The most important value for me, and the lesson learned, is that the relationship indigenous people have with the land and the water is a generational relationship. When we approach a discussion about what to do with our resources that run through indigenous land, we hear time and time again that generations of ancestors have delivered the land and the water to us, and that we have an obligation in our time to leave the land as we have found it, or better, to the generations who come after us.
This is a wisdom and a perspective of understanding the relationship between the human and the land that gives us water, that gives us food, and that gives us life itself, which is very special.
If proponents of major energy projects are imbued with that sensitivity, with that clarity, and can understand that trusting relationships don't begin the day before you seek approval of a project and don't end the day after the project has been approved, but are relationships that extend years and in some cases generations, it is that meaningful consultation about values and about the power of culture and the relationship with the land and the water that will have to be an essential part of any approval process moving forward, in Canada.
That, to me, is one of the principal values at stake as we move forward.
I also know, in my conversations with indigenous leaders across the country, that they want economic development opportunities for their children. They want their kids to have the same aspirations that mine have, the same educational opportunities that mine have had, the same apprenticeship chances, the same professional aspirations that we find in all of our young people wherever we go in Canada, and that natural resource projects are economic development drivers. They want to be partners as we drive our natural resource economy forward with the very special understanding that we can't do it without that relationship with the land and the water.