4. Negotiating with Industry Proponents


Building partnerships takes time, energy, good will and a great deal of research to find out what the industry proponent is bringing to the table in terms of experience, skill and reputation. This is a phase of the lifecycle that sees two or more parties trying to resolve competing interests.


Proponent engagement encompasses a range of dialogue that culminate in decisions to move forward with an energy project. Industry proponents vary in when and how they engage with First Nations. It is not only a sign of respect for industry proponents to engage earlier in the process, but early engagement goes a long way in building trust, which is essential to any lasting partnership.


  • Who initiates engagement?
  • What condition precipitated the engagement?
  • Who is the proponent: internal or external to the community?
  • What is the proponent’s reputation?
  • What is their experience in delivering projects of this size?
  • How clear and objective are criteria for negotiation?
  • How can a win-win, collaborative model of negotiation be encouraged to ensure fairness?
  • What is the ownership structure of the project?
  • What are the deal’s financial terms?
  • How is funding secured?
  • How is risk allocated?
  • What is the incentive agreement?
  • What procedures are in place to negotiate with contractors and sub-contractors?