Macdonald-Laurier Institute Senior Fellow Ken Coates spoke with CKOM radio in Saskatoon this week ahead of the MLI Dinner Series on Aboriginal engagement.

Coates was in Saskatoon Wednesday night to speak with local leaders in the lead-up to the formal launch of the series, titled Aboriginal People and the Natural Resource Economy in Canada, in January 2015.

The series, which will feature former Assembly of First Nations chief Ovide Mercredi as a principal speaker, is set to take place in Vancouver, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Toronto.

The idea, Coates told CKOM, is to engage with members of the Aboriginal community to determine the best public policy for including them in Canada’s natural resource sector.

“We get from (community and business leaders) the best practices about what does and doesn’t work in Saskatchewan and hopefully coming up with policy ideas that will help shape the future of what is going to be one of the most vibrant sectors in the economy,” said Coates, who will be one of the event’s panelists.

MLI has published extensively on the issue of Aboriginal engagement in natural resource development.

In 2013 Coates co-authored, with MLI Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley, a paper on how Canada’s natural resource wealth is re-shaping relations with Aboriginal people.

Coates and Crowley are also the authors of “The Way Out: New thinking about Aboriginal engagement and energy infrastructure to the West Coast”.

Join the conversation on the MLI Dinner Series using the hashtag #MLIDinner.

For more information about the series, click here.

Rob Norris, a member of the Saskatchewan legislative assembly, attended Thursday's event.


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