Module 3: Cultural Context

When drafting policies, it is recommended that those drafting be mindful of the long-term goals of the First Nation and the community. The drafters must ensure that the policies assist the community’s short- and long-term goals, such as self-determination. The drafters should review the community’s Mission Statement (that identifies why the community exists and its purpose) and its Vision (that identifies what the community wants to create for its future), and ensure policies align with both.

Linking policies to the First Nation’s mission and vision helps to ensure that policies are informed and shaped by cultural practices, protocols and knowledge. There are several considerations to take into account when developing policies:

  • Are there cultural practices that inform development of a new or revised policy?
  • How can the policy development process recognize traditional knowledge?
  • Are there ways to incorporate traditional knowledge and ensure that information is protected appropriately?
  • How can Western practices of policy development reflect and align with cultural practices and traditions?
  • What steps can be undertaken in policy development to support self-determination for First Nations and communities?

First Nation Case Study – Upper Nicola Band

Mission: Upper Nicola is a proud, inclusive Syilx community working together to promote SuxwtxtEm, teach our Captikw and committed to building foundations through En’owkin’wixw.

Vision: A strong, flourishing community in harmony with our Tmixw.

Community policy scenario – interactive questions

The purpose of Module 3 is to consider alignment between cultural practices and traditions with policy development processes. There are several questions to consider when developing policy that recognizes and utilizes appropriate aspects of a First Nation’s culture and traditions. To assist you in learning about the concepts presented, think about a policy needed, or a time when you developed policy, and provide responses to the questions below.

Download the interactive questions (Microsoft Word)

Policy Example
Topic / Subject:
Type of Policy:
Cultural Context
Did the policy connect to culture? If yes, how?
Did the policy link to self-determination pathways? If yes, how?
Were the traditional practices reconciled with policy development and plans for implementation? If yes, how?
Did the policy consider cultural influences? If yes, how?