Building Trust within Indigenous Communities

Learning to Speak the Same Language ™ 

There often seems to be an inherent conflict when Western science meets Indigenous traditional values. A few symptoms of this are encampments along pipeline routes, protests at hydroelectric developments and social media campaigns that delay or terminate projects. The real root cause, however, is a failure to communicate. Our research shows that the communication and trust gap between scientists, engineers, technical experts and Indigenous people living within First Nation traditional territories is widening. But the same research also shows that by learning to speak the same language and enhancing the understanding of concepts, scientists and engineers can narrow the communication gap and build trust within First Nation communities.

In this workshop, STEM professionals will develop public speaking and presentation skills which will help them effectively communicate and present technical information to Indigenous people. Participants will learn the importance of conducting audience analysis which is informed by Indigenous culture, history and traditional values. They will learn how to increase audience comprehension and acceptance by presenting technologically complex information in an understandable and non-­‐threatening environment. Through a combination of case studies and hands-­‐on skill development, this workshop will assist scientists in identifying potential barriers to good communication and developing a common language to be better understood.

What you will learn:

  • Understand First Nation audiences;
  • Frame presentations and shape messages;
  • Present information that meets the audience needs;
  • Tell compelling stories;
  • Be entertaining, passionate and confident;
  • Manage body language, voice and tone;
  • Design visuals and communication tools to support your message;
  • Answer difficult questions with confidence;
  • Manage opposition and conflict;
  • Measure your own effectiveness.

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