Hand games and awareness at cultural retreat

							Rolando Inzunza and Joy Flett participate in hand games during the Mikisew Cree First Nation cultural retreat
Who said playing games is just for kids?

Who says playing games is just for kids?

Aboriginal hand games are an important part of community celebrations and several of our employees got to try their hand at them during the 10th annual Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN) Government and Industry Relations’ Cultural retreat.

Held from Aug 18 to 20, 2015 in Fort Chipewyan, the cultural retreat was organized to bring members of the community and the local energy companies together to develop connections, cultural understanding and ultimately have a lot of fun along the way.

“Through our presence in the communities and participation in these events, we develop an understanding of Aboriginal culture and values and they get to know us better,” says Rolando Inzunza, advisor, Aboriginal business development. “Our relationships are stronger; there is mutual trust and respect when you have a personal connection.”

Many of our operations are on or near Aboriginal Peoples’ traditional territory with connections to over 150 Aboriginal communities throughout Canada. An event like this breaks down barriers and improves awareness for both community members and industry representatives. Learning from, and with, partners and communities helps us build progressive and collaborative relationships with Aboriginal Peoples.

Visitors took part in cultural teaching in an outdoor classroom. Educational and interactive activities such as best moose and duck calls, a traditional knowledge walk, bannock-making and arts and crafts workshops were highlights of the three day event.

The ideal outcome is that industry members will share their positive experiences and new insight into Aboriginal traditional values and connection with the land with their co-workers and industry partners.

Ultimately, involvement in the community can demonstrate what a meeting in a boardroom cannot. And it proves that learning can also be fun.

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