: Amy Castator, WWF Canada – Specialist



If you like this, try the following:

WEBINAR: Barriers to Indigenous Recruitment

WEBINAR: Learn, Respect, Cultivate Relationships: Indigenous Relations 101

WEBINAR: Indigenous Relations- Cultural Sensitivity

WEBINAR Building Canada’s Cleantech Workforce Opportunities and Challenges based on this report:

WEBINAR: Sustainable Procurement: Purchasing the Future We Want

WEBINAR: Job opportunities in Canada’s Energy Efficiency Sector


and our Thought Leader Series with ECO Canada CEO, Kevin Nilsen


How ECO Canada helps -solutions

  • Student co-op placement funding
  • Full time job subsidies of up to 80%
  • Online courses
  • EPt, EP, EP Auditor (CEA), EP Auditor (EMSLA) designations



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