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The Pehta Framework informs, empowers, and accounts to Indigenous communities

Companies have been working with Indigenous communities for centuries, but it is only recently that a common agreement has emerged on how actions and commitments to community should be reported.  

This is the Pehta Framework – an Indigenous Community Benefit Disclosure Standard developed by, and for, Indigenous communities. For those deeply involved in the creation of accessible and meaningful standards in our own areas of expertise, it is inspiring to witness the emergence of a standard that demonstrates how Indigenous communities can define the standards by which impact upon them can be measured. This is a transformational shift away from a world view that allows the market, or other standard setters, to try and speak on behalf of Indigenous communities – intentionally or otherwise.  

The Origins of Pehta

Companies design Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) to outline commitments made to Indigenous communities with resources companies seek to access in favour of corporate goals and objectives. For as long as CBAs have been in use, Indigenous communities have had difficulty interpreting accountability data presented to them because of different CBA reporting styles and varying approaches to transparency in reporting.  

One of the challenges to leaders in the sustainability, purpose, ESG and corporate citizenship world is true and deep self-awareness. While one imagines that any initiative that might fall under a broad heading of “people impact” would be well-intended, the unfortunate reality is the world view of the source of funding most often predominates over the impact reality of the people affected.  

The Pehta Framework rejects the above notion. It discards outdated viewpoints that favour externally imposed metrics and value systems in favour of an Indigenous world view that puts wellbeing of community, the environment, and the people within community first.  

The Pehta Framework guides the production of relevant, credible, and consistent impact data from corporations working with Indigenous communities. “Pehta”, the Cree word for “hear it” or “listen”, underscores the principle that Indigenous communities should set the standards by which their benefits, opportunities, and well-being are measured. It is a pathway to authentic, meaningful disclosure to community, and adds a crucial layer of transparency and accountability in reporting. 

Standards in Community Contributions

Investments that go beyond operational requirements are part of CBAs. Similar to community investment that occurs outside of Indigenous communities, there is a need to agree how to report on voluntary investment in community and how to distinguish what is truly voluntary from other investments that are predominantly self-interested. The originators of Pehta embedded the LBG Model within the framework and accepted SiMPACT Strategy Group’s offer to further embed the LBG Canada approach within Pehta. This is in alignment with the national reporting standard on community investment that LBG Canada represents.  

Learn More

Pehta (the organization) invites everyone to be a part of the transformative journey that the Pehta Framework represents. This includes everyone seeking to “shape a future that truly honors and reflects the rights, culture, and aspirations of Indigenous communities across Canada.” For more information about Pehta, visit pehta.com