Is it Indigenous relations or Indigenous engagement? We think it’s the same thing.
More and more companies are looking to engage and work with Indigenous communities. Gaining support in the environment you operate in needs purposeful interaction with the communities by building mutual understanding, trust, and respect.
This requires searching for the common ground even if it takes longer than anticipated. Don’t be a temporary business partner.
Establishing relationships and partnerships can be confusing and intimidating and many companies don’t have the knowledge, know where to go, or even where to start.
All of this defines both Indigenous relations and engagement.
Many companies want to know how best to approach Indigenous strategy, policy and engagement.
We assist your company in creating your own Indigenous Relations Toolbox. Working together with your team to build internal strategies and policies, we help you lay the foundation in order to build solid, lasting, and productive relationships with the local Indigenous communities and businesses.
We provide insight u0026amp; understanding about Indigenous landscapes from overviews of communities from across Canada to a sense of the economic and political climate. We offer you an understanding of communities and your place in relationship with them:rnrnu003cstrongu003eDiscoveryrnu003c/strongu003eUnderstanding your company and its current Indigenous relations knowledge, engagement efforts, and corporate policies through senior leaderships interviews, human resource and supply chain process reviews, as well as assessments of diversity and inclusion practicesrnrnu003cstrongu003eMeasurement u0026amp; trackingrnu003c/strongu003eReporting for Indigenous supply chain spend, employment and community investment tracking, as well as the ability to track clients commitments and deliverables throughout the duration of the project while keeping each other accountable on promises made.rnrnu003cstrongu003eMedia monitoringrnu003c/strongu003eProviding updates on Indigenous business, political, social, and environmental landscape to keep your team up to date.rnrnu003cstrongu003eProprietary databasernu003c/strongu003eHow do you find a business partner? Gain direct access to our comprehensive nationwide list of over 1200 Indigenous and Indigenous-endorsed businesses when you need to find a subcontractor or partner.
Both are an integral piece of Indigenous relations as they enable us to make decisions from a more informed place. Mutual respect is key to successful relationships whether in business or in our everyday lives.rnu003ch2u003eIndigenous awareness training for companiesu003c/h2u003ernOur Indigenous awareness training package gives employees at all levels a foundation of knowledge to build upon. It includes:rnu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eFoundational online training program.u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003e4 training modules covering Unconscious bias, Indigenous history in Canada, Residential schools and the 60s Scoop, and Modern Indigenous culture.u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eAn introduction to the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’ PAR certification program. The CCAB Progressive Aboriginal Relations process is a certification program that confirms corporate performance in Indigenous Relations across their organization. Being a PAR certified company gives communities and their members peace of mind they are working with a trusted organization vetted out by Indigenous business people for the committed prosperity of all Indigenous Peoples.u003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003ernu003ca href=u0022https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FqRpO0TjggYekik3KEgDEKOWpiQ_Cgh_/view?usp=share_linku0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003eIndigenous Awareness Introduction: Explore and Understandu003c/au003ernu003ca href=u0022https://www.ethreeonline.ca/courses/indigenous-awareness/u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003eSign up for our Indigenous Awareness training courseu003c/au003ernu003ch2u003eCorporate culture training for community membersu003c/h2u003ernFor community members starting work with a company or in a new work environment can be both overwhelming and frightening. Just as employers should learn about Indigenous culture, so should new employees learn about the employer’s corporate culture.rnu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eCreate a safe, inclusive, and open culture within your organization to allow for all employees, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to work together toward common goals.u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eThrough our community engagement initiatives, your employees will take the time to educate community members to help understand what it’s like to work for the company. This will give the community members time to pass along any concerns they may have with the company to its leadership to address concerns.u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eIdentify the various barriers to overcome for those from rural or isolated communities integrating into an on-site workplace which may be a great distance from home.u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eShare company corporate culture with Indigenous community members to build confidence.u003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003e
It is necessary to ensure a company continues to build trust and nurture relationships in order to earn the social license to operate within communities. This is an ongoing and continuing process that results in lasting partnerships, not transactional exchanges.rnrnWe provide:rnrnu003cstrongu003eCommunity introductionsrnu003c/strongu003eCreating opportunities to make connections with our Indigenous community partners, coast to coast to coast.rnrnu003cstrongu003eEngagement strategyu003c/strongu003ernGuiding companies in how to develop early, often and ongoing engagement, capacity development planning, resulting in employment, business development and procurement with Indigenous businesses and communities.rnrnu003cstrongu003eEngagement toolboxrnu003c/strongu003eBuilding practical policies and procedures covering employment and training, procurement, community investment.rnrnu003cstrongu003eCommunication and action plansrnu003c/strongu003eThrough collaboration with the communities in the vicinity of your projects.
u003cstrongu003eWe want to work ourselves out of a jobu003c/strongu003e. Our goal is to equip you with everything you need internally to develop and run your own Indigenous relations team. We help guide you through the process until you are comfortable and fully equipped to continue yourself. The benefits include less turnover on projects as the team members are already integrated into your company as well as reducing your on-boarding and recruitment cost.rnrnu003cstrongu003eCCAB PAR certificationu003c/strongu003ernWalk the path to certification guided by Danielle Hartley, CCAB’s first accredited PAR facilitator.rnrnu003cstrongu003eInternal staffingrnu003c/strongu003eUndertake recruitment, training, and mentorship to develop the expertise to take on Indigenous relations roles within your organisation.rnrnu003cstrongu003eSkill developmentrnu003c/strongu003eHelping company employees obtain the soft skills to be able to implement policies and proper engagement practices with all Indigenous relations initiatives.rnrnu003cstrongu003eAllyshiprnu003c/strongu003eWe welcome you into our trusted relationships with communities so you can learn how to develop and form your own. It’s important for many people in the company, from leadership to front line workers, to continue to build these connections.
We work with a wide variety of clients in multiple industries including oil & gas, mining, aerospace & defence, commercial & industrial construction, renewable energy as well as building Indigenous Benefits Plans for Canadian federal government projects. Although most of our clients are contractors engaged by lead proponents of large scale construction and P3 projects, DHIR also guides professional services such as law firms in building their industry specific Indigenous strategies.
Danielle Hartley and the DHIR team is excellent to work with. As a client, Danielle understands the significance of having a strategy built around Indigenous relations and partnerships, ensuring clients understand the history of Indigenous Peoples and how corporate Canada can work effectively together with Indigenous communities and businesses. What impresses me most about the DHIR team is the attention to detail and focus on their customer needs.Bill Gourley | Director, Energy Transition u0026 Strategic Partnerships, Superior Propane
I’ve had the privilege of working with Danielle as EllisDon works towards PAR certification. She is a wealth of information, has a strong network, and has guided us through the PAR process with patience and unwavering leadership. Her knowledge and experience have been instrumental as we build a strong foundation of Indigenous cultural awareness, and create meaningful and lasting relationships with First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities. I have really enjoyed working with Danielle and look forward to continuing our work together.Jennifer Khan | VP, Diversity Inclusion, EllisDon
For companies and organizations looking to build out frameworks to answer TRC Calls to Action, or those that are just looking to demonstrate good reconciliation, Danielle Hartley Indigenous Relations Inc is an excellent resource to guide companies in this process. For the last decade, Danielle has been instrumental in guiding and supporting organizations looking to achieve certification in the PAR program.Luanne Whitecrow | Director, Progressive Aboriginal Relations Program, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
To ensure that Cahill reached the Indigenous inclusion percentage mandated by the client, Cahill’s procurement department and the DHIR team worked together to bring about the best possible outcomes for all involved.
After connecting with local First Nation communities, businesses and organizations, Cahill’s procurement department utilized our Indigenous supplier database and actively sought out Indigenous businesses for inclusion in the bidding process. We assisted those businesses in the approval process and created the workforce reporting form for detailed reporting.
The Indigenous procurement spend far exceeded the set targets and there was 67% Indigenous procurement rate on the project. The client has demonstrated ongoing philanthropic actions and involvement in the local community.
To build a kitchen skills training program where members of the local Indigenous communities could learn the skills necessary to work in the kitchen of the BC Hydro Site C Two Rivers Lodge.
Understanding the barriers of working away from home in a work force accommodation setting, a training program was developed to not only introduce the local Indigenous communities to kitchen career opportunities but to also introduce them to the way of life in a lodge setting. All of the participants moved into the lodge for 5 full days where they learned life skills during the morning sessions and kitchen skills in the afternoon.
In the first session, eight community members from five local Indigenous communities participated in the program and all were hired to join the ATCO team. With the opportunity to experience working away from home, Indigenous community members built future careers and shared the positive experience with their friends and families back home.
At DHIR, our attitude is ”roll up your sleeves and let’s get to work”. Working closely with many Indigenous communities and organizations across the country, we have honed the skills needed to help build, lead and manage Indigenous engagement strategies for clients committed to reconciliation. Our ability to make genuine connections with all stakeholders will benefit our client’s engagement goals.
The hard, tactical skills can be found in many but the soft skills of encouraging trust and building agreement are often harder to find. They are ingrained in who we are at DHIR. We help companies to create and maintain relationships with Indigenous communities. We introduce our clients to those communities we already have formed relationships with and identify communities of interest to our clients in the areas in which they operate.
We differentiate by maintaining the interests of all involved – both our clients and the communities they partner with. In doing so, we have established a solid reputation among both businesses and communities, building an awareness of the standards, protocols, processes, events and current issues that impact both parties.
Above all, we operate with empathy, humility, a willingness to learn and help you understand the cultural sensitivity required to operate in the right relation with Indigenous communities.
Danielle Hartley, the driving force behind DHIR Inc., is a seasoned Indigenous relations expert. With a rich career spanning over 25 years, she is a visionary in crafting Indigenous strategies, policies, and engagement plans for businesses. As a passionate advocate for truth and ethical practices, Danielle is your go-to partner for building enduring and productive relationships with Indigenous communities and industries.
Danielle excels in guiding Indigenous community employment, procurement, training, and investment, with the self-proclaimed goal of “working myself out of a job”. Her role as the first contracted facilitator for the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business’s Progressive Aboriginal Relations Program showcases her commitment and competence in fostering strong partnerships. For over a decade, she has guided numerous companies to achieve bronze, silver, and gold certification in this program.
She is set apart by her ability to balance the big picture with meticulous attention to detail, all while working under budget constraints and tight deadlines. Having worked for one of the most economically successful First Nations in Canada and an industry leader, Danielle positions herself as a bridge between diverse spheres in the business landscape.
Danielle holds a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University. She actively contributes to the DE&I Committee in the Designers and Constructors Institute, has completed the Ivey School of Business Strategic Leadership Program, and earned the Indigenous Relations Leadership Certificate from the University of Calgary.
Danielle’s spark, initiative, and dedication inspire us at DHIR to bring our whole selves to the work of creating a more conscious and compassionate society. We love that when Danielle steps into the office, she brings her German Shepard and zesty attitude with her. Danielle Hartley is a true powerhouse, and with a dynamic team behind her, she’s ready to help you build solid, lasting, and productive partnerships.
Deanna oversees the day-to-day operations of DHIR. She brings a vibrant energy to the office and is excited to continue learning about Indigenous culture and the positive impact DHIR has on Indigenous communities. She loves that our company has a “people first” environment.
Deanna possesses an educational background in Early Childhood Education which enabled her to own and operate her own childcare facility for years before making the switch to Home Health Care. In October of 2021 she switched hats once again and joined the amazing team as DHIR Inc.’s office manager.
She has lived most of her life in the Halifax area, and because of that, has many close ties to her community. When Deanna’s not at work, you can find her exploring the outdoors, travelling, and spending time with family and friends, especially spending time with her grandchildren.
With a “team first” mentality and drive to help others, Billy combines his education with developed skills gained from 8+ years of professional experience to guide companies through the necessary path to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
From studying Business Administration at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, and Cape Breton University, in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Billy has since been able to develop the skills to maneuver through different industries including Tourism, Digital Sales and Marketing. While accumulating knowledge from one industry to the next, Billy has been able to effectively connect and guide the relationships needed to create inclusive, prosperous relationships between companies and the communities where they wish to do business.
As an avid sports fan and former high-performance athlete, when Billy is not at work you can find him at a local hockey rink, baseball field or golf course as sports have always been a passion of his. When not supporting local teams or participating in sports activities you can find him at the park or on a hike with his partner Emily and German Shepherd, Phoebe.
Brook grew up and spent much of his adult life in Yellowknife, NWT where he gained his appreciation for the wilderness. As a young boy, he travelled across the Arctic with his father who was working with Inuit community members dedicated to preserving the near extinct Canadian Inuit Dog. These experiences shaped his pursuit of education in Sustainable Business Development in Resources and the Environment.
Brook’s expertise in relationship management and partnership execution has been invaluable in bringing together diverse groups to achieve economic success. He has dedicated his career to driving business opportunities through strategic and collaborative relationships. His focus on aligning common goals between stakeholders, Indigenous communities, and industry partners has resulted in the execution and management of over 60 joint ventures which have won more than $1 billion in contract awards.
He also worked for the territorial government and sat on the steering committee for the NWT Protected Areas Strategy. In this capacity, he was instrumental in helping to identify culturally and environmentally significant areas and formulating a strategy to protect them.
In addition to helping to develop a family-owned wilderness lodge business on Great Slave Lake, NWT, Brook developed dog sledding tourism packages for Japanese tourists who flocked to the North to witness the Northern Lights.
Julietta Sorensen Kass has diverse career experience that centers around her passion for what she calls “plants and people”. An environmental professional with a background spanning 9 years in environmental management, Julietta is an advocate for Indigenous rights and environmental preservation. Her path began as an Environmental Science student at the University of Lethbridge, where she honed her expertise as a field technician. Her passion for fostering connections between nature and society led her to become a Science Educator in the Middle East, where she developed impactful programs and events focused on environmental awareness.
Driven by her dedication to inclusivity and engagement, Julietta pursued a Master’s in Resource and Environmental Management at Dalhousie University. During her time there, she initiated “Text-A-Tree,” a community engagement and research initiative focused on urban nature. Through strategic partnerships, stakeholder collaboration, and dynamic communication, Julietta and her team successfully reached thousands of community members.
Julietta’s tenure at WSP, first as a Project Coordinator and then as a Human Engagement Specialist, showcased her prowess in collaboration, community relations, and regulatory compliance. Her most recent role as Indigenous Programs Lead at ECO Canada further demonstrated her ability to foster teamwork and execute tailored programs that address the unique needs of Indigenous communities.
Most days you can find Julietta playing outside with her family or enjoying a cup of tea with the company of her pet parakeets. Julietta is proud of both her European and Red River Métis heritage.
We are thrilled to announce that DHIR has been selected to partner with Mount Saint Vincent University as part of the Kinu Tourism Project (KTP). The Kinu Tourism Project is a Mi’kma’ki wide collaborative initiative at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) to create a sustainable Indigenous tourism student cohort program. This project is aimed at supporting Indigenous tourism leaders and entrepreneurs while enhancing capacity within the Indigenous Tourism sector. Our role is to conduct community research on behalf of the KTP and gather the voices of Indigenous people across Mi’kma’ki. Through analysis of in-person conversations and semi-structured interviews, we will explore the barriers and facilitators affecting the development of Indigenous Tourism entrepreneurs. We will also seek strategies to improve Indigenous student access to post-secondary education related to tourism. DHIR is a team of Indigenous Relations professionals whose approach aligns with the principles and protocols of the Mi’kmaw Ethics Watch.
What does this mean for you? It means new opportunities.
Social science research is an incredible tool that can empower communities. As partners in the KTP, we are committed to furthering Indigenous data sovereignty not only through our data collection and management practices, but also through skills sharing. Through our Mi’kmaw Researcher Apprenticeship, we hope to facilitate future research conducted for community and by community. We invite Mi’kmaw individuals of every experience level to reach out to Julietta at Julietta@daniellehartleyir.ca by Dec 17, 2023 to chat about joining our team. See the full details here.