The Firelight Group again thanks the many people who contributed to the now-completed ITKF.
Firelight conducted a wide-ranging engagement process to elicit input for the ITKF. We are grateful for the input we received from the representatives of all four CEMA caucuses: Aboriginal Communities, Industry, Government, and NGO. We are also very grateful to CEMA’s Traditional Knowledge Working Group (TKWG), which provided leadership and guidance throughout the project, and on the content and structure of the draft ITKF. Firelight Group was honoured and humbled by the many people who generously gave their time and expertise to make the ITKF a better document.
The ITKF is the final output of Phase 3 of the TKWG’s larger ITKF initiative. The initiative had commenced in 2013 when CEMA issued a public RFP for a literature review. The second phase was a methodology study. The third phase commenced in the spring of 2014. Firelight was selected as the contractor, and a news release was issued in May 2014. Input channels were immediately opened, via a website that accepted comments directly, a dedicated email address, a toll-free phone number, and our hardcopy mailing address. Contact information was provided for several Community Coordinators who kindly volunteered to receive and forward input.
In addition, we undertook a series of events in order to boost input from all four CEMA caucus sectors (including organizations represented in the caucuses, and other organizations from those sectors). These events took place over the course of the evolution of the principles, policy options and successive drafts, and included the following:
- Monthly update reports and meetings with CEMA’s TKWG.
- In-person meetings in July and August 2014 with representatives from 7 communities in North Eastern Alberta as well as members of CEMA.
- A workshop attended by 35 participants in August 2014, held at the Nistawoyou Friendship Centre in Fort McMurray. The workshops and meetings were well-attended by Aboriginal community representatives throughout the project, and included very useful conversations.
- Articles in CEMA’s newsletter, The Insider.
- October 2014 workshop for Government representatives. This workshop was very well attended, and the conversation was very useful.
- October 2014 workshop for Industry representatives, preceded by invitations to companies and industry associations, follow up phone calls and reminder emails. Only one industry representative attended, and none called the conference call line, but the conversation was still very useful.
- October 2014 workshop for NGO representatives. Several representatives attended, and the conversation was very useful.
- January 2015 conference calls for Industry, Government and NGO caucuses
- February 2015 workshop with communities
- March 2015 presentation to CEMA AGM
- June 2015 conference call with several Industry representatives.
- June 2015 leadership summit
We thank all who provided comments; the draft was truly the product of many minds. Of course, not every suggestion ended up in the text of the draft, and the draft could not reflect 100% of what any organization would desire. This does not mean that suggestions were ignored, but rather that there was a range of views on many of the elements of the ITKF.¹ Nonetheless, we are grateful for all views received; they all helped to stimulate discussion and make the draft stronger.
In the summer of 2015, the final draft ITKF was provided to the TKWG for its review, amendments and approval, and that of CEMA’s board.