Indigenous Works Launches Building Successful Corporate / Indigenous Partnerships

Entrepreneur Centre


SASKATOON – BUSINESS – A new video and guide entitled, “Building Successful Corporate/Indigenous Partnerships” was released today by Indigenous Works. The free 19-minute video and guide provides a new 7-stage partnership model for learning and building partnership competencies. It also features insights from many Indigenous and corporate leaders into ways that corporate and Indigenous groups can effectively partner with one another for the purpose of creating new employment, business and community economic development. “These free resources are practical management learning tools for practitioners and leaders who want to build authentic and high functioning partnerships and reduce business risks by avoiding common pitfalls and challenges”, explains Kelly Lendsay, President, and CEO of Indigenous Works.

These new management tools were built as part of a response to an extensive study released in October 2017 of 500 medium and large companies “Researching Indigenous Partnerships: An Assessment of Corporate-Indigenous Relations” which found a large partnership gap exists: 85 percent of Canadian businesses are  not engaged with Indigenous communities with few or no engagement and partnership strategies. The average partnership index score was 13/100. “The partnership and engagement gap is an opportunity for both corporate and Indigenous leaders”, says Stephen Lindley, Co-Chair of Indigenous Works. “Nearly 70 percent of the ‘disengaged majority’ say they need at least one form of support to move forward with the specific guidance needed from Indigenous communities and engaged businesses.”

At Inclusion Works ’18 in Kelowna BC April 17 – 18, “delegates will put the guide into action as they learn how to benchmark their partnership score and develop their partnership skills and competencies from the lessons learned and promising practices of practitioners from across Canada” states, Patricia Baxter, Co-chair of Indigenous Works. “There is a lot of talk about reconciliation but more action is needed and initiatives like the partnership video and Inclusion Works ’18 can accelerate corporate-Indigenous engagement”. Dawn Mahdabee-Leach, Vice-Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) agrees saying, “Many business and Indigenous representatives may want to partner, but they may not always know the best way to go about doing it.”

Brent Bergeron, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at Goldcorp Inc. and one of the faculty presenters at Inclusion Works believes the partnership video and guide is a great stepping stone for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders to begin the ‘engagement process’ and to systematically review their ‘partnership readiness’.

Canada must work together toward reconciliation”, says Chief Clarence Louie, Chair NIEDB. “This new partnership building guide is an example of how people can expand their knowledge and begin the partnership journey with a view to growing employment, business and social development outcomes across Canada.  We need to work together to achieve this”.


Indigenous Works (formerly, the Aboriginal Human Resource Council) is an ISO 9001 certified non-profit Indigenous national organization. Established in 1998 as a recommendation from the 1996 Report on the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples with a mandate to increase Indigenous engagement in the Canadian economy. The organization is a leader in workplace inclusion and partnership strategies creating new intersections and connections in all sectors of the Canadian economy. It is governed by a Board of Directors with private sector, Indigenous economic development corporations and independent directors.