Mining players share best practices at Indigenous procurement conference in Sudbury
Pat Dubreuil was a relative newby to the consultation process. Barely a year and half into his job as president of Manitou Gold, Dubreuil prepared for his first meeting with a First Nation community by taking a step back to research the culture and traditions of the people he wanted to develop a business relationship with.
“I need to learn who I’m dealing with, and that’s the key,” said Dubreuil. In explaining his gold exploration project to chief and council, Dubreuil embedded the Seven Grandfathers Teachings into his power-point presentation, concluding that talk with a ceremonial exchange of tobacco.
His hosts were highly impressed and complimented him afterwards on his respectful approach. That first official contact set the relationship off on the right foot.
“If you don’t educate yourself before you meet with these clients, you can get in big trouble just with perceptions,” said Dubreuil. “Go in well-educated. You’re not just educating them, you’re educating yourself.”
The junior mining company executive took part in an industry panel discussion on advancing – and sometimes repairing – relationships with First Nations at the Procurement Employment Partnerships (PEP) Conference in Sudbury, Jan.22.