Valuable insight and networking opportunities at Forward Summit
CPA members and staff participated in the Forward Summit held February 26-28 in Calgary, AB.
Attended by over 400 delegates, the Forward Summit was a national, cross-industry discussion aimed at driving meaningful change and strengthening relationships between Indigenous Peoples and the business community.
The Indigenous-led plenary panels and roundtable discussions provided important insight and networking opportunities as CPA continues to develop its Indigenous outreach program. Representatives of Superior Propane, Parkland Fuels as well as CPA’s subsidiary, Emergency Response Assistance Canada, joined CPA staff in reaching out to dozens of important contacts.
“The Summit was the best conference I have ever been to in regards to potential clients wanting to talk to us about business versus chasing them down to do business with us – I believe because they are on a path to building businesses and are open to looking at all opportunities.” Shawn Whalen, Superior Propane
CPA Vice-President of Government Relations Allan Murphy was among the guests at the roundtable, Hydrocarbons – The Economic Reconciliation Trailblazer, one of the best attended discussions of the event. Participants also included Chief Bernice Martial of Cold Lake First Nations, Chief Jim Boucher of Fort MacKay First Nation and Mel Benson, President of Mel Benson Management Services (First Nations/corporate negotiations).
Discussions highlighted the progress that the hydrocarbons industry has made in developing good relations with Indigenous communities. In addition to discussions about the importance of working directly with Indigenous communities, roundtable participants addressed a variety of questions, including what more can be done for inclusion, access to ownership and ensuring the future success and security of the industry .
|CPA members/team in action! (left to right): Richard Espenant and Shawn Whalen, Superior Propane; Maurice Winters, Gary MacLean and Robert Lavigne, CPA’s Indigenous Advisors; Danelle Wettstein and Patrick Knight, ERAC; Darren Cunningham and Allan Murphy, CPA.|
Murphy cited opportunities for the CPA to provide for education and training as noted in Section 92.2 of the Calls for Action that recommends the corporate world, “ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects”.
The community-based approach that the CPA has taken regarding Indigenous outreach was confirmed at the Summit. Indigenous communities want and expect to determine how projects with industry move forward.