National Indigenous People Day 2024: Heritage and Progress

June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. The day marks a time to recognize and celebrate the heritage, contributions, histories, experiences and diverse cultures of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.

Insights from Chief Gene Hope of Acho Dene Koe (ADK) First Nation

In a recent interview with RAM’s Indigenous Relations Manager, Jodi Carlow, Chief Gene Hope of Acho Dene Koe (ADK) First Nation shared insights into how the land shapes ADK’s history, identity, and economy. Located in the Northwest Territories, ADK’s traditional territories span vast regions, including parts of the Yukon and British Columbia. These lands have been essential for survival for generations, from hunting and trapping to modern economic activities.

“Our collaboration with RAM has been instrumental in providing economic opportunities and fostering community growth, allowing ADK to thrive,” said Chief Gene Hope.

Chief Hope emphasized the importance of partnerships in supporting Indigenous communities. RAM’s collaboration with ADK has brought significant benefits to their businesses, contracts, and community programs, improving opportunities for children and families. Through initiatives like highway construction projects, ADK has seen increased employment, economic growth, and enhanced community infrastructure.

Embracing Opportunities

Chief Hope highlighted positive developments in his community while recognizing ongoing issues such as housing, funding, and the path to self-government. He emphasized the need for continued collaboration with neighbouring First Nations and government bodies. Chief Hope is optimistic about the future, believing that effective partnerships will create more opportunities for Indigenous youth and strengthen the community’s capacity for self-reliance and development.

“Our land is our history and our future. It is essential to preserve it for the coming generations,” Chief Hope added.

At RAM, partnering with and working alongside Indigenous groups is a foundational aspect of our business. We prioritize sharing benefits through partnerships, education and training programs, hiring and procurement policies, and support for Indigenous-owned businesses. We foster a corporate culture that respects the rights of Indigenous peoples and the continuation of their culture, language, and heritage, leading to mutual success. The priority of these partnerships is to ensure the Nations have the capacity and training to lead these projects and become self sustaining. Building these behaviours into RAM’s culture ensures diversity and inclusion are valued and promoted at every level. We have applied these approaches directly to our projects with Acho Dene Koe on the Highway 7 Remediation project, with Gitga’at First Nations in their community projects including a Daycare Facility and Marine Emergency Response & Research Facility and with Cook’s Ferry Indian Band on the rebuild of Highway 8.

Read more about and get involved with the National Indigenous Peoples Day here

To learn more about RAM’s Indigenous engagement here