Relationships & partnerships
When we make our business decisions we seriously consider potential infringement on the ability, rights, and interests of Indigenous peoples to pursue their aspirations.
We consult with Indigenous leaders, local resource users, and regional organizations on a regular basis on issues of mutual interest and concern. One example of community partnerships is our Relationship Task Force with the Manitoba Metis Federation, which is charged with identifying opportunities for mutual gain aimed at improving the present and future relationships between our organizations.
Increasing employee knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture is fundamental to enhancing relationships with Indigenous peoples and their successful participation in our economic development activities.
We offer opportunities for Indigenous cultural awareness training that enable people to rethink their assumptions and personal biases about Indigenous peoples and promote understanding and respect of Indigenous cultures and different world views.
In the past 10 years we have purchased goods and services from Indigenous businesses valued at $300 million. Our Northern Purchasing Policy and Procedures promote the participation of northern Indigenous businesses in our economic activities. The policy enables practical measures to be undertaken such as:
- information exchange;
- matching work packages to community business capacity;
- direct negotiation or restricted tendering subject to standards of quality;
- cost and schedule being met;
- Joint Ventures with non-Indigenous owned businesses as long as the Indigenous partner plays a meaningful role;
- Indigenous content provisions in the open competitive tendering process.
Our vendor registration system is designed to connect our buyers with vendors efficiently. The system allows for separate identification of Indigenous businesses to help us increase our business interaction with Indigenous companies.
Periodically opportunities arise from work packages associated with corporate works and operations. Examples include plant, dam, dike, and pole maintenance or special projects. Major Project work packages arise also and have been allocated through direct negotiation or restricted tender processes with northern Indigenous businesses. Potential contract opportunities include:
- maintenance, catering, security services;
- temporary/main camp infrastructure;
- painting and clearing principal structures.
Future generation, transmission development
Our future development strategy includes maintaining an ability to construct hydropower options at the earliest practical opportunity. Indigenous participation in future development includes:
- broad consultations;
- traditional knowledge included in environmental assessments;
- pre-project training & employment preference;
- contracts with northern Indigenous businesses;
- negotiation of adverse effects arrangements before construction.
We want to maximize Indigenous advocacy for commercially viable and environmentally acceptable projects. We are striving to align the interests of Indigenous communities with ours by providing practical social and economic opportunities for community residents.
Indigenous peoples are assessing if the projects will enable future generations to be better off with the projects than without them and if they will contribute to the strengthening of their cultural identity and well being.