“We are all in the same canoe – we need to collaborate with and trust each other.” That is the message that Chief Ian Campbell, cultural ambassador for the Squamish Nation of southwestern British Columbia, delivered in his presentation to the “Collaboration for Transformation” working session in Lima Peru in spring 2016 as part of CIRDI’s Co-Laboratorio (Co-Lab) Perú project.
He went on to say, “Peru is not isolated, it is part of the world. It needs to find a balance between innovation, improvement and environmental protection. Business and economic development must be an expression of our values as a collective.”
Chief Campbell is a graduate of the first cohort of the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Beedie School of Business Executive MBA in Aboriginal business and leadership. He spoke about the similarities of Indigenous communities’ relationships with the extractive resource sector around the globe.
“We were honoured to have Chief Campbell’s participation in the first of our three working sessions in Peru this spring,” said Kristina Henriksson of Simon Fraser University. ”Not only did he focus on collaboration and discussion to ensure environmental protection, but he also emphasized the importance of developing responsible extractive industries that are mindful of the needs of Indigenous peoples.”
Henriksson, with fellow SFU Beedie School faculty June Francis, leads the Peru Co-Lab project, which engages cross-sector stakeholders to shape inclusive solutions to complex resource governance and sustainable livelihood challenges.
The “Collaborating for Transformation” included three working sessions held in Lima and Arequipa, Peru.
The first session at the Universidad del Pacifico in Lima where Chief Campbell spoke, focused on governance, leadership, sustainable development and social and economic impact in the Peruvian natural resources sector. The second working session, held in Arequipa, Peru continued the discussion generated at the Lima session through a smaller workshop format.
In the final session, also held in Arequipa, Francis and Henriksson met with female social leaders from mining communities in the area to discuss how to strengthen women’s participation in decisions related to extractives issues. Maureen Maloney, faculty from SFU School of Public Policy, also spoke about innovative initiatives including women in economic development.
“There is a critical need to identify and facilitate the development within the Peruvian mining sector of more inclusive and transformative approaches with multiple stakeholders,” said Henriksson. “These sessions were a vital component in further implementing the Co-Laboratorio Perú project. The project will not only strengthen cross-sector collaborative practice, but also enhance the role of local universities as development and innovation partners for more resilient solutions,” she said.