5 Teaching Notes: Scenario on Safety in an Indigenous Community

Note to teachers

The scenario deals with sensitive and controversial issues and discussing it may be upsetting for some students, especially those who identify in similar ways to Dale. Please provide context about Indigenous issues (particularly in Canada) and LGBTQ2+ issues, especially that challenges common assumptions. This context would help prepare students for a robust but respectful discussion. Please see the bibliography below or seek other like sources from your own Diversity and Inclusion specialists, Indigenous advisors, or educational supports.

It is important not to generalize language with Indigenous people. You will commonly see Indigenous people use the terms Indian, Aboriginal, First Nations and Indigenous interchangeably, but this language choice is not an option for non-Indigenous people. It is okay to interject to say some language is inappropriate. Most Indigenous peoples prefer to be identified by the name of their specific Nation, tribe, or band. Check with Indigenous advisors at your institution.

What will students discuss?

As relevant to course learning outcomes, students will be able to discuss the following:

  • stereotyping, bias, racism, tokenism
  • Indigenous racism
  • homophobia
  •  diversity, equity and inclusion, belonging, justice, dignity, human rights
  • professionalism, organizational development, leadership
  • human resources, talent management
  • policy making and enforcement
  • internal communication, organizational culture
  • business development, strategic communications, strategic planning
  • public relations, marketing
  •  approaches to  decision making and persuasion
  •  environmental issues for business
  • entrepreneurship, business partnerships
  • Indigenous economic development
  • Indigenous land claims, treaties and traditional territories
  • Reconciliation processes with the Indigenous peoples of Canada
  • the “duty to consult” Indigenous communities affected by development
  • community engagement
  • representation by those affected in all decisions
  • mutual care and safety
  • political protest, controversy
  • criminalization of public protests
  • other relevant topics

The company’s obligations

  • Students may argue that Dale has a special role, as an Indigenous employee of the company, to mediate and allay tensions.
  • Students may argue that the company has the right to protect its employees and can bring a police escort or private security to a formal meeting.
  • Students may discuss the implications of assuming the local situation is “dangerous”.
  • Students may discuss what it means that some people have criticized the company publicly. How should the company respond and where?
  • Students may discuss the company’s obligations to consult with the Indigenous communities affected, even if tensions are high.

The community’s obligations

Students may argue that any security issues have to be solved by the community affected, even if that means discussing controversial issues with community leaders or not visiting the community at this time.

Collaborative solutions

Students may discuss:

  • The concept of open discussion and consultation that includes everyone
  • The question: Without collaborative solutions to safety, could business negotiations continue?
  • The implications of making security everyone’s problem
  • The varying perceptions of decision making: that is lies solely with the Indigenous communities, that it lies solely with the companies investing and doing the work, that there has to be a collaborative solution.

Negotiated partnerships and collaborative solutions for everyone’s safety.


Chapter attributions

Teaching Notes: Scenario on Safety in an Indigenous Community? by Deirdre Maultsaid & Gregory John is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International

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Cases on Social Issues: For Class Discussion Copyright © 2022 by Deirdre Maultsaid and Gregory John is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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