In our post-pandemic world, there is no issue more pressing than climate change. This fall on Disruptors, an RBC podcast, we launched a multi-part series called The Climate Conversations, which explored some of the potential solutions to a warming planet—as well as the challenges in implementing them.

Arguably no part of the Canadian economy has more work to do on climate action—but also more opportunities to innovate—than Canada’s oil and gas sector. Co-host Trinh Theresa Do spoke with a key player in the sector: JP Gladu, a Suncor Energy board member and executive director of the Indigenous Resource Network.

In this special extended cut of the conversation, we hear more from Gladu on how oil and gas companies (such as Suncor) can prosper in a Net Zero world; why reconciliation and sustainable development go hand-in-hand; and the importance of a “just transition” for Canada’s First Nations.

Speaker 1 [00:00:01] Hey, it’s Theresa. This fall on disrupters, we explored some of the big topics on climate change and spoke with some of the big players taking climate action. We call the series the climate conversations, and it’s fair to say the conversations are ongoing. As part of that, we’re bringing you a special extended cuts of some of our most popular ones. Arguably, no sector has more work to do in meeting our ambitious climate targets than the oil and gas sector. It’s the biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, but also the sector where we’re starting to see a ton of innovation and an emerging, more inclusive model for doing business. One of those who’s helping build that new model is JP Gladu JP as a board member of Suncor Energy, which has committed itself to becoming a net zero emitter by 2050. He’s also a principal at marketing consultancy and a former CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. As he explained When we talked earlier this fall. Sustainable development is supremely important to First Nations and Canada and essential to the future of energy companies such as Suncor if they hope to reach net zero. JP, welcome to disruptors.

Speaker 2 [00:01:15] Theresa, it’s really nice to be here, thank you.

Speaker 1 [00:01:17] From 2012 to late last year, you served as president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, whose mission is to promote, strengthen and enhance a prosperous indigenous economy. When you look back, how did the KP address sustainable prosperity during your leadership

Speaker 2 [00:01:37] that you’re hitting on some and wonderful memories? It was transformative, not, I like to think, and one a great theme that exists that that I was able to build and continues on under the leadership of Tabitha Bull, my successor. Incredible time. The organization and I think what I feel most proud about is the growth of its programs and its presence and research. You and I both know if you don’t have great data, it’s hard to change policy. It’s hard to change thinking. And we are actually I say, I say we again. But the cap is as a leader, a world leader in developing research and research by indigenous people for indigenous people to influence outcomes. The PA program, The Progressive Aboriginal Relations, is a program that is set to and it’s been in existence for a while now that supports non-Indigenous corporations for the most part in long term, sustainable relationships across sectors, to work with indigenous entrepreneurs and communities, and for them to get better at understanding the indigenous sphere and how to empower that economy through business relationships. The action that I was most proud of, the one where I felt I could have retired and felt that, you know, I did my part in society and then fell off into the sunset was the procurement work, the strategy work great team. I hired this young man from Australian Aboriginal guy named Josh Riley, who worked for us for a couple of years, and he said, You know what we did? You know, Canada’s really great as a world leader and indigenous economy in many, many regards, but is not doing as great when it comes to government procurement and what we did in Australia as we we matched up with indigenous leadership with a prominent corporate leader to challenge the governments and other corporations to do better on their procurement strategies because the government, particularly in many parts of Canada, were not doing their part in procuring indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses. So they they’ve done a great job. So they said, Well, let me call up Mark Little, who was the CEO at the time of Suncor, and his team said Yes, Mark is going to stand on the front of the room with the ajp and challenge corporations and the government to do to set targets around indigenous procurement. Because Tricia, you and I know you can do all the great things in the world, but if you can’t bring in cash, cash is in our mind trading. So cash is king, you need economy, you need economic parity to be a partner, to have a voice. So Mark and I, we went to the government, we went to Parliament. We hit up all of the ministers in the right places and we got a commitment from them to set a five percent target. And Tabitha Bulls, the new CEO. I guess she’s not so new anymore. She’s been there since March of 2020. Dropped me a text not too long ago. I was saying, we did it. We got it over. It’s legislated procurement is making shoot. That’s going to translate to billions of dollars because what it is, it’s a handshake. It’s an opportunity to build business together. And most importantly, I think the relationships that have struggled for over 150 years, that’s incredible.

Speaker 1 [00:04:50] And those conversations about procurement, economic parity, were there any opportunities to incorporate sustainability environmental issues in those conversations?

Speaker 2 [00:05:02] Absolutely. There were six. Abe was an is an organization that is very inclusive. We all know that the energy sector is is transforming, you know, to sit on the Ontario Power Generation Board. And, you know, we have hydro projects. Nuclear is clean energy and we had sustainable equity partnerships with or OPG. Sarah, I got the way I still feel like I’m still part of the conversation every day.

Speaker 1 [00:05:28] You know, the lingo

Speaker 2 [00:05:30] with communities that are helping transform the way that we generate our energy sector. I want to talk a little bit if it’s all right, Teresa, one of the my roles since then, I’m the chair of the Board of Leadership Champions, and that is a group of companies and indigenous leaders from oil, gas, mining, forestry, energy think I mentioned finance and it’s my good friend Valerie Courtois and Cathy Wilkinson and Meredith and Mark. We’re all trying to find a place, and we’re developing some thought leadership with all these companies around responsible development around Indigenous. US protected conservation, because we need those natural services to be able to live a stronger future one where we can be proud of to hand an environment to hand down to our kids. So we’re doing some thinking around innovative financing and what economic reconciliation looks like and to bring those ideas to the forefront. There’s a lot of organizations and communities that are putting a lot of time into finding this balance and be happy to have more conversations about this with you.

Speaker 1 [00:06:38] Yeah, I’d love to follow up on that, actually. Can you describe that connection between indigenous led conservation and economic reconciliation and how that might also apply to energy production?

Speaker 2 [00:06:48] Yeah, it’s another great question for a long time. We’ve been shut out of the Canadian economy. We had, you know, the fur trade which sustained our communities, and then we were told our communities were told that harvesting furs was not appropriate anymore. OK, well, we don’t want to live in poverty. We don’t want government handouts. So what’s next? Well, we’ll look to the mining of a lot of our communities are in the north, so we’ll look to the extraction sectors to generate revenue, to generate income, to generate an economy when we talk about economic reconciliation. It means that we’re generating wealth and we’re managing that wealth and we’re empowering our communities. We know that we can actually find a better balance between extraction and indigenous protected conservation areas and sustainable development and more trees, because our natural service ecosystems provide billions, trillions of dollars that we don’t even think about when it comes to clean air, clean water. You know, think of all the health impacts that occur if you don’t have a clean environment. But we also, as an indigenous community, are having these tough conversations around, well, we’re going to transition. It’s going to take time. There’s still so much poverty, not only in Canada but around the world, 700 million people in abject poverty because they don’t have access to energy. So oil and gas is going to be a part of our economy for years to come. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be putting time and effort and resources and research into actually improving that technology. So there’s a balance to be struck, and that balance is going to be we’re not going to find that balance without the indigenous voice. We need to be at the table every step of the way from any kind of development to any kind of protected area and developing economies around those protected areas

Speaker 1 [00:08:36] on more practical level. To what extent might there be concern among indigenous communities, especially those who partner with Big Oil and gas, big energy producers about developing these resources, which knowing that oil demand will not win for a while, eventually it will wane to some degree. So knowing that that long term demand will wane along with perhaps the value of these properties, what concerns are there around that?

Speaker 2 [00:09:00] Well, I think the biggest concerns are, again, the question of balance, the balance of generating economies. So we’re not poor all the time in government handouts, but also making sure that we’ve got areas that we can rely on for our traditional activities in the clean water and the clean air. I mean, I just had my daughter visiting me up on my reserve the last five days of me or moose hunting and I’m on a lake. Let me let me paint this picture for you, and then I’m going to ask you as an example in Alberta with Fort McKay First Nation. I live on Lake Winnipeg and our whole lake is protected and it’s the biggest lake in Ontario surrounded by the Ontario borders. Beautiful. I hunt on it. I fish. I caught a beautiful speckled choke my fly rod. This weekend I released she is a female and she responded, But you know, we’re the guardians of the land and put us in that place so we can continue to protect her. But we also have a lithium mine site, just not because road access to our reserve. We have two hydro developments that we’re partners and we have a sawmill. We have old railway bed that goes to our community and we have the natural gas line that cuts across our community as well, that my grandfather, one of my grandfathers, helped build. We got all the resource activities there. And so we’re trying to find that balance to make sure that the land that needs to be protected is protected and that we are the ones that are also becoming the equity partners. And the decision makers in the way that resource projects get developed and that we also benefit from it. Now, if you look at maybe more pointed to your question about concerns for Mackay, First Nation is a prime example. You know, Chief Jim Boucher, chief of 30 plus years. He’s not the chief right now, but I will always call him. Chief is just an extraordinary leader. He talked about, you know, he was providing first, trapping first for his community. His community was doing that to subsistence living. And then over time, that went away and then they fought their oil and gas companies. And then they found their way to the table, the oil and gas companies, and then became this equity stakeholder in one of the biggest resource tank projects in history with Suncor, along with Mexico group of companies. But they also have Moose Lake, and I’ve been to Moose like a couple of times with my friends, Dave and Nicole, and it is I’ve been up a couple of stunning. And they drew a line, they said, no, no more encroachment of this lake. This is important to our community. No more development here. We will work with you in these areas that are appropriate. This area hands off and they won that and they led that conversation. So they got concerns. But they also have to provide for their for the young people.

Speaker 1 [00:11:31] We had chatted with Marc Little from Suncor, as you know, of course, about Suncor’s work in partnership with Indigenous communities, and I think he had specifically cited the example of of Chief Boucher and the joint venture that they had established the First Nations there about basically providing stable prices to ensure that the volatility of oil doesn’t impact them. Do you see that as a model that can be scaled and replicated going into the future? And what other models might exist that would ensure over time that economic parity and reconciliation?

Speaker 2 [00:12:04] That’s a great question. Now, I’m not surprised Mark talked about that. You know, the relationship that unmarked and Jim have, it was that of marriage. They would have their battles, but they’d always come back to the table and what’s best for our community and what’s best for the company, the end the economy and how are we going to balance this all out? And they got through it. And I think it’s an incredible model where the communities were able to hedge against the markets and have lower cost capital and have steady revenue to support their community while having an eye on on the development itself. I think it’s a wonderful model. The cutting edge opportunities in this country exist in a few areas. One is that our communities want to be equity stakeholders in a lot of the resource projects that look at TMCs. There are a number of indigenous groups that want to purchase that line. So we need to, as a country, find equity pools to develop, generate them so that communities can access capital at a reasonable rate and then province to have the ability to backstop the payments. So that adds economic certainty of a project. The other thing, and I know it’s still early days, but the province of Alberta, they’re talking about an energy corridor with Treaty eight, where the First Nations are going to be in. The 80 groups are going to be the ones talking about what’s appropriate, where that line goes, what’s appropriate for development. I sit on the board of Northern Resources and the Ring of Fire in northern Ontario, and it’s the communities that are driving the environmental assessment process for road infrastructure. Which brings me to the last point is our communities are absolutely tired of coming to the table last. Why does a regulatory process and the precedent for the most part is that companies go and engineer the hell out of a project, get their engineers to come to the table, wipe the hands and go, OK, let’s talk to the indigenous communities now and see what they think. I’ll tell you what those communities think. I think what the heck were you thinking coming up to us at the very end? Why don’t you come to us at the beginning when we know this landscape the best? And now with all of the legal precedents, we’re going to say, no, no way are you going to develop your project because you don’t respect us. And so it’s that mutual respect and reciprocity. We always have to go into the boardrooms and communities with to develop projects in a holistic way that is respectful of indigenous sovereignty and as well as the economic model.

Speaker 1 [00:14:37] Have you seen that consultative process improving?

Speaker 2 [00:14:40] Yes. Yes. I have a group that I am so lucky to advise Chief Charlene Gale’s the chair. She’s in fact, she’s the chief of Fort Nelson First Nation. Neil Edwards is the CEO. They are the executive director of the First Nations Major Project Coalition, and the government is supporting this group. It’s got so much great work. There are two streams when you engage this group as a as an indigenous community or as a proponent. Coming in there will walk you through the environmental because if you can’t do the environmental questioning and process to make sure communities aren’t going to be severely or negatively impacted, you’re not going to get to the business modeling once you pass the sniff test on the on the environmental piece. And you’ve got and this is the thing that I just don’t understand about some projects where they come to our communities last. If you can’t get the indigenous buy-in that your project’s done, do the hard work, get the buy and the economic modeling is going to get better. So then you go into the economic modeling and what the markets are saying and ESG and investment and, you know, investors third, they’re not dumb. They’re all asking, what’s the indigenous relationship like if you don’t have that nailed down in a progressive way? We’re probably not going to be interested in if we do, the cost of that capital is going to be extraordinary because the uncertainty that ensues. So the S&P C is this great organization that helps communities and corporations find that balance. On the modeling, the capacity there and the environmental, it’s a wonderful, wonderful organization.

Speaker 1 [00:16:21] Coming up after the break, more of my conversation with J.P. Gladu. So stay right there.

Speaker 3 [00:16:32] You’re listening to Disruptors, an RBC podcast. I’m John Stackhouse. Earlier this fall, RBC Economics and Thought Leadership released a report called the two trillion dollar transition Canada’s Road to Net Zero. It explores the costs and benefits of Canada’s shift to a carbon neutral economy and how it can fuel a new generation of Canadian innovation, from carbon capture technology to sustainable agriculture to the full potential of super charging electric vehicles. We look at all the ways for Canada to take a leading role in the fight for climate action and the economic opportunities those create. To learn more, check out the link to the show notes of this episode and visit our Net zero. And be sure to listen to and follow disruptors wherever you get your podcasts.

Speaker 1 [00:17:23] Welcome back in the second half of my conversation with J.P. Gladue. We talk about the role of renewables in Canada’s energy mix, as well as the concept of a just transition. And importantly, we discussed the vital role indigenous communities play in building that new energy paradigm. If I can pivot just slightly, so I know you wear a lot of hats and among the many hats that you wear, you sit in the Suncor board. As you mentioned, Suncor is transforming itself into a more sustainable energy producer and is targeting 2050 as the year they become net zero. What do you think about that target and what are the biggest challenges still to overcome on that journey?

Speaker 2 [00:18:07] Yeah, it’s a lofty goal. I mean, but the thing is that not only Suncor, we’ve got Imperial Central Meg Cenovus, 90 percent of the oilsands producers are all committed to this. So you have more partners committing to technology. More partners committing to reducing GHG is getting better at water use, getting better at indigenous consultation, engagement and empowerment strength in numbers. So I think because of that commitment with all of these companies, it is achievable. It really is. When we think about the way that our investment is talking about ESG and global investments, they’re going to look at that and they’re going to go, okay, that we can, OK? They’ve got a goal. It’s going to be challenging, but it is possible. Suncor is an incredible organization, and they’ve had a great track record on a number of fronts. And just think about this from a global perspective. You know, when we think about the major oil and gas producers in the world, there’s only two out of the top six. There’s only two that you can invest in because the rest are state owned. And the one country that I’m referring to does that the best in the world when it comes to gender, when it comes to indigenous, when it comes to regulatory, when it comes to water, when it comes to everything else, we’ve got to reduce our GHG. And so when we do that, it’s competitive world and the oil and gas companies understand this. And when they reduce that, nobody’s going to touch Canadian oil and gas. And so we’ve got it. We’ve got it. We’ve got to hit that. That’s the path forward. We have to.

Speaker 1 [00:19:45] And there’s still an open question on energy production at its most basic, whether it’s better to find ways to reduce the carbon emissions in traditional extraction or to shift focus to develop more renewable energy sources. And of course, it’s not just another question.

Speaker 2 [00:20:01] It’s and it’s and

Speaker 1 [00:20:03] so what would you say is the best path for the right mix to meet our future energy needs?

Speaker 2 [00:20:08] The I think you said it’s the mix. I don’t know if anybody has a crystal ball on this because there’s so much uncertainty. We’re investing in hydrogen and we’re investing in carbon capture. We’re and we have to spend more time investing in our natural capital of trees. I think it’s one of the best carbon eating machines that I know as a forester. So, so, you know, companies like Suncor are investing the time and resources in those types of technologies, but we cannot rely just on one. It’s like a balanced portfolio. When I look at my RRSP or my investment accounts I’m distributed across. I’ve got some risky investments and you know, some of these investments that we’re exploring the technology, there’s risk. But the payoff could be amazing will be amazing if we can get some of them done. The natural capital is would probably be my easiest one. I mean, I know what the return on the capital of a tree would be. We’re going to plant more of those, but we also have to get better at our processes with the reduction of of the water, the reduction of energy required to extract oil out of the sands. We have to get better at that. We have to get lower emissions out of those processes as well. So we’ve got to look at these things, evaluate them, improve upon them, the stuff that’s not working. Let’s fail quickly, get that out of the way and let’s get the next one on the on the road. And you know, we’ve got a you know, we’ve got to play a number of fronts. We just can’t rely on one path because if we fall off a cliff, not one path and we haven’t spent any time on the other password dooms you.

Speaker 1 [00:21:43] You often talk about a just transition. Can you elaborate more on what you mean by that?

Speaker 2 [00:21:49] Absolutely. I went to the I went to fill up this morning. You know, I live in the north, I’m a hunter and I’m two hours from Thunder Bay, so I have a truck. And it’s always interesting when we think about environmentalism, it’s always easier to be an environmentalist when you ask everybody else to do the hard work. It really is. It’s it’s baffling. Sometimes, you know, DiCaprio comes up to the oil sands and, you know, chastises the oilsands for oil and gas development. When he flies around the world, it’s got a billion whatever boats and helicopters and they come on like, let’s be real here. But so the just chance I’ll get off my soapbox. But the just transition is yes. Yes. I mean, I sit on an oil and gas company. I also chair the boilers ship champions around conservation. I took my daughter hunting and a clean environment. We need both. And a just transition is the fact that we’ve. Got two sides here, and we’re trying to build a bridge and to meet that bridge to make sure that we can travel in a clean environment and a sustainable economy. The renewables, the batteries, the infrastructure for four battery cars, the wind, the solar. We just don’t have the capacity to meet world demand for energy. There is way too many people that suffer significant like deathly poverty because they don’t have access to energy. How is that? How’s that right in the world? So oil and gas is going to be here for quite a while yet. And that that demand, you can see in our price of our gas, you can see and Biden going over the they’ll tech companies, countries are getting more oil and we got oil up here, but it’s not going to happen overnight and we’ve got to make sure that we’re we hold corporations accountable to their targets. We need to make sure that we have a little bit more balance in the way that we. I’m a proud indigenous Canadian and the way that we develop our resource sector, it’s not perfect. It’s getting better. We see the goalposts and we’re trying to navigate between those posts and we’ve got indigenous inclusion. That is, it’s got to get better, but it’s definitely a hundred percent better than it was even 10 years ago. But that transition is going to take time, and we need to continue to measure, adjust, reinvest, measure, adjust, readjust to get there because there’s way too many energy workers. If we just said no more oil and gas well, our oil, our gas, the pumps are going to go through the roof, then Canadians go to our gas so expensive. And then all these people are going to be out of jobs with nothing, no vine to hold on to the poverty that will ensue because we don’t have the energy, the new jobs for these, for this transition. So it’s going to take some time.

Speaker 1 [00:24:38] Yeah, exactly. And when we look at what’s happening in Europe and with the U.K., with their energy shortages, it affects all aspects of the economy and not just not just the energy sector.

Speaker 2 [00:24:48] Yeah. And I think Canadians really care about it. I think we care about each other, even though there’s this provincial fights that happen, these transfer payments that were that Alberta started to question. I think we need there’s still a little bit too much polarization in Canada, but I do believe Canadians, you know, because many of our communities travel for construction, jobs, et cetera, and they bring those experiences from other provinces back home and they bring their experience and their culture and their food to other places like Fort McMurray, who’s got lots of incredible Newfoundlanders. And, you know, as an example, we care. I believe Canadians care

Speaker 1 [00:25:24] if I can ask you to switch your hat again. Can you tell us a bit about your work with the Energy Futures Lab?

Speaker 2 [00:25:31] Well, this is this is relatively new and they are part of the natural step. They asked me early while late spring, I guess early summer, if and again it’s a little bit sensitive and we’ve been very, very fully transparent. The group came to me a little bit late in the process, but they recognized that they had a big gap and that was the indigenous voice. So to carry it and agile on in the crew, you know, thank you for bringing me on. We’re doing our best. And I’ve got this amazing group of half a dozen indigenous leaders from Alberta, one from B.C., one from Ontario, and we’re trying to figure out a policy paper that’s been largely drafted. But there’s tons of room to inject our ideas and the indigenous voice around the criteria, like things like alignment around net zero and our trajectory, a forward looking ESG approach and economic viability building in Alberta’s incredible. They’ve done incredible work, so build on those current assets and strengthen the economy and in promoting an inclusive economy, which is the indigenous one to the building blocks. We’ve done lots of work. What does carbon look like? Carbon fiber, lithium batteries, hydrogen, geothermal? So we’re basically taking this indigenous voices and we’re applying our knowledge systems as well as our need for our economy. And they’ve got these incredible leaders that are on the table that are bringing their experience so that we can make sure when these policy ideas mature with our voice that we’re not going to make the same mistakes that we’ve been making for a hundred and fifty years when it comes to the lack of indigenous inclusion so that policymakers can see exactly what it means to have indigenous people at the table in the value and the experience, and quite frankly, the brilliance of these people that I get to work with

Speaker 1 [00:27:26] or above to ask you more about that as we start to wrap up. What is your vision for the future of indigenous participation and leadership in energy production and natural resource development? I believe that the natural resource sector employs a large amount of indigenous peoples. If I state is correct.

Speaker 2 [00:27:44] You totally got it. And what is it, seventy three point nine for seven percent of stats are made up. I’m going to make this one. I’m going to be as close as I can. But you know, my friend Kelly Lindsey runs an indigenous human resource development group. For years, I think it was his work. He talked about seven or eight Canadians out of 100 rely on the natural resource sector. I don’t think Canada even knows this. Seventy 16, 17 percent of our GDP, right, by the way, the oil and gas sector over the next 30 years, or one hundred trillion dollars that are 30 trillion dollars to our economy and it’s big indigenous people. To your point, Teresa think it’s around 17 or 18 at a 20 rely on the natural resource sector. So can you imagine if we don’t get this just transition right, what that is going to do to our people? We’re just getting into the job market. For the last 20 years, we’ve been shut out of the economy because of colonialist practices and racism for how long? We’re just getting a foothold. Understanding what it is to break the cycles of government dependency. And all of a sudden you rip the sectors that that our people rely on the most from underneath our feet. That’ll send us back decades, decades, decades, decades. So my vision for the natural resource sector and indigenous people and so we have more people looking like me, maybe not as funny looking sitting on corporate boards, you know, like my mum said, I got a face for radio, so having more of our people in those leadership positions. It was great. I was there a dozen indigenous people that are now in federal politics. I mean, we need more people at that level and we need the equity pool so that, you know, our vision is that our people are actually the ones doing the the sustainable extraction, running the companies, generating the benefits so that we’re not passive participants. You know, for a long time, we couldn’t get work. Then we got jobs and we started businesses and entrepreneurs and we started joint ventures and now we’re primary producers. I want to see more of that. I want to see two or three indigenous companies in the top hundred companies in the world. You know, that’s that’s the vision I have for our people in the natural resource sector, in this country

Speaker 1 [00:30:04] and with the knowledge that indigenous youth are also the fastest growing cohort of youth in Canada. How do you see the next generation innovating in the sector?

Speaker 2 [00:30:13] Wow. They are brilliant. They are bright, they’re on fire. I have an almost 18 year old daughter who educates me every time I talk to her. They really do have huge opportunities. There’s still significant challenges, of course, in our communities, which we know we don’t. We don’t have to get into. But when we think about the technology advancements, the opportunities to advance that those youth have so much ahead of them. When I when I look in, I stand on the shoulders of giants like a Phil Fontaine as an example, who’s a mentor of mine, who’s done incredible work. There weren’t a lot of Phil Fontaine’s in the world. Then you get to my group and you know, I get to work with the Clint Davis is the Sherry France, the Tabitha Bowles, the Kim Baird. You know, that group is larger. It’s a larger base, but we’re still very few and we are stretched to the max. And then I look at the youth coming up behind me, the twenty five to thirty five year olds who are being educated and are holding on to their cultures and traditions and communities, and their ability to be able to take that knowledge, combine it with their education. Watch out. These youth are going to transform Canada

Speaker 1 [00:31:25] and the world. JP my my last question to you is what tangible, practical lessons or practices can we learn from indigenous stewardship of natural resources, the environment as we move into a lower carbon economy?

Speaker 2 [00:31:39] And I think just sit down with our communities and and have some tea, go fishing, go something. The stories that emanate from just being around a campfire with our community members will enrich our lives. And I’ll tell you a little story in a second. The practical things that you can do is, you know, show up if you don’t show up, nothing’s going to get done, show up to community events, show up to business events, support organizations like the RCMP and NAC Mafiosi, and support those organizations that are doing great work procure from indigenous entrepreneurs. Because when you procure from those entrepreneurs, you’re building a relationship and you’re supporting a family or supporting a community and you’re supporting an economy, but you just got to show up. I mean, the practical things, just throw your fear based, your preconceived notions about who we are as people and show up, and that’s going to get you a long way. There’s a book Triple Crown. It’s been a while since I’ve read that, Jim. Apprentices, Buck and I was there today at a panel talking about his fucking and somebody asked me what kind of a similar question. And what struck me about Jim was that he read like one of the three crowns was the indigenous relationships, and he took the time to travel and meet with indigenous people to understand us. And I’ll just relate this back to my one of my very first forestry lessons. I was just a young little wet behind the ears and we were grading trees, one twos and threes. And I’ve told this story many times. So many of us heard this this last thing, and I apologize, but some of you may not have. But our prof said, You know, what’s that tree and what do you think it is? A one is called fine lumber to is lumber and pulp, and three is mostly pulp. And what kind of tree is? And so we are looking and I remember I visit, I remember as a yellow birch and we all started out one two one two and our tech said, Well, you’re all wrong. And we’re like, Well, what do you mean? It’s not one of you went to go around the other side of the tree to see what it looks like. On the other side, that could be a big split down. There could be a tree. So my challenge to your listeners is get up and walk around the indigenous tree if you don’t understand it. How can you work with us? Right? That’s the same thing as just show up, because that’s what’s going to progress this country.

Speaker 1 [00:34:01] Relationships show up. That is such a simple yet effective and powerful statement. Thank you so much for sharing your insights with us on disruptors.

Speaker 2 [00:34:10] Thank you, Terry. So it’s a real pleasure.

Speaker 1 [00:34:14] That was J.P. Gladu board director at Suncor Energy and a principal at Mokwateh Consultancy. We hope you’ve enjoyed these extended cuts from some of our most popular interviews from the climate conversations. A special multi-part series on disrupters. To hear the complete series, go to RBC dot com slash disruptors. Until next time, I’m Theresa Doe. Talk to you soon.

Speaker 4 [00:34:41] Disruptors, an RBC podcast is created by the RBC Thought Leadership Group and does not constitute a recommendation for any organization, product or service. It’s produced and recorded by JAR Audio. For more disruptors content like or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and visit

Jennifer Marron produces "Disruptors, an RBC podcast". Prior to joining RBC, Jennifer spent five years as Community Manager at MaRS Discovery District and cultivated a large network of industry leaders, entrepreneurs and partners to support the Canadian startup ecosystem. Her writing has appeared in The National Post, Financial Post, Techvibes, IT Business, CWTA Magazine and Procter & Gamble’s magazine, Rouge. Follow her on Twitter @J_Marron.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.