Image: Jonathan Hayward (The Canadian Press)

JP Gladu, the president of the Alaska-Alberta Railway Corporation Canada shares his opinions on how we currently manage Indigenous consultations and his vision for future approaches to engagement:

“Over the past few years, Indigenous leaders, government officials and corporate executives have spoken loudly about the need to fix the country’s approach to major project evaluation and approval. In recent decades, major initiatives such as the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline and the Trans Mountain Pipeline have spent years mired in controversy and increasingly complex and expensive evaluation processes.”

“…commercial reach is not what grabbed my attention. The founder of A2A, Sean McCoshen, offered an amazing vision, one that combined a viable, large-scale development project and a revolutionary approach to engagement with Indigenous peoples. In their view, A2A would be Indigenous-led, with a foundational commitment to fostering Indigenous participation and an unbreakable determination to reinvent project development in Canada, while building a viable and sustainable company.”

“For the past 30 years, Canada has been struggling to balance Indigenous, environmental and economic interests surrounding major infrastructure projects. In recent years, the country has converted what could have been nation-building initiatives into legal battlefields and contests over public opinion. But we know, from watching hundreds of collaborations between Indigenous communities, resource firms and infrastructure companies, that models of mutually beneficial co-operation exist. ” –excerpt The Globe and Mail