Cultural change fact

In an increasingly diverse world, fostering understanding and cooperation among different cultural groups is more important than ever.

For businesses and organisations looking to engage with First Nations people, a thoughtful and respectful approach is essential. At Cultural Journeys Training and Consulting, we believe that building meaningful relationships with First Nations communities requires dedication and a willingness to learn. Here are five essential steps to guide you on this journey:

1. Listen

The first step in working effectively with First Nations people is to listen. This means more than just hearing words; it’s about truly understanding and valuing what is being said.


Allow the person to speak and express themselves fully

Give them the space and time to share their thoughts and experiences without rushing them.


Show interest in what they are saying and avoid interrupting

Demonstrate genuine curiosity and respect for their perspective.


Don't assume anything

Approach each conversation with an open mind, free from preconceived notions or stereotypes.

Listening is the foundation of respectful communication and paves the way for deeper connections.

2. Create Open 2 Way Communication

Effective communication is a two-way street. Encouraging dialogue and ensuring clarity are crucial to building mutual understanding.


Encourage feedback and questions

Invite open discussions and be receptive to input from First Nations individuals.


Use clear and concise language to avoid misunderstandings

Ensure your messages are straightforward to prevent any confusion.


Be open to different communication styles and adapt accordingly

Recognize that communication preferences may vary and be willing to adjust your approach.

By fostering open communication, you can create an environment where everyone feels heard and valued.

3. Build Relationships

Building strong, respectful relationships with First Nations people takes time and effort.


Take time to learn about the person and their cultural background

Show a genuine interest in their history, traditions, and values.


Show respect for their customs and traditions

Honor their practices and be mindful of cultural sensitivities.


Develop a personal connection based on trust and mutual understanding

Invest in forming bonds that go beyond professional interactions.

Relationships built on trust and respect are essential for meaningful collaboration.

4. Do What You Say

Reliability and accountability are key components of respectful partnerships.


Follow through on commitments and promises

Ensure that your actions align with your words.


Communicate any changes or delays in a timely manner

Keep open lines of communication to manage expectations.


Take responsibility for mistakes and work to make things right

Own up to errors and actively seek solutions.

Demonstrating consistency and integrity fosters trust and reliability.

5. Collaborate, Don’t Dictate

Collaboration should be at the heart of your interactions with First Nations people.


Work together to find solutions and make decisions

Engage in joint problem-solving and decision-making processes.


Recognize and value each person's unique contributions

Appreciate the diverse perspectives and skills that each individual brings.


Avoid imposing your own ideas or beliefs on others

Respect the autonomy and viewpoints of your First Nations partners.

True collaboration involves sharing power and creating an inclusive environment where everyone’s voice matters.


Working with First Nations people requires a commitment to understanding, respect, and genuine partnership.

By following these five steps—Listening, Creating Open 2 Way Communication, Building Relationships, Doing What You Say, and Collaborating—you can build strong, meaningful connections that honor and value First Nations cultures. 

At Cultural Journeys Training and Consulting, we are dedicated to supporting you on this important journey towards cultural competence and inclusive practice.

For more information on our training programs and services, stay tuned for our upcoming events and resources designed to help you navigate cultural interactions with sensitivity and respect.