Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announces Two-Eyed Seeing Initiative toward meaningful Indigenous participation in Canada’s ocean economy

 Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announces Two-Eyed Seeing Initiative toward meaningful Indigenous participation in Canada’s ocean economy

Today, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC) announced the Two-Eyed Seeing Initiative working towards meaningful Indigenous participation in Canada’s ocean economy. This initiative will engage and collaborate with Indigenous organizations and communities to foster greater inclusion and participation in OSC projects and activities and build direct and meaningful partnerships.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is investing $230 thousand in the first phase of the initiative to shift towards fulsome and meaningful engagement of Indigenous communities as outlined in Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, inclusive of Elders, youth, and those historically excluded living away from their communities.

Work on this exciting initiative began early this month and will continuously inform OSC policy and program development over the coming year. Led by SOAR Professional Services along with Indigrow Business Management and Dillon Consulting, the Two-Eyed Seeing Initiative will focus on:

  • Conducting an Indigenous-led review of the current OSC project selection process and provide recommendations to further the definition of “meaningful” community-based engagement/involvement;
  • Undertaking engagement with OSC Membership to promote the benefits partnering and collaborating with Indigenous groups as a pillar of project planning and implementation;
  • Broaden OSC’s organizational Indigenous cultural competency and awareness for OSC staff, board, and members;
  • Undertaking engagement with Indigenous organizations and communities to help identify Indigenous-focused ocean challenges and opportunities;
  • Creating an OSC Indigenous Partnerships Program to help realize opportunities which can support both ocean outcomes (ecosystem and commercial outcomes) and Indigenous-focused project identification and delivery; and,
  • Developing a “Two-Eyed Seeing” Indigenous Traditional Knowledge framework that guides OSC organizational and Indigenous community relationship and partnerships building through shared understanding and an integrated body of ocean knowledge.

“As we continue to grow Canada’s ocean economy, it is essential that Indigenous communities be not only involved but also meaningfully engaged at every step of the way. The Government of Canada is proud to support Canada’s Ocean Cluster in this collaborative project with Soar Professional Services to ensure that policies and programs are co-designed and co-developed through Indigenous partnerships.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“This initiative is much more than just engaging more meaningfully with Indigenous groups. We intend to drive system change within the ocean ecosystem that focuses on fostering relationships, elevating opportunities for Indigenous communities, and setting our course as a sector towards reconciliation with all Indigenous peoples from coast to coast to coast.” – Ralph Eldridge, Indigenous Engagement Lead, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

“SOAR is proud to work with OSC on their Two-Eyed Seeing Initiative. From the inception of SOAR, Two-Eyed Seeing has been the foundation of what we do. Combining Indigenous and Western knowledge allows us to co-create customized, resilient solutions that are considerate of Indigenous world views on sustainability for generations to come.” – Ryan Dunbar, President, SOAR Professional Services

About OSC
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is a pan-Canadian, industry-led transformative cluster focused on tackling some of the biggest challenges across ocean sectors through a collaborative program designed to accelerate the development and commercialization of globally relevant solutions, while also building a highly-capable, inclusive workforce. The OSC has approved 86 projects with a total value of more than $390 million which will deliver more than 120 new made-in-Canada ocean products, processes, and services to sell to the world.

About SOAR
SOAR Professional Services LP (SOAR) is an innovative, employee-owned planning, engineering, environmental science and mSOAR prides itself on servicing our client’s needs. Our team members have been providing Indigenous focused services for over ten years. SOAR prides itself on servicing our client’s needs. We have had the opportunity to deliver on projects within our core technical areas of planning, environmental and engineering with projects ranging from feasibility studies, business plans and pre-design to advanced engineering including detailed design.

SOAR has a proven ability to foresee potential obstacles and develop solutions based upon an extensive knowledge of Indigenous funding mechanisms, governance and management structures. SOAR is committed to a one window approach to service delivery for our clients and have commonly partnered with a broad network of companies to best service our clients towards their objectives and vision. This approach allows us to work with the right partner for every project through facilitated guidance with our Indigenous team and has proven time and again to be the correct balance for our client needs.

About Indigrow
Indigrow Business Management (Indigrow) is an Indigenous-owned management consulting company that works specifically with Indigenous businesses and communities, including social enterprises and not-for-profit organizations. They have a relentless focus on driving business growth and positive community impact – particularly in Indigenous communities.

Since its launch in 2020, Indigrow has provided an array of management consulting services to over 60 Indigenous businesses, social enterprises, and not-for-profit organizations throughout Atlantic Canada. Headquartered in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL, they currently have four staff located across three locations in Newfoundland and Labrador with plans to expand beyond the province in 2023.

Media Contact:
Nancy Andrews
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster