This page outlines the assignment students are to complete for this module. Included, you will find:
- Student learning objectives
- Assignment details and introduction
- Assignment deliverables
- Assignment rubric
A downloadable file of the assignment can be found at the bottom of this page.
After completing the following assignment, students will be able to:
- Describe the characteristics of simple and complex systems
- Express the complexity of intercultural partnerships through the generation of a systems map
- Locate mutually beneficial and sustainable partnership objectives among a list
- Select an appropriate community contact on a First Nation’s website
- Re-create a collaboration systems map based on a relevant example
- Acknowledge the importance of mapping communication channels
- Formulate a personal understanding of respectful email communication
You are working for Evergreen, a sustainable construction material company. Management has recently updated the company mission statement. Good news! Project collaboration with Indigenous communities has now become a key priority. This change is also reflected in the company’s budget, where funds have been allocated to cover Indigenous engagement activities, visits to partnered communities and subsidized costs to Indigenous partners for your flagship product, a lightweight insulating glass.
Indigenous and remote communities are a potential market for your company because your glass has worked well in greenhouses and detached homes. The Indigenous population is the fastest-growing demographic in Canada, so housing and agricultural loads are expected to rise in remote communities across the nation. Office buzz around indigenizing the company has faltered, and little has been done so far to partner with communities, so you have decided to act. You visit the website of a nearby Indigenous community, K’omoks First Nation and discover their Comprehensive Community Plan, which clearly delineates the nation’s governance, history, work capacity and goals. You decide to create an engagement strategy to collaborate with K’omoks.
Take some time before you do the assignment to read through the 9 main goals, found on page 17 of the CCP.
- Identify one social, one environmental and one economic collaboration objective (three total) that would mutually benefit K’omoks Nation and Evergreen. These are to be written as titles on separate pages with the associated sustainability dimension clearly indicated. Take for example the following social collaboration objective: Encourage greater levels of self-sufficiency and security in food production on the K’omoks First Nation reserve by constructing a community greenhouse. (Social)
- Map the Evergreen, K’omoks and external collaborators, their proposed role and the flow of information that would be required to support the complete realization of each shared objective. There will be three maps in total, one for each sustainability pillar objective. The system map is to occupy the space below each objective title and the map components will be legible and easily distinguishable from one another. A reader should understand the proposed role of a collaborator at a glance. Example systems map
- Identify an appropriate first point of contact at K’omoks Nation and includes a draft email proposing an introductory conversation. Emails can be found on the K’omoks First Nation Website. A stellar email will respectfully and concisely call the proposed point of contact to action. This email, its proposed contact and the subject line are to be included in the pdf document after the objective maps. Important note: This draft email will NOT be sent to the contact. The draft will be submitted as text within the deliverable pdf. The purpose of this email draft is to think critically about how to respectfully begin a dialogue and express interest in working together toward a common goal with a community.
- Outline and justify in 2-3 sentences the step in the design process where Evergreen should contact K’omoks to begin a collaboration. Recall, the four steps of the design process are: study and clarify the problem, generate potential solutions, identify the most promising solution, and develop & test the solution. Please answer question 4 using the steps in this design framework.
You will submit one PDF document which:
- Identifies one social, one environmental and one economic collaboration objective (three total) that would mutually benefit K’omoks Nation and Evergreen.
- Maps the Evergreen, K’omoks and external collaborators, their proposed role and the flow of information that would be required to support the complete realization of each shared objective.
- Identifies an appropriate first point of contact at K’omoks Nation and includes a draft email proposing an introductory conversation.
- Outlines and justifies in 2-3 sentences the step in the design process where Evergreen should contact K’omoks to begin a collaboration.
Guiding Questions for Success
- Can you clearly articulate the value proposition to management at Evergreen and different stakeholders K’omoks Nation?
- Are you considering the full diversity of stakeholders internal and external to K’omoks and Evergreen?
A sample rubric to evaluate your students’ assignments is found below. Feel free to download and adapt the rubric to match your assessment procedures (i.e. changing weights, etc.).
|Benchmark Grade||Identifying mutually beneficial objectives for the company and community (20%)||Mapping the objective stakeholders and flow of information (30%)||Encouraging collaboration through an introductory email (30%)||Document Format (20%)|
|100%||Student leadership: advanced skills and approaches researched and implemented above and beyond standard expectations.||Student leadership: advanced skills and approaches researched and implemented above and beyond standard expectations.||Student leadership: advanced skills and approaches researched and implemented above and beyond standard expectations.|
|90%||Objectives are thoughtful and encourage a strong/urgent desire for action. The common objectives are written in a manner that demonstrate good-faith and concern for sustainability.||Maps provide equitable roles and responsibilities that if implemented, could build the capacity of the company and partner community while also reaching the primary objective. These maps would serve as an excellent, respectful visual aid for initial conversations with the partner community, and reflect a desire for reconciliation.||The email and point of contact are entirely appropriate, respectful and demonstrate an an awareness of the community's goals and capacities. The message communicates that an introductory conversation between the community and Evergreen would be in the spirit of collaboration and good faith, while appealing to shared benefit.||All format expectations were followed as described in the assignment outline|
|70%||Objectives provide concrete commonality between the company and partner community, however they do not provide adequate coverage of the three pillars of sustainability. The objective may also be lacking equitable benefit distribution between the company and community.||Maps clarify the roles, responsibilities and flows of information to many potential collaborators and stakeholders. The maps outlines a stable system to reach the objective, but miss some components of shared project ownership.||The selected contact and email are likely to encourage a follow up from the recipient, but certain portions of the email could be omitted or modified to strike a respectful and professional tone.||Most format expectations were followed as described in the assignment outline, with a couple of minor errors.|
|50%||Objectives are either unfeasible or inadequately address the needs of your company or partner community||Maps outline some objective members and flows of information, but are not useful due to lack of scope or detail||Either the selected contact or content the of the email does not align with the goal of encouraging new partnership and collaboration. This may be due to a lack of respectful communication, message focus or an unclear call to action.||Format expectations as described in the assignment outline were somewhat followed.|
|0%||Objectives are neither feasible nor mutually beneficial to the company or community||Maps do not clarify the interdependency of collaborators on the success of the project, either through lack of clear structure or misinformation||The selected contact is not appropriate for the purpose of the email is counter-productive to the goal of encouraging collaboration and trust-building.||Format expectations as described in the assignment outline were ignored or unread.|
ʔaq̓am (aqam). (2017). ka kniⱡwi·tiyaⱡa = our thinking. Available at https://www.aqam.net/sites/default/files/AQAM_ka%20kniⱡwitiyaⱡa%20%20our%20thinking%202017.pdf
Note: This is the Community Strategic Plan of ʔaq̓am Nation. You can compare the objectives of K’omoks Nation to those outlined by ʔaq̓am Nation to get a sense of common goals and variation in community values across First Nations.
- Design Process © Pete Ostafichuk is licensed under a CC BY (Attribution) license