February 06, 2024

Would you like to learn thekeys for developing relationships with Indigenous communities? This unique program, offered by Executive Education HEC Montréal, in collaboration with First Nations Executive Education (FNEE), will help you understand the historical context as well as the political and organizational realities of First Nations. This day-long course is taught jointly by Éric Cardinal, a specialist in Indigenous law in Quebec with over 20 years’ experience, and Ian Picard, Wendat from Wendake, who has been helping First Nations become financially self-sufficient for more than 15 years. The complementary knowledge and skills of these two experts make them a winning combination!

Strengthening Your Knowledge of the HHistory of Indigenous Peoples

During this session, you will learn key facts and acquire a wealth of useful information about First Nations history.

“It is important to learn about the history and the unique status of First Nations in order to better understand them. This knowledge is essential for anyone who wants to develop trust-based, mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous organizations and communities.”

Éric Cardinal, Course lecturer in First Nations law, President, SEIZE03

Learning in a Safe, Collaborative Space

Who are Indigenous peoples? What are they like? What languages do they speak? How many nations are there? What is the Indian Act? We will answer these questions and any others you might have — judgment-free. The atmosphere in this program is one of trust, respect and kindness.

You will benefit from the combination of Ian Picard’s worldview and experience as a member of the Wendat nation and Éric Cardinal’s legal and political expertise.

Understanding How First Nations Operate

To enter into business relationships with First Nations, you must first understand their political systems and ways of governance.

“When you want to develop a relationship with First Nations communities, you must consider the fact that they view value creation differently. Indigenous leaders have to prioritize collective well-being and a holistic approach based on traditional values in order to maintain social acceptance by the communities they represent.”

Ian Picard, Wendat, Wendake, Director General, RBA Financial Group

Did you know that each First Nations community has its own government? That this government is generally led by a chief and a group of councillors but varies in structure from one community to the next? That there may also be a traditional governance system in place that influences the decisions of the political administration? That the government is responsible for more public services than most municipalities? That there is a protocol for building relationships with First Nations communities? You must give thought to all these facts before approaching First Nations.

Working Toward Economic Reconciliation

There is a growing focus on economic reconciliation with First Nations. As a result, an increasing number of non-Indigenous organizations are turning to Indigenous companies, communities and individuals to buy and sell goods and services. Many enterprises and groups, such as the Montreal Canadiens, are also beginning to include land acknowledgements in their communications. Our relationships with Indigenous peoples are evolving, and it’s important for us all to be up to date.

“We launched FNEE in 2021 to strengthen the skills of First Nations leaders by combining traditional knowledge with the best in contemporary management practices. We see training for non-Indigenous people as the logical next step in our ongoing efforts to achieve reconciliation.”

Jean-Marc Gauthier, Director of Strategy and Development, First Nations Executive Education

Building Your Toolbox

If you are considering embarking on a potential project with an Indigenous partner or community, this executive education program is ideal for you. It is also sure to be valuable to those interested in the history of First Nations in Quebec.

If, like many organizations, you would like to equip your employees with an understanding of the historical and contemporary realities of Indigenous peoples, this course, led by an exceptional duo of instructors, is an excellent starting point!