We are committed to developing and maintaining positive relationships with indigenous communities wherever we operate. We work cooperatively with governments, including those of indigenous communities. Whether or not agreement on all matters is possible, we strive for proactive collaboration and mutual understanding. We expect consultation be carried out by all parties with good faith.
Additionally, we strive for a reasonable balance of the concerns of indigenous people with other social interests when evaluating the effect of any particular decision. We support having systems in place to address imbalances of power and capacity and provide for the fair, transparent resolution of disputes.
For example, in Canada, where we are a steward of public land, we work to support and sustain the role of indigenous peoples, including:
- Contractual relationships for timber harvesting, forest silviculture, infrastructure development and the supply of other goods and services
- Employment opportunities
- Involvement with and donations to Aboriginal initiatives
- Support for education to help develop employment skills
- Mutual sharing of information and goals, with a view toward understanding and, if needed, accommodation
PARTNERING WITH OTHERS
We're also a member of the Forest Products Association of Canada, which works to strengthen aboriginal participation in Canada's forest sector through economic development initiatives and business investments, strong environmental stewardship and the creation of skill development opportunities, particularly targeted to First Nations youth.
We work with key contractors and suppliers to develop awareness around respectful workplace behavior and encourage them to ensure their workforces reflect the populations where they operate. Our policies address best practices for forest products companies' relationships with indigenous peoples, including:
- Participation and consultation: Forest operations should ensure there has been meaningful participation of, consultation with, and accommodation, if required, of local communities and indigenous peoples affected by those operations.
- Respect for the rights of indigenous peoples: Forest operations should ensure appropriate consultation with — and, if required, accommodation of — indigenous peoples' rights, which may include land tenure, treaty rights and rights to traditional or customary uses. Forest operations should recognize and support government-to-government processes to establish and reconcile these rights.
- Capacity building: Forest operations should build the capacity of indigenous peoples to work in the industry sector and enhance the value of local resources through fair, equitable and mutually beneficial relationships.
- Cultural identity: Forest operations should understand and acknowledge indigenous cultures, heritages and traditions and promote traditional knowledge and practices.
- Just and fair dispute resolution: Forest operations should ensure there are systems in place to resolve conflicts through just and fair procedures.