The social license to operate: insights from Eeyou Istchee
The rise of local corporate–community conflicts surrounding development projects represents a trend rather than exceptional events, highlighting corporate–community relations as a prominent strategic issue. Despite the emergence of these issues for businesses, civil society, and governments, we still have a limited understanding of the conditions necessary for building and maintaining good relations over a long period of time and at all stages of a project’s life cycle. Moreover, little is known about how to implement successful corporate–community relations, especially in environmentally-sensitive industries (e.g. mining, forestry, energy, etc.). As an interface for managing daily relations between Hydro-Québec and the Cree First Nation to alleviate the impacts of hydroelectric development in Eeyou Istchee, the Niskamoon Corporation provides an efficient framework for cooperation between the Cree people and Hydro-Québec, enabling the implementation of the Cree/Hydro-Québec Agreements. This research project aims to validate this model and to examine in greater detail its relationship with the social license to operate five years after the signature of the agreement.