As founding peoples, the members of Indigenous communities were the guardians of biodiversity, the land, the environment and wildlife. We recognize their contribution to the development of our society and respect the value their culture and ancestral wisdom bring.
We pride ourselves on building relationships based on trust, shared knowledge and mutual respect in all the projects we undertake in collaboration with Indigenous nations.
Relationships Based on Trust
Our approach to projects in Indigenous communities is one of partnership and collaboration: we never impose our solutions. We jointly develop strategies that meet the needs of the communities, respect their culture and history, and account for the realities specific to their northern environment. And we achieve this above all by building relationships based on listening and trust.
By carrying out engineering projects in rural and remote areas, we help to improve the quality of life of the communities that live there, and ensure that future generations flourish. That's how we make a difference: one project at a time.
This commitment is reflected at all levels of our organization through the implementation of our Reconciliation Action Plan A working committee has been formed to ensure the implementation of the plan's various actions over the coming years.
Working with Indigenous communities, in numbers
The Whapmagoostui Cree First Nation, an isolated community of around 980 people, is experiencing increasingly frequent episodes of heavy rainfall in autumn and spring.
A project for the construction of a drainage network was initiated and carried out from 2016 to 2022 by a local team from the community, in partnership with CIMA+'s Infrastructure team.
During the 2018 to 2020 phases of the project, the team required the employment of more than 20 local members who helped generate wages amounting to $2 million. In addition, the project involved spending around $2 million on necessary equipment, thereby stimulating the local economy.
During the summer of 2023, a water search campaign was carried out to identify a new source of drinking water, thereby meeting the needs of the community of Whapmagoostui and Kuuajjurapik. The local team that worked with CIMA+ was the same one that built the access roads to the various drilling targets before bringing in the drilling contractor.
Meeting Unique Challenges
Northern communities face unique challenges. They are faced with complex environmental issues, magnified by climate change. All too often, their infrastructure is outdated or poorly adapted to their cultural and environmental realities. They have different lifestyles and rhythms, with a strong sense of community.
These constraints may sometimes seem incompatible with modern engineering methods. In fact, this is not the case: all it takes is the ability to question our current ways of doing things.
To tackle these challenges, it is essential that our consulting engineering teams listen to the members of these communities and recognize the uniqueness of their culture and territory. This collaborative mindset enables us to offer engineering solutions tailored to the needs of each community, while ensuring respect for Indigenous know-how and heritage.
"At CIMA+, we see engineering as a means of improving the living conditions and well-being of the communities around us. With each of our projects, we put people first, thereby contributing to a more inclusive society."
Senior Director - Infrastructure
Learning from Each Other
Partnerships between Indigenous peoples and CIMA+'s consulting engineering teams are unique learning opportunities for both. Indigenous peoples enrich our approaches and working methods by sharing their culture, wisdom and knowledge, while we share advanced technical skills and make engineering more accessible to the younger generation.
We believe that it's by learning from each other and pooling our knowledge that we design the best solutions.
These lessons are applied to every project we deliver. Our teams recognize the value of this collaborative and sharing mindset when their expertise is called upon for projects related to mass transit, renewable energy and public infrastructure.