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Indigenous Engagement and Collaboration

This course provides students with an interdisciplinary approach to working with Indigenous partners, industry partners, and government. Focused primarily on the incorporation of Indigenous worldviews, students will be immersed in an integrated learning experience with attention being on Indigenous engagement, community collaboration and sustainability. This could include such things as consultation, an understanding of intellectual property, and economic development. Students will work first-hand with Indigenous partners throughout the semester as they build and manage a research project.

Course outcomes:

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Implement Indigenous worldviews from the theoretical to the practical within Indigenous engagement initiatives that are relevant to the Indigenous partner.
  • Create innovative approaches to integrating Indigenous worldviews into industry and government projects through a means of collaboration, decolonization, and Indigenization.
  • Prepare design thinking approaches to their research projects while establishing meaningful relations between community partners and stakeholders.
  • Employ critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills to meet project objectives and effectively present outcomes important for Indigenous partnerships.
  • Manage an ethical research project that integrates Indigenous knowledge focused on the betterment of Canadian settlers to Indigenous society.

Lecture topics:

1. Introduction to Indigenous Engagement and Collaboration

Lecture Focus: Students will focus on what Indigenous engagement and collaboration might look like. Introduction to the Suncor Program and respective partners for the initiative.

2. Understanding Indigenous Community Needs and Rules of Engagement

Lecture Focus: Students will begin thinking about their collaborative community and identify specific needs and realities they may face as they design their research projects. Students will begin their research projects acknowledging cultural protocol for knowledge acquisition.

3. Design Thinking

Lecture Focus: Students will work on creating a research project with their collaborative community focused on problem mapping, hypothesis development, solution sketching, prototype development, and prototype testing using design thinking principles.

4. Team dynamics, Communication, and Trust

Lecture Focus: Students will learn to act as communication champions and “sensegivers” rather than just information processors. They will use key elements of effective listening and work to understand why listening is important to leader communication. Teams will develop a “peace and friendship agreement” that outlines how they will work together, project objectives and how their team will be responsible for tasks that lead to the final deliverable. This will create transparency in the team, leading to increased accountability.

5. Duty to Consult

Lecture Focus: Impacts for Indigenous partners from a legal, environmental, cultural and spiritual perspective related to potential conflicts with worldviews and reconciliation.

6. Understanding Indigenous Histories, Societies, and Worldviews

Lecture Focus: Key events in Indigenous-Canadian relationships will be highlighted to gain appreciation of the ongoing socio-political landscape. Practical learnings and experience from an Indigenous leader involved in either a regional or national scope will assist students in developing a working knowledge of Indigenous understandings of good relationships (all my relations).

7. Leadership Capacity Building

Lecture Focus: Personal traits and characteristics associated with effective leaders will be identified and discussed. Students will identify their own personal traits that can transform into strengths that they can then bring to a leadership role. Students will also be able to distinguish amongst various roles leaders play in organizations including operational roles, collaborative roles, and advisory roles, and be able to identify where their strengths might best fit.

8. Action Learning with Teams and Community Partners Check-in

Lecture Focus: Learning is developed, refined, and strengthened through action. Action Learning projects demand that participants devote time and attention to addressing any challenges, not only during the lectures but as part of their work. This approach allows participants to develop knowledge and skills while working on actual challenges. Students will spend time conducting research and gathering information while engaging with users and stakeholders. High potential solutions will be developed, tested, and refined. The effort and dedication invested by teams will provide real dividends such as strengthening leadership capabilities as well as offering innovative new approaches to addressing complex and relevant community and organizational challenges.

9. Leading Change and Transforming Relationship

Lecture Focus: Discussion of how government and business (non-Indigenous) can support Indigenous Peoples’ Nation/business building initiatives while utilizing an Indigenous lens.

10. Engaging Strategic Vision and Promising Practices

Lecture Focus: Students will reflect on the perspective of Indigenous leaders including how to incorporate the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Calls to Action and UNDRIP as frameworks for reconciliation. Students will also gain an understanding of the importance of youth engagement for future development of Nations and Indigenous partnerships and be able to integrate knowledge around specific economic roles and contributions that Indigenous peoples made in the Canadian economy historically and why disparities arose.

11. Action Learning with Teams and Community Check-in

Lecture Focus: Learning is developed, refined, and strengthened through action. Action Learning projects demand that participants devote time and attention to addressing any challenges, not only during the lectures but as part of their work. This approach allows participants to develop knowledge and skills while working on actual challenges. Students will spend time conducting research and gathering information and also engage with users and stakeholders. High potential solutions will be developed, tested, and refined. The effort and dedication invested by teams will provide real dividends such as strengthening leadership capabilities as well as offering innovative new approaches to addressing complex and relevant community and organizational challenges.

12. Knowledge Mobilization Presentation of Research Reports

Student participation is mandatory for this week.

13. The Future of Indigenous Engagement and Collaboration

Lecture Focus: Decolonization and Indigenization allows for the creation of meaningful relationships through Indigenous engagement and collaborative initiatives. Students will be able to assess skill acquisition and learnings and discuss how these can be applied to future work with Indigenous partners.

Course Schedule

Day Time Dates Total Hours
Thursdays 5:00 – 8:00 pm January 6 – April 7, 2022 39 hours

Additional Information

Pre-requisites: None
Course delivery: This course will be delivered in-person.

Register today!

Questions? Email us at extension@concordia.ab.ca