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Preparing for Negotiations

There are a lot of factors that go into a successful negotiation. Some of the factors are not directly in your control: the ideology and politics of your negotiation partner, public opinion at the time, or the economic leverage of the specific issues. Other factors, however, are squarely in your control and investing time and energy into these factors shouldn’t be overlooked.

At the Big House opening: a milestone of Heiltsuk reconciliation negotiations.

For example, it is important that you define the scope of the negotiations, that you have a clear mandate that corresponds to your negotiation vision, and that you map out the processes for approving drafts, frameworks, and ultimately agreements. You will also need to establish a negotiating team that includes both political and technical expertise and structure your internal mechanisms so that technical work can support timely decisions. And of course, you need to secure the commitment of the provincial and federal governments to establish a negotiation table and resource it appropriately. These are all things Indigenous nations can do to establish the conditions for a successful negotiation. Neglecting these foundations can tip the balance between success and failure.

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